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Solving Redirection Issues using Rank Math SEO

Since Redirections is an important topic and can wreak havoc on your website if not managed correctly, we’ve decided to dedicate an entire section to troubleshoot issues regarding redirection.

Perform a Self-Diagnosis

We’ve dealt with a lot of issues on our community forum regarding redirections. If you’re also facing issues with redirections on your website, the first step we would recommend that you do a self-diagnosis of the issue. Here’s how to do it.

Head over to the Redirection Options inside Rank Math and check the list of all the redirections that have been created.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do all the redirections look right?
  • Are there any blank redirections?
  • Is there a redirection where the source and the destination are the same? This can cause infinite loops.
  • Do the redirects appear to be correctly formatted?
  • Are there a lot of redirects to files or weird locations that you don’t recognize? This could be another plugin issue.

If you notice an obvious issue, try fixing the issue yourself and see if your error is solved. Many times this will help, but if it doesn’t, keep reading to find the most common redirections problems and their solutions.

Using Rank Math’s Debug Redirection Feature

When you have hundreds of redirects on your site, it can be cumbersome to find out which rule is causing a certain page to redirect. The problem becomes even more complex when your redirects use complex regex. To combat this issue, we’ve built in a debug feature with the Redirections manager. It can be found in Rank Math > General Settings > Redirections. Here is how it appears.

rankmath redirections

It can be enabled by administrators only. If you’re not an administrator, you’ll have to ask the person who can make these changes.

Once you enable this feature, Rank Math will display an interstitial before the redirects take place, which should look similar to the image below. Note that the interstitial is on the screen for only a few seconds before the redirect happens, and you’d have to manually stop the redirect from taking place in that time. It’s also only visible to the website admins, and end users can keep using the website as normal.

redirection interstitial

A useful feature of the interstitial is that it features a direct link to the redirect rule that triggered this redirection. We’ve highlighted it in the image above. If you click the link, you’ll be taken to the exact rule which caused this redirection to take place. As you probably can understand already, this feature can help you pinpoint the redirect rules that are applicable for a particular post and can help immensely in diagnosing issues.

Wherever it’s applicable, we would recommend that you also test your issue with the debugger enabled. Many times, simply identifying where the redirect is coming from may help you in fixing the issue yourself.

Let’s now get to the specific issues.

My Posts Are Redirecting to www or non-www (incorrect version) of My Website

Clipboard-Image

If you’ve recently made any changes to your website’s domain, then this error can occur. Inside your website’s admin area, navigate to Settings > General > WordPress Address and check if the appropriate changes have been made in the settings.

If the changes are not done correctly, then your website will keep throwing errors, even if Rank Math is not working.

If you’ve made those changes and the errors still persist, please add the following code to your .htaccess website.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} www.example.com
RewriteRule (.*) https://example.com/$1 [R=301,L]

If even that doesn’t work, try the following code snippet instead.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.website.com [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://website.com/$1 [L,R=301]

After you’ve added the code, check the URLs that were causing the issue.

They should be fine now and redirecting to the correct URL.

If the problem persists, open a support ticket on our support forum.

410 Errors Appear as 404 errors

When you delete content from your website, and a user tries to access it, it results in an error. Usually, a 404 error is thrown to tell the user that the page they are trying to access does not exist. However, there is another way of doing the same thing.

If you’d like to convey to the search engines that the content has been deleted, you can serve a 410 HTTP status on the page. This lets the search engines know that the content on this page used to exist, but it has been deleted. The difference between a 410 and 404 error is subtle, and in most cases, it can be ignored. But, in certain circumstances, you might want to issue a 410 instead of a 404.

Currently, any deleted pages are handled by Rank Math as 404 errors, and they will show up in the 404 Monitor. If you have already marked them as 410s, you can safely ignore these errors. In a future updated, we will make some changes to Rank Math that will help distinguish these errors better.

Redirects Are Happening on My Website That I have Not Configured

If you’re seeing redirects that you have not configured yourself, there can be a number of causes of the problem.

First, check if you have any other redirect plugins installed that have configured any redirects. If you find any, delete them immediately. Then, check your posts (preferably from a new browser) to see if the problem is resolved.

Next, check your .htaccess (or nginx.conf) file if any redirects have been created there. If you see any, delete them and check if the problem is resolved.

If you’ve manually created redirects using Rank Math’s redirection option, it is a good idea to check if you’ve accidentally created “broad redirects”. Rank Math offers plenty of advanced options to create redirects and misconfiguring any redirect might cause issues throughout your website.

redirect-options-in-rank-math

Open the recently created URL inside Rank Math and look through its settings. Here is an example.

There are a few things to note here that might help in resolving the issue.

  1. Each redirect can have multiple options configured in it. So, it might look like only 1 redirect is taking place, but other URLs can be configured inside Rank Math that might be the cause of the problem.
  2. Rank Math offers various matching options to give you immense flexibility in creating redirects. You can see an example image below which shows all the options.
all-redirect-customization-options
all-redirect-customization-options

As you can see, there are many options that can be set in the options that will cause more than 1 URL to be redirected to a destination URL.

