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It has been confirmed by the search company Google that permanent signals will be passed from one URL to another after a year of redirection.
Gary Illyes of Google recommends keeping redirects in place for at least one year to ensure ranking signals are permanently passed on.
In the past, Google has recommended keep redirects live for a year or longer, but that was more of a general recommendation than something that directly affected rankings.
We now know that site owners can remove a redirect after a year, and Google will continue to forward signals indefinitely.
For the first time, Google has provided a “concrete” answer regarding the length of time redirects must remain until they pass signals permanently.
Illyes linked to this Google help document as the rationale for the one-year timeframe in a follow-up tweet.
Keeping Redirects Alive:
Specifically, he states: “Don’t let the redirects expire, and keep them for at least a year.”.
Within this period, Google is able to transfer all signals to the new URLs, including crawling and reassigning links that point to your old URLs. Redirects should be kept indefinitely from users’ perspectives. Redirections are slow for users, so change any high-volume links from other websites to point to the new URLs.”
In replies to the initial tweet, Illyes clarifies – yes, when a signal is passed from one URL to another it stays that way forever.
Google takes roughly a year to forward all signals, which is why it is recommended that redirects stay live for at least a year.
Nevertheless, keep redirects active for as long as possible because that improves user experience.
Google’s Blog States:
By redirecting URLs, you tell your visitors and Google Search that a page has moved. In the following situations, redirects are particularly useful:
Your site has been moved to a new domain, and you want the transition to be as seamless as possible, Several URLs are used to access your site.
If, for example, your home page can be reached in multiple ways (for instance, http://example.com/home, http://home.example.com, or http://www.example.com), it’s a good idea to pick one of those URLs as your preferred (canonical) destination and use redirects to send traffic from the other URLs to your preferred URL, When merging two websites, you want to make sure that links to outdated URLs are redirected to the correct pages, You would like to redirect users to a new page after removing a page.