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Can a search engine rank a redirected domain?

Strange question? We think so, however there are reasons why you may want to know about redirecting domains.

Search engines can find and index a domain that is set up as a redirect to another website. However, there are some important considerations.

For SEO purposes, it’s generally better to have content directly on the domain you want to rank. Redirects are useful for certain strategies but are not a substitute for having quality content on the domain you wish to promote. Interested in developing a SEO campaign that gets results – find out more.

Type of redirect

The method used for redirection matters. A 301 redirect, which indicates a permanent move, is typically the best option for SEO. It passes most of the link equity (ranking power) to the redirected page. In contrast, a 302 redirect is temporary and passes less SEO value.

Visibility to search engines

Even if a domain redirects, it can still appear in search results. However, the content that gets indexed and ranked is from the destination URL, not the redirecting domain.

Purpose of the redirect

If the redirect is used for a short-term campaign or a specific marketing purpose (like a simplified URL for print advertising), it might not have a significant SEO impact.

Potential issues

Redirect chains (multiple redirects in a sequence) or improper implementation can cause issues with indexing and SEO. Ensure redirects are set up correctly.

Brand recognition

If the redirecting domain has brand value or keyword relevance, it can indirectly benefit the main website by directing traffic there.

Link building

Any backlinks to the redirecting domain can contribute to the SEO of the destination site, assuming a 301 redirect is used.