There are multiple reasons to redirect URLs. For one, your web pages may have moved but their old URLs may still live in users' bookmarks or in search engine indexes. Without implementing some sort or redirection, that traffic would be lost to a 404 Error Page.
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301 Redirects and Search Engine Optimization

There are multiple reasons to redirect URLs. For one, your web pages may have moved but their old URLs may still live in users' bookmarks or in search engine indexes. Without implementing some sort or redirection, that traffic would be lost to a 404 Error Page.

On occasions, you may also want to register several extensions for your domain name : "mydomain.com", "mydomain.net" and "mydomain.org", and have "mydomain.net" and "mydomain.org" automatically redirect visitors to your site, hosted under "mydomain.com".

Furthermore, if your company sells several products, you may want to give each of them an individual domain name, and have it point to a specific subdirectory of your main site. For example, if you own a site called "businessvideos.com" that sells a product called "Marketing Made Easy", you may want to set up a domain such as "marketingmadeeasy.com", and redirect it to subdirectory: www.businessvideos.com/marketingmadeeasy/.

There are several ways to redirect domains, however, most of them will get you in trouble with the search engines. The search engine friendly way to redirect URLs is to use what is know as a 301 redirect (you can see how Google and Yahoo! specifically endorse this kind of redirection). Here is my take about the different redirection methods and their implications on search engine optimization:

Meta-Refresh Javascript Redirect

You can redirect visitors by placing a snippet of javascript code within the HTML code of the page you want to redirect. With this method, you can specify the number of seconds before the visitor is automatically redirected to the new page. Search engines don't like this method, because of the potential for abuse: you could write an optimized page for a non-competitive search term, and then automatically redirect your unsuspecting visitor to whatever URL you want.

For example, it could be relatively easy to write a page about english literature, have it indexed and highly ranked by the search engines, and then redirect your visitor to a casino or Viagra site. If search engines allowed this, users would quickly stop trusting them. That is why search engines penalize this practice, and why you should avoid it.

Parked Domains

You could register an additional domain name, park it, and make it point to the DNS servers of your main site's hosting account, so that when somebody types the additional domain, they will be transported to your main site. However, this approach may lead to search engines listing the same content twice, one for your main domain, and one for your additional domain.

In the past, unscrupulous webmasters would use multiple domains to spam search engines and directories, making them list the same pages hundreds of times under different domains. Even if your intentions are good, we don't recommend this approach to redirecting your additional domains, since search engines may penalize your site for duplicate content.

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