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Link Redirect Trace Extension

Get the most in-depth link redirect data available

Perform advanced, comprehensive and most important correct analysis of links, redirects, and Rel-Canonicals with this extension for your SEO analysis.

What you can do

  • Understand all your redirects in all detail
  • Improve User-Experience - Find and fix slow redirects using redirect timings
  • Spot On-page SEO issues
  • Analyze and reduce redirect hops
  • Track links from advertising & affiliate networks
Link Redirect Trace

And there's more…

  • Check your competitor's links
  • Check your affiliate links and cookies
  • Check your links after a website migration
  • Check if a shortened URL points to a dangerous site
  • Trace a hacker website redirect
Link Redirect Trace Browser Extennsion

Are you looking for an efficient way to track redirects and headers while browsing?

Domains don’t only have backlinks, they often have redirects. Link redirection is a process where one URL gets forwarded to another URL. If a strange domain is redirecting to you, you should check this in more detail and find out if this is a valuable website or if it is harming you.

We built an all-in-one browser extension to help you trace any redirect that you can think of. Enter Link Redirect Trace.

Your brief guide to this page

What the Link Redirect Trace Extension does for you

  • detects every link redirect hop
  • shows you the LRT Power*Trust per Link Redirect hop
  • analyzes robots.txt for every hop
  • analyzes HTML <head> NoIndex, NoFollow per redirect hop
  • analyzes the HTTP header X-Robots Noindex, Nofollow, NoArchive
  • measures the time of a redirect hop and it shows you which redirect or URL shortener slows down user
  • detects if a redirect is cached by your browser and allows to cache-bust and get the real results from the server
  • highlights NoFollow links on the pages you browse;
  • ...and more

What are the use cases of the Link Redirect Trace Extension and how it can help you

  • discover On-page and Off-page SEO issues
  • check your competitor's links
  • check your affiliate links
  • check links after a website migration or redesign
  • track a hacker website redirect
  • improve User-Experience - Find and fix slow redirects using redirect timings
  • detect a Google penalty
  • ...and more

A short explanation of the icons displayed by the Link Redirect Trace Plugin

A few examples of redirects that you can discover using the Link Redirect Trace extension

Learn how to use link redirect trace
link-redirect-trace-quick-start

Link Redirect Trace Extension

- Quick Start Course -

Everything you need to get started with Link Redirect Trace

Learn how to perform advanced, comprehensive and most important correct analysis of links, redirects, and REL-canonicals.

Redirects tracking is something that everyone in Online Marketing and SEO should care about

A normal backlink profile usually includes redirects from other websites. Make sure to check them, so that they do not harm you. Also, watch out not to lose valuable Link Power or Link Trust or pass on a penalty via the redirect of a domain that carries a penalty.

You can perform advanced, comprehensive and most important correct analysis of links, redirects, and Rel-Canonicals with this extension for your SEO analysis, On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, competitor analysis and more.

See instantly if the page is blocked in robots.txt or X-Robots-Tags, has NOINDEX/NOFOLLOW tags on it or other technical issues like Bot-specific blocking.

You can also see all cookies that are placed on each redirect hop. You can see the strength of each link and redirect page and analyze “LRT Power*Trust” (Power like Google PageRank and Trust like “Trust Rank” for each redirect hop.

Very soon you will be able to see the Link Detox Risk® for each hop in the redirect path, thus avoiding that you redirect a Google penalty to your site without knowing where it’s coming from.

We've built this extension to replace all other “partial solution” extensions for redirects, canonicals, search engine indexation and HTTP header logging. Frankly each of those available did only a part (sometimes even wrong or incomplete), so we decided to build it right.

Having “LRT Link Redirect Trace” as an all-in-one solution to replace all other extensions means you get the full picture on every redirect. Test us in parallel to whatever you’re using and you’ll be surprised what you find, or better – what the existing extensions hid from you.

Check if your redirects are SEO-friendly and make sure that your website doesn't lose any link power or trip a penalty! 

Here’s what the Link Redirect Trace browser extension does for you:

1. Detects every redirect hop

  • Redirect path for “standard” redirects in the HTTP header such as 301, 302, 303, 307, 308.
  • Redirect path for JavaScript redirects 
  • Single and multiple META Refresh redirects (also shows the refresh interval in the trace, i.e. "5 sec")
  • Rel-Canonical redirects: unique and multiple HTML HEAD Rel-Canonical and HTTP Header Rel-Canonical.

 

Below, you can see some of these redirect types explained

 

301 Link Redirect

301 Moved Permanently Redirect

The HTTP response status code 301 Moved Permanently is used for permanent URL redirection. From an SEO perspective, the 301 redirects are SEO-friendly  because they pass link juice.

302 found status code redirect

302 Found or "Moved Temporarily"

The HTTP response status code 302 Found is a common way of performing URL redirection, it was initially used for making temporary redirects. It is still used extensively for temporary redirects.

303 redirect

303 See Other

The HTTP response status code 303 See Other is a way to redirect web applications to a new URL, particularly after a HTTP POST has been performed, since RFC 2616. From an SEO perspective, a 303 redirect won’t pass on link value to the main site, like a 301 would.

