When you change your site’s domain and redirect its URLs, how long do you keep them in place?
Many SEOs and site owners have speculated on what length of time is necessary for the changes to be locked in, but no timeframe has been confirmed – until now.
hands up if you asked us recently for how long you should keep redirects in place!
i have a concrete answer now: at least 1 year.
(but try keeping them indefinitely if you can for your users).
— Gary 鯨理／경리 Illyes (@methode) July 21, 2021
This is the length that many site owners have speculated was the minimum to make redirects become permanent, but this is the first time that anyone from Google has confirmed it.
In a reply to his original tweet, Illyes posted a link to a Google Search Central document that explains the rationale behind the year-long lock-in period.
“This timeframe allows Google to transfer all signals to the new URLs, including recrawling and reassigning links on other sites that point to your old URLs,” the post says. “From users’ perspective, consider keeping redirects indefinitely. However, redirects are slow for users, so try to update your own links and any high-volume links from other websites to point to the new URLs.”
Illyes then answered a few questions from replying search enthusiasts looking for clarification.
One asked if the signal passed from one URL to another would stay that way indefinitely, and why that would be. Illyes confirmed that it takes Google roughly one year to forward all signs, which is why they recommend that time period as a minimum to ensure that redirects stay live.