Saturday 1 April 2017

Finding redirect chains using Scrutiny for Mac

Setting up redirects is important when moving a site, but don't let it get out of hand over time!

John Mueller has said that the maximum number of hops Googlebot will follow in a chain is five.

Scrutiny keeps track of the number of times any particular request is redirected, and can report these to you if you have any.

Here's how:

First you need to scan your site. Add a config in Scrutiny, give it a name and your starting url (home page)

Then press 'Scan now'.

One you've scanned your site and you're happy that you don't need to tweak your settings for any reason, go to the SEO results.

If there are any urls with a redirect chain, it will be shown in this list:

(Note that at the time of writing, Scrutiny is configured to include pages in this count if they have greater than 5 redirects, but you can see all redirect counts in the Links 'by link' view as described later).

You can see the pages in question by choosing 'Redirect chain' from the Filter button over on the right:

That will show you the urls in question (as things stand in the current version as I write this, it'll show the *final* url - this is appropriate here, because this SEO table lists pages, not links, the url shown is the actual url of the page in question.)

A powerful tool within Scrutiny is to see a trace of the complete journey.

Find the url in the Links results. (You can sort by url, or paste a url into the search box.) Note that as from version 7.2, there is a 'Redirect count' column in the Links 'by link' view. You may need to switch the column on using the selector to the top-left of the table. You can sort by this column to fin the worst offenders:

.. and double-click to open the link inspector. The button to the right of the redirect field will show the number of redirects, and you can use this button to begin the trace:

Some of this functionality is new (or improved) in version 7.2. Users of 7.x should update.

There is a very reasonable upgrade path for users of versions earlier than 7.

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