Avoid Using Meta-Refresh: Google

Avoid Using Meta-Refresh: Google

A thread posted in Google Webmaster Help recommends users avoid using the Meta Refresh HTML Tag.
A query was posted regarding a webmaster seeing unusual error reports in Google Webmaster Tools. A Senior Executive from Google who took this question noticed the concerned website was using meta- refresh tags.

A reply was posted promptly, urging users not to use the meta-refresh type redirects. Users and even search engine crawlers may confuse this for an attempted redirect. Though it may not often cause problems with respect to crawling, indexing or ranking, it would still be wise to remove it at once if used.
The meta-refresh may not affect the rankings or crawling of a website, but it is simply not worth risking use. There are plenty of websites using it, for no good reason. If yours happens to be one of them, drop it now!

The Meta Refresh Tags are very infamous for their drawbacks.
1. They are often used by serial spammers in a bid to fox search engines. Search engines counter this move by weeding such sites from their database.
2. Those websites on which search engines find a lot of meta-refresh tags used for redirecting pages are simply deemed as spam. They, in fact get deleted from the index of search engines. Rather, it is suggested one uses the 301 Server Redirect.
3. They create usability problems. A redirect which happens quickly, say in less than 3 seconds, can cause massive problems with those using older browsers. They find it tough hitting the “back” button.
4.If the redirect is rapid and goes to a non-existent page, readers struggle to hit the “back” button. This again becomes a usability problem. People start leaving the website.
5. Refreshing the current page incessantly confuses people. Some people may also be concerned about security.

Avoid using these tags. Your website is better off without them.

Contributed by:
IDS Logic

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