When it comes to checking 301 redirects have been implemented correctly, there are a multitude of ways to do this including Ayima’s excellent Redirect Checker, Screaming Frog and Neils Bosma’s SEO Tools for Excel. However, it gets a little complicated when you have thousands of URLs and it gets really complicated when they go through multiple hop redirects.
A multiple hop (or multi-hop for short) redirect is where a URL is redirected to another URL which in turn redirects again to another URL.
These can not only be tiresome but they can also have a negative impact on your websites SEO performance – especially during the launch of a new one.
Also, it can be very problematic documenting URLs that are going through multi-hops and I don’t know about you, but I hate checking thinks manually so that’s why I have built this nifty little piece of Excel (powered by the excellent SEO Tools for Excel) that allows you to automatically check 5 levels of 301 redirects.
Firstly, for this to work, you need to ensure you have SEO Tools for Excel installed. If not, you can download here.
Secondly you will need to download the Multi-Hop 301 Redirect Checker Excel file. Remember to Enable Editing to actually enable formulas in the document.
Once you have both of these working, ensure you have the URLs that you want to check in a single-column list in excel and then:
Now, depending on your system and the number of URLs you are checking, this could happen very quickly or it could freeze your Excel up for a while as this is a very memory intensive process. Don’t be alarmed if your Excel “white screens”; simply go make a cup of tea or browse other topics on my blog such as Log In To Multiple Google Analytics Accounts or Facebook Accounts Without Having To Log Out, 1and1: The Most Hated Domain & Hosting Provider and Short Term Site Case Study: Geordie Shore 🙂
One thing that I have found is extremely annoying with an Excel workbook like this is when you change one cell and the entire sheet runs again! To counter this, I simply copy the contents of the table and paste as Text that way you retain your data, but you don’t have to slow down excel everytime you sort your columns.
You can also use the sort function in the Excel file to sort by response code helping you easily create an actionable list of initial status code whether it is a 404 (Not Found) or a 302 (Temporary) redirect etc.
A few people who have tested this document for me have used to check:
Please feel free to leave a comment below if you encounter any problems with the multi-hop redirect checker or if you have any questions. I hope this saves you as much time as it did me.