Question: How do you remove a 301 redirect?


301 redirects are permanent redirects from one URL to another. They are crucial for SEO because they transfer the SEO value from the old URL to the new one. However, sometimes it becomes necessary to remove or modify these redirects.

Reasons for Removing a 301 Redirect

  • The original redirection was implemented by mistake.
  • The content on the original URL has been reinstated.
  • Changes in site architecture or business requirements.

How to Remove a 301 Redirect

Via .htaccess (for Apache Servers)

If you initially set up your 301 redirect via an .htaccess file, you can remove it by deleting or commenting out the specific line of code:

  1. Access your site's root directory and find the .htaccess file.
  2. Open the file in a text editor.
  3. Find the line that looks something like this:
    Redirect 301 /old-page.html /new-page.html
  4. You can either delete this line or comment it out by adding a # at the beginning of the line:
    #Redirect 301 /old-page.html /new-page.html

Via Server Configuration (Nginx)

For those using Nginx, similar steps apply, but the configuration file will differ:

  1. Locate your Nginx configuration file, typically found at /etc/nginx/nginx.conf or within the /sites-available/ directory.
  2. Find the server block managing the domain in question.
  3. Comment out or remove the redirect directive:
    rewrite ^/old-page\.html$ /new-page.html permanent;
  4. Reload Nginx to apply changes:
    sudo systemctl reload nginx

Via CMS Plugins/Settings

If the redirect was set through a CMS like WordPress using a plugin like Redirection or Yoast SEO:

  1. Navigate to the plugin's section in your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Locate the specific redirect rule.
  3. Either disable or delete the redirect rule.

Verifying Removal

After removing the redirect, it’s important to verify that it is no longer active:

  • Clear your browser cache and access the old URL.
  • Use HTTP header check tools online to see if the 301 status code is gone.

Best Practices

  • Always backup .htaccess or configuration files before making changes.
  • Keep track of all redirects in a spreadsheet or a dedicated tool for ease of management and review.

Removing a 301 redirect must be handled carefully to avoid SEO and usability issues. Ensure that the URLs involved do not lead to dead links or content duplication.

Other Common Website Redirects Questions (and Answers)

© ContentForest™ 2012 - 2024