Google's John Muller on 307/HSTS redirects

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A new article on Search Engine Journal looks at the latest 'Ask Google Webmasters' video in which John Muller from Google addresses how Googlebot handles 307 redirects.

What is an HSTS redirect?

An HSTS redirect, also known as a 307 redirect, causes browsers to visit an HTTPS version of a page, as opposed to an HTTP variant.

To illustrate, when a user on a forum site sends another member an HTTP URL, a 307 redirect would occur so that clicking on the link would cause an HTTPS version of the page.

In the Video, Muller is asked the question:

"How does Googlebot interact with HSTS/307s?"
To which he replied:

"In short, [Googlebot] doesn't interact with them. 307 redirects are generally not real redirects. So what does that mean? Well, when you make a site HTTPS, you can optionally use HSTS. HSTS tells users to only get the HTTPS version of a page. So, when a user enters a URL, or clicks on a link that would otherwise go to HTTP, the browser remembers the HSTS and goes directly to the HTTPS version."
Muller emphasizes that Googlebot doesn't react to a 307 redirect like a browser, as it doesn't get redirected. Also, using HSTS is not a means for discovering links.

Muller adds:

"To make it clear what's happening - it acts like it was a redirect. Chrome calls this a 307 redirect. So, if you use Chrome, and you see a 307 result code with a tool, it's not really there. When it comes to Googlebot, we try to crawl URLs with a fresh slate. So we wouldn't keep the HSTS list, and rather just directly access the HTTP URL directly. If that URL redirects, which is usually the case with an HTTP and HTTPS site, we would follow that. So, in short, Googlebot doesn't see the 307 that you'd see in the browser. And that's fine."
Feel free to check out the #AskGoogleWebmasters Youtube video below to found out more!

#307 or hsts #google’s #john #muller #redirects
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  • Profile picture of the author praetserge
    What's wrong with normal 301 redirects? why would you use 307 (temporarily moved) redirects?
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