What Is A 301 Wildcard Redirect?

  • 301 wildcard redirect

301 wildcard redirect

While searching for information on wildcard redirects, I was astounded that there weren’t very many useful articles that go over what a 301 wildcard redirect is. In fact, there don’t seem to be any articles on what a wildcard in general is. So to help fill in the void where these articles should be, I created this article to go over what a wildcard redirect is, how it works, and when it’s appropriate to use.

What Is A Wildcard Redirect & How Does It Work??

Before I go over what a wildcard is, it’s important for you to know what a redirect is. You see, a redirect is a process that allows you to direct traffic over to a new URL. These redirects can either be permanent (301) or temporary (301), the latter of which will not pass over any “link juice” which is the disgusting colloquialism used by search engine optimisers to refer to the ranking power that is passed through links.

Now, a wildcard redirect is either a 301 or 302 redirect that will redirect all of the pages (along with every other file) in a directory over to a new URL. A couple of examples of this can be seen below:

  • Redirecting www.example.com to www.example2.com will also cause www.example.com/blog to redirect to www.example2.com/blog.
  • Redirecting www.example.com/blog to www.example2.com will also cause www.example.com/blog/article to redirect to www.example2.com/blog/article, but other folders outside of www.example.com/blog (e.g., www.example.com/service) will not be redirected.

When Should You Use A Wildcard Redirect?

These redirects should be used by webmasters who are looking to redirect pages and files in bulk over to an entirely  new domain or webmasters who are restructuring their website and moving files from one folder to another. These redirects are not the best option for moving blog posts that were originally posted at the root to a folder (www.example.com/article to www.example.com/blog/article) as using a wildcard on these posts would cause everything to be moved to the new folder.


Alistair Kavalt