307 Redirect

307 Moved Temporarily (HTTP 1.1 Only)

In most cases the crawlers will treat a 307 redirect like a 302. It's ok to use a 307 redirect when you move content only temporarily (such as during maintenance). Have in mind that your server must be already identified by the search engines as 1.1 compatible for a 307 redirect to work. But since you cannot verify this easily, it's best to use a 302 redirect when you move content temporarily.

308 Redirects

308 Permanent Redirect (RFC 7538)

HTTP/308 is a permanent redirect to come, out of the need similar to HTTP/307 - HTTP 1.1: the status is defined as a “Permanent Redirect”. 307 and 308 parallel the behaviors of 302 and 301 but do not allow the HTTP method to change. So, for example, submitting a form to a permanently redirected resource may continue smoothly.

javascript redirects

JavaScript Redirects

While the 301 Moved Permanently status code instructs the search engines to transfer link juice from the old URL to the new URL, Javascript redirects are said to don't do that. Therefore, they are not seen as SEO-friendly.

meta redirects

META Refresh Redirects

Meta refresh is a type of redirect done on the page level rather than the server level. It instructs a web browser to automatically refresh the current web page or frame after a given time interval, using an HTML meta element with the http-equiv parameter set to "refresh" and a content  parameter giving the time interval in seconds. 

The Meta Refresh Redirects are slower, and not a recommended SEO technique, even if they pass some link juice. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) doesn't recommend using Meta Refreshes due to poor usability.

Here are more things the Link Redirect Trace extension does for you

2. Calculates the LRT Power*Trust per Link Redirect hop.

LRT Power*Trust is an SEO metric that will help you assess the quality of a page, domain or top domain in no time.
By using it in your daily SEO workflow, you can get an idea regarding the trustworthiness and power of any link.

You can read more about LRT Power*Trust and how you can benefit from it.

3. Analyzes robots.txt for every hop.

4. Analyzes HTML <head> NoIndex, NoFollow per redirect hop.

5. Analyzes the HTTP header X-Robots Noindex, Nofollow, NoArchive.

6. Show you the full HTTP headers received for every redirect hop.

7. Shows cookies set for each redirect hop so you can understand those affiliate ad links.

8. Highlights NoFollow links on the pages you browse.

link-redirect-trace-highlight-nofollow-links

9. Measures the time of a redirect hop and it shows you which redirect or URL shortener slows down user experience.

link-redirect-trace-redirect-hop-load-time-measure

10. Detects if a redirect is cached by your browser and allows to cache-bust and get the real results from the server.

Link Redirect Catched by Browser

11.  Has a “Shortlink” feature that shows certain short links that can be seen as another type of REL-Canonical as well by search engines.

12. Has a “Save screenshot” button that allows you to capture complex redirect chains and share with your co-workers quick and easy.

link-redirect-trace-screenshot

Link Redirect Trace is not only an extension. This is a technology available in LinkResearchTools for many years now.

Since 2012, the Link Redirect Trace technology helped SEOs all around the world detect and remove penalties and improve rankings.

Here are some use cases for the Link Redirect Trace plugin

Link Redirect Trace Analysis

  1. Check and find problems in your website structure (On-page SEO) or inbound links (Off-page SEO) (incoming links)

  2. Understand the full redirect chain and reduce the hops if possible for faster load times

  3. Check your competitor’s links

  4. Competitive analysis is an important part of search engine optimization. You can learn a lot about how to improve your site by checking what your competitors are up to. You can use Link Redirect Trace to see where your competitor’s links point to and what affiliate partners they are using.

  5. Check your affiliate links

  6. If you work in online marketing, it’s likely that you or your affiliate network uses redirects for your affiliate links.

    For an affiliate, it’s important to see all the networks a particular affiliate link goes through since affiliate links have quite a convoluted path. Link Redirect Trace helps you make sure that your affiliate links redirect to the correct URL. It can be useful if you are tracking down issues with affiliate links that aren’t working, or if you are curious as to what sites are being used to set affiliate cookies. You can check to see if an affiliate network is used correctly and understand who’s setting which cookie.

  7. Check your links after a website migration or redesign

  8. If you move a website to a new domain, you'll most likely have permanent redirects in place to direct visitors and search engines to the new domain. It is essential to get the redirects correctly in place. Otherwise, you can lose not only visitors but your search engine rankings as well. Using Link Redirect Trace you to check that your redirects are pointing to the correct place on the new domain.

  9. Check if a shortened URL passes (redirects) through a dangerous website

  10. It’s common to shorten really long tracking links into URLs that are easy to type and remember. There are many services that you can use to shorten URLs, such as bit.ly, goo.gl or tinyurl.com.

    The problem is that sometimes short links are used to trick and send people to websites that can harm their computers. By using the Link Redirect Trace extension, you can see if the site the link redirects to is what you expect or not.

  11. Trace a hacker website redirect

  12. Every website owner needs to watch out for malicious SEO attacks. If someone wants to hurt your website’s reputation, it’s not that hard to do it. A hacker with access to your website can make it redirect the visitors to a spammy site, thus hurting your company's reputation.