To find the root cause of the problem, check all the redirections that you’ve created since the error started and verify if any of the redirects have problems. Once you fix those issues, check to see if the troublesome redirects have disappeared.

If you’re still facing issues, please open a ticket on our support forum.

I Removed AMP Support From My Website, and I Want to Redirect AMP URLs to Regular URLs

If you’ve used AMP on your website and later decided not to use it, you will have to redirect all AMP URLs back to the regular URLs. To achieve that, add the following redirect using the redirect manager.

Type Regex
Source: (.*)/amp
Destination: $1
redirect-amp-urls-to-non-amp

Here is how the redirect would look like inside Rank Math.

Don’t forget to save the redirection to enable it. All AMP URLs should now be redirected to their original URLs.

Redirection (or another) Module Gets Automatically Disabled From the Dashboard

It seems you are using an older version of Rank Math. On the older version, once you enabled a module from the Dashboard, you had to save your settings. Otherwise, the changes you made, or the modules you enabled would not be saved.

We have updated the dashboard in the latest version, and any time you enable any module in the dashboard, it will be enabled instantly. We would recommend you update to the latest version for the best experience.

I See Strange Redirects Inside My 404 Monitor, Should I Redirect Them?

There can be numerous reasons why you could be seeing weird redirects inside your 404 Monitor. Various themes, plugins, and scripts on your site might request files or paths that do not exist on your website. If the file does not exist on your server, Rank Math will capture that error as a 404 error.

It’s not useful to try and find the which plugins or themes are causing these redirects, as your visitors will not even notice these errors while they access your website.

find-coverage-issues-in-search-console

Just to be safe, you can check for errors inside Google Search Console. The error report is present inside Search Console > Coverage and looks something likes this.

If you find that the some or all of the errors you saw inside Rank Math are also showing up in Search Console, then it is worthwhile to fix them.

Otherwise, you can safely ignore them, and even delete them from the Redirection Manager.

I am Unable to Import Redirects from Yoast SEO Premium, Please Help.

If you’re facing issues with importing your redirects from Yoast SEO Premium, then it’s likely that you are using an older version of Rank Math.

In the earlier days of Rank Math, some users had reported that they were facing the same issue. We worked on the issue and had it fixed in the next release. Since then, no user has reported the problem. We recommend that you update Rank Math to its latest version and try importing the redirects again.

If the problem persists, please open a support ticket on our community forum.

My Post Does Not Open at All

There can be many reasons why your post does not open, and one of the common reasons for that is that you’ve accidentally created a redirect to your own post.

When you’re working on a post, and you change your post’s URL, Rank Math creates a redirect to the new post. If you change the URL back to the original URL, then a redirect will be created for the actual post, which will result in an infinite loop.

To solve this problem, open the redirects and see if you see any redirects that have the same source and destination URLs. If you see any, delete them and see if you can access your post.

You can also use the Redirection Debugger to diagnose the issue further.

How to Redirect Category Pages on Tags/Other pages

If you want to redirect category archive pages to some other pages like Tags archive, then please create a new Regex redirection.

In the source field, add below code:

[category/(.*)]

and in the destination URL, add this code:

tag/$1

How to Remove A Particular Word From The URL?

If you want to remove the particular word from the URL, for example:
https://www.example.com/wordtoreplace/post-url/
to
https://www.example.com/post-url/

Please create a new Regex redirection and in the source field add below code:

^wordtoreplace/(.*)

and in the destination will be

$1

How to Redirect Complex Pages?

For instance, if you want to redirect
https://www.example.com/shop/detail.php?produkt=117_509_110
on
https://www.example.com/?sku=117-509-110

then that can be achieved using simple Regex redirection

In the source field, add below code:

shop/detail.*produkt=(.*)_(.*)_(.*)

and in the destination URL, add this code:

shop/detail.php?produkt=(.*)_(.*)_(.*)

I See a Warning/Notice About the Main Domain Being Twice in The URL

If you see this notice when you created a redirect, then the redirect has not been set up correctly. Most likely, you have entered the destination URL in a way that it has been duplicated.

Check if the latest redirect’s destination URL looks something like this:

https://destinationurl.com/https://destinationurl.com/actual-url/

If it does, then you can probably see the problem already – the destination root address has been added twice. To fix this, make sure the destination URL is correct, similar to this.

https://destinationurl.com/actual-url/

Using UTM Parameters with Redirects

In some cases, you may want to make use of UTM parameters. If you link to a redirected URL and make use of UTM parameters you may notice that the redirect does not function as intended.

If this is the case, be sure to change the redirect source URL match from exact to contains. This will ensure that your redirections continue to function as intended regardless of whether a UTM parameter is added.

Once you’ve done this, check the redirect, and it should function as usual.

Final Words

As we grow and improve Rank Math, we might add new features to the redirection module which might be confusing or make the process of resolution different from what we discussed here. If for any reason you have any trouble in diagnosing issues regarding redirection or any other issue regarding Rank Math SEO, feel free to open a support ticket. Our support staff will help you out.

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