Did you know that it's possible to force someone to view a different website than the one they typed into their browser? It would be great if someone could type in bluenile.com and have them redirect to your website. Imagine all the traffic you would get, and the money you would make that day. Of course if you are imagining this then you should also imagine what a prison cell feels like because that's where you would end up.
Stealing traffic from someone else's website is illegal. Hackers try to steal traffic all the time, and they use redirect technology to do it. However, that's not why I mention it here. I mention it so you can learn what it is, and how to use it for yourself.
As I said, you can use the 301 Redirect to force someone to view a different website, to say it differently, a different domain name than the one they typed into their web browser.
In every day use, why would you want to do this? The most common reason is when you purchase different permutations of your domain name but yet want all visitors to see the same website.
For example, the primary domain name for Jeweler Website Advisory Group is jwag.biz. But we also have the following variations:
We also have the misspellings of the domain name registered:
For each of these alternative domain name versions we use a 301 Redirect to force your web browser to jump to our normal website. The user will always see www.jwag.biz in their browser regardless what version they type in.
If you have multiple domain names it is highly recommended that you use the same technique. Actually it's highly recommended to purchase multiple domain names for advertising purposes and easy memory retention.
It's easier for us to say "visit jWAG.biz" than "visit jwag.biz." We found that the words "Jeweler" and "Jewelry" to be interchangeable to most people, in fact it's pretty frustrating in our offices when our own employees call us "Jewelry Website" rather than "Jeweler Website."
If your domain name is difficult to spell, or long, or impossible to remember, then 301 Redirect is going to be your good friend. It would behoove you to find a different domain name and use a 301 Redirect to transfer all traffic from the easier domain to your official domain name.
There is another reason to use the 301 Redirect: if you ever want to change your domain name completely.
A few years ago I heard about a jewelry store in Ohio who had the same business name as another store in Connecticut. The Connecticut store was trying to legally force the Ohio store to change their store name, and change their domain name. If the Connecticut store had won the case, the Ohio store would have been forced to change their domain name and redirect all visitors to the new website, in which case the 301 Redirect would have been used.
The last example would be if two jewelry stores merge. Sometimes two local competitors will join forces and one of their websites will become defunct. In such a case you would use the 301 Redirect to transfer customers from the defunct website to the surviving website.
There is a bit more to the 301 Redirect than I mentioned. There remains some magic in how the search engines view and use 301s. For now let's just say that if you use a 301 Redirect you are telling the web browsers and search engines that the old website and the old domain name will never be used again. The 301 is a clue that you should also update your Bookmarks and Favorites. Since this is a course on the Basics I don't want to get into more detail than that right now.