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Friday, February 03, 2006

302 Redirects

Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO » SEO advice: discussing 302 redirects: "In a previous post I talked a little bit about 302s. Let’s cover them in more detail. A 302 redirect can be on-domain or off-domain. On-domain is simple and not prone to hijacking, so let’s talk about that first. Suppose you go to www.xbox.com and the site does a 302 redirect to some really long url, or a url with a session ID (this used to be what xbox.com did a couple years ago. Now you end up at e.g. www.xbox.com/en-US/, but play along with me). Would you rather see www.xbox.com or www.xbox.com/home/redir/sess?session=23412341234124124231455423633 ? Yeah, I’d rather see just www.xbox.com too. That’s why for on-domain 302 redirects (that is, a redirect in which both the source page and the destination page are both on the same domain), search engines will usually pick the shorter url. Hopefully that makes sense. I’d rather see www.example.com than www.example.com/deep/home/page?last=root&sessid=909345AF2343 , and I think most people would too.
Q: Time out. I’ve got a question. What’s the deal with 302 vs. 301? What does that mean? What’s the difference?
A: The “302″ refers to the HTTP status codes that are returned to your browser when you request a page. For example, a 404 page is called a “404″ because web servers return a status code of 404 to indicate that a requested page wasn’t found. The difference between a 301 and a 302 is that a 301 status code means that a page has permanently moved to a new location, while a 302 status code means that a page has temporarily moved to a new location. For example, if you try to fetch a page http://example.com/ and the web server says “That’s a 301. Th"

Google Beta Version Toolbar

Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO: "Google has just opened the beta test of Toolbar version 4. Here’s my take on it:
- Suggestions as you type. You’ll either love this or it will leave you cold. As far as I can tell, it’s just some deep personality test, like whether you’re an Elvis person or a Beatles person. Personally, showing suggestions as you type tends to distract me. But then, I get distracted by shiny metal objects from time to time.
- Send web pages via email (or blog, or SMS). This is very useful. I often find myself wanted to email a snapshot of a whole web page, pictures and all, to someone. I even installed a third-party extension in Firefox to do something similar a while back. It didn’t work though.
- Server-side bookmarks. This is really handy. You can have the same set of bookmarks on your work computer, laptop, and home computer.
- Custom buttons. I have to admit, this is my favorite feature. It’s almost enough to pull me back to Internet Explorer.
So what’s a custom button? It’s a little piece of easy-to-write XML code that lets you quickly add a custom button to your toolbar. Imagine that you want a whois button, for example, that lets you select a domain name and click to run a Whois search on whois.sc.
Damn! Those fiends on the toolbar team have made it even easier to use! I was all excited reading through the API and dreaming about writing the definitive post on how to craft the XML for a toolbar button. But there’s a trick that makes it so you don’t even have to write any code!
Let’s take building a custom whois button for whois.sc as an example. Go to http://www.whois.sc and right-click on the search box, then select “Generate Custom Search…” Here’s what it looks like: