Posted by Wayfair
This post was originally in YouMoz, and was promoted to the main blog because it provides great value and interest to our community. The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of Moz, Inc.
At Wayfair.com, we conduct a lot of SEO tests. We’re constantly measuring and evaluating our strategies, some of which were shared in our last post for YouMoz, Accidental SEO Tests: When On-Page Optimization Ceases to Matter. Sometimes, however, we stumble across what we call “accidental SEO tests.” This typically happens when a bad code deploy unintentionally hurts our SEO, and we end up learning something useful from our mistake.
One of our accidental tests involved regularly 301-redirecting large batches (i.e., tens of thousands) of product pages. On average, we found a consistent (and essentially permanent) traffic loss of about 15% for 301-redirected URLs.
In the past, Google has said a small amount of PageRank is lost through a 301 redirect, which is the same as through a link. Now, for the first time, we can put a hard number to how much that loss is.