How to export NetSuite 301 redirects
NetSuite 301 redirects are used to save traffic and backlink equity for old or unused URLs. The process of redirecting pages could be simplified if the platform allowed developers to create and modify a root level .htaccess file with regular expression language, or regex. However, NetSuite does not allow access to this file because NetSuite is a cloud-based platform and system-level updates would be much more complicated if these files were modified to be unique for each customer.
Export NetSuite 301 Redirects using a Scraping Tool
Unfortunately, NetSuite does not allow for 301 redirects to be exported. Many clients need their redirects modified on a bulk scale. For this reason, RSM has built a tool to scrape your NetSuite SEO account and export all of your 301 redirects.
This tool allows us to export all of our client’s redirects, whether they number in the hundreds, thousands, or millions. It is Python based and runs locally. The scraper logs into your NetSuite account, answers the appropriate security questions, navigates to your redirect URL, counts the number of pages that are needed to scrape and processes them page by page. The resulting output is a .csv file.
Common 301 Redirect Mistakes
We’ve saved our clients weeks of repetitive work by using this tool, and have helped them manage and organize their NetSuite 301 redirects better, but that’s not all. Because bots only recognize and re-index a handful of your URLs at a time, you want to ensure the number of redirects you have uploaded is as efficient as possible. Here are several common 301 redirect errors that we fix.
Dead Link Redirects
A dead link is a page that no longer exists or one that is sent to a 404 response code page. These redirects provide no value for the site and often send valuable link equity to a page that provides no value to the customer. Search engines want to make sure the customer experience is a positive one. If you have dead links your resulting customer user experience will suffer.
We check the pages your redirects are going to and make sure they are live. This ensures all your redirected pages provide a good customer experience and capture as much qualified traffic to your website from backlinks and old URL pages as possible.
Linking to a Non-Canonical URL
A canonical tag tells the search engines whenever there is duplicate content, the canonical tag URL is the page you’ve selected to own all of the collective link equity. When you redirect to a non-canonical page, you are wasting crawl bots time. This lost time is equivalent to wasting the Search Engine’s money. Search engine bots are developed to operate as efficiently as possible, and it is important to make sure the pages you redirect to are all designated canonical pages. We scrape the URLs your site is redirecting to and ensure they are the correct, canonical URLs.
Multiple Hop Redirects
When search engine bots crawl your website, they want to make as few page changes as possible. This means, if you have a backlink A redirected to page B, then page B redirected via another 301 redirect to a final page C, they’re not that happy. It’s ok to do, but not ideal. Search engine bots typically stop after 2 redirects. If sites contain a lot of inefficient redirects, they probably won’t crawl your site as often. If you have 3 or more redirects to get to your final page, most likely that page will never benefit from the redirect. It is important to make sure your original pages, or page A, is always redirected to your final page C with a single 301 redirect.
Infinite Loop Redirects
When NetSuite 301 redirects go from page A to page B, and either have a second 301 redirect, a dynamic, on page URL redirect, or meta refresh redirect back to page A, an infinite loop occurs. If you try to reach page A in your browser it will stall. It will then process for a few seconds, and error out. Most often, browsers tell you the page has encountered an infinite redirect loop. It is important to identify these and correct them using a spreadsheet like Excel or Google Sheets, or tools like Microsoft IIS SEO Toolkit and Bruce Clay’s Server Response Checker.
NetSuite may create an export function in the future. For now, if you have a significant number of 301 redirects that have taken on a life of their own, contact us and we will get your redirects organized and improve your current website’s NetSuite SEO.