    Redirects can be used to:

    • Take away your traffic to make money for the hacker through advertising revenue;
    • Send your visitors to websites affected by malware that can infect their computers with malicious software

    Tracing the source of the redirect can help you solve a negative SEO attack issue.

  13. Detect a link redirect penalty

  14. Redirects pass link penalties since 2013. In the past, there was this SEO trick that you could redirect a domain and get all the positive link juice, all the benefits while leaving the penalties behind. All that changed in 2013 with the Penguin 2.0. That means that all kinds of satellite domains or domains you bought for SEO and redirected in the past may have passed on penalties. Your site may have good links, but those redirected may pass a penalty. You need to run a Link Detox for each redirected domain.

    penalized domain redirect penalty

    The German retailer, Home24 suffered a dramatic traffic drop caused by redirects that passed a link penalty to them. You can read more about the Home24 Penguin penalty in our SEO case studies.

    Massive traffic drop because of redirects that carry a penalty

  15. Track links from advertising and affiliate networks

Link Redirect Trace helps you track the path a browser takes when you click on an online ad. It shows you the various redirects, layers and click trackers involved in serving an ad.

You can use this kind of redirect tracking to see what the problem is when your Ads break. You can determine whether the problem is on your end or on your client’s end. Learn fast where your ads break. You will save a lot of time if you don’t have to search for a solution.

Understanding the Link Redirect Trace Extension

For different types of redirects, the Link Redirect Trace extension shows you different messages in your browser. No worries, it's not too complicated. You will get used to these messages very soon.

link redirect trace index indexable by every bot

followthe links on the page are followed

rel-canonicalthe page has a Rel-Canonical redirect to another page

main-robots-blockedcrawlable by major bots, some minor bots or scrapers blocked

all-robots-blocked-icon NOT crawlable by any bot

noindex NOT indexable

nofollow the links on the page are not followed

 

Here is how you can read a combination of the above status messages:

index-followindexable by every bot, links on the page are followed

noindex-nofollowNOT indexable, links on the page are not followed

index-nofollowindexable by every bot, links no-follow

index-canonicalindexable by every bot, page canonicaled to another page (so links on the page may not count)

some_robots-followindexable by major search engine bots, links on the page are followed

some_robots-nofollowindexable by major search engine bots, links on the page are not followed

some_robots-canonicalindexable by major search engine bots, page canonicaled to another page (so links on the page may not count)

noindex-followNOT indexable, links on the page are followed

noindex-canonicalNOT indexable, page canonicaled to another page (so links on the page may not count)

Here are some practical examples, where you can see the Link Redirect Trace extension in action:

  • An example of a META refresh after 15 seconds that then 301s to a 404 page, which returns a 200 error code instead of a 404.It accumulates a Power*Trust of 25 (!). Lots of link power and trust gets lost using this method.

 

link redirect example 1

 

  • An example where you can see two REL-Canonicals in the HTML HEAD command, but both point to broken links.

 

link redirect example 2

 

  • An example of two Rel-Canonicals in the HTTP header but NoIndex and NoFollow ONLY for the Googlebot.

link redirect example 3

 

  • An example where we published case studies on our blog and also offered them for download as .pdf, .mobi and .epub files. Search engines may consider the above a duplicate content issue.

 

Google's Panda algorithm was built to detect duplicate content and decrease the rankings of the websites or pages where this duplicate content exists. We don't want that for our website, so we searched for a good solution.

What did we do to solve this issue? We added a Rel-Canonical ("link") tag to the HTTP headers via some complex configuration in the .htaccess to inform the spiders that the case study published on the blog is the original and most important content. We also specified in the X-Robots HTTP header that the .pdf, .mobi and .epub files should have noindex and noarchive attributes.

The Link Redirect Trace plugin helped us discover that we left out something important. The noindex, noarchive, and rel=canonical tags did not affect the files that had UTM parameters in the URL. All these files were still indexed and did not have a rel=canonical tag due to a configuration problem in the .htaccess.

Don't think that a technical person found this issue. It was someone from our Marketing Team. This proofs that the Link Redirect Trace plugin comes in handy for both technical SEOs, but also for marketing people and whoever else likes looking at link data to discover possible issues and fix them.

rel=canonical working
URL with with rel=canonical tag, noindex, noarchive
rel=canonical not working
URL with UTM parameters without rel=canonical tag and indexed by Google

If you are curious about more combinations and examples, we encourage you to watch the presentation “7 Things You Didn’t Know about Links and Redirects” given at BrigthonSEO.

Give the Link Redirect Trace extension a try!

We are pretty sure you will love it!

Users love the Link Redirect Trace Extension

Ramón Rautenstrauch

Ramón Rautenstrauch

“"The solution" for checking redirects. Great idea that also works great. Every online marketer should install this extension."

 Ralf Seybold

ralf-seybold

"Great Extension to see what's happening on redirects. Tracks everything. Exactly what we needed"

 

John Joel

john-joel

“A great browser extension for link redirect tracking. This is exactly what I have been searching for! Thanks!”