What is an Infinite / Looped Redirect?

An infinite / looped redirect is a group of 2 or more redirects strung together in a chain that never resolve to a URL that breaks the redirect chain with a non-redirecting HTTP status. This is in contrast to the redirect chain issue, which will eventually resolve to non-redirecting HTTP status after 4 or more redirects.

There are two types of issues here – the first is when the redirects form in a loop, by one URL in the chain redirecting to a URL earlier in the chain. The second is when they simply continue redirecting forever without recursively calling a URL already in the chain.

Looped Redirect Example:

One URL in the redirect chain is redirecting to a URL earlier in the same chain.

URL - Redirect Target
http://www.example.com/page-1 > http://www.example.com/page-2
http://www.example.com/page-2 > http://www.example.com/page-3
http://www.example.com/page-3 > http://www.example.com/page-1

In this example, we can see that when we get to page-3, we will go back to page-1 and begin the loop again. We will never exit the loop.

Infinite Redirect Example:

The redirect chain continues forever without ever redirecting to a non-redirected page or another URL already in the same chain.

URL - Redirect Target
http://www.example.com/page-1 > http://www.example.com/page-2
http://www.example.com/page-2 > http://www.example.com/page-3
http://www.example.com/page-3 > http://www.example.com/page-4
http://www.example.com/page-4 > http://www.example.com/page-5
http://www.example.com/page-5 > http://www.example.com/page-6
http://www.example.com/page-6 > http://www.example.com/page-7
http://www.example.com/page-7 > http://www.example.com/page-8
http://www.example.com/page-8 > http://www.example.com/page-9
http://www.example.com/page-9 > http://www.example.com/page-10
http://www.example.com/page-10 > http://www.example.com/page-11
etc. > etc.

In this example, we can see the redirects will continue indefinitely.

Please note that Dragonbot will give up after following 10 redirects, so it's possible that you may have a redirect chain flagged as being an Infinite / Looped Redirect that eventually will redirect after 10 steps. However, for all extensive purposes, these should be treated as infinite redirects, as most search engines and browsers will give up at this point as well.

Why It's Important

Infinite and looped redirects cause problems for both visitors (who may see an error page in the browser) and search engines (which will be unable to crawl your site). This could also prevent key pages on your site from being indexed.

How to Fix

Look through the URLs in the table below, expand each row and take a look at the redirect chain. Decide on what would be the ideal target page would be for each URL, and edit the first rewrite step in the chain to point to this URL.

Change the redirect target of this URL to another page. You will also want to investigate other URLs in the chain and change the redirect targets on these as well.

Be sure to test your new redirect strategy extensively on a test environment before making the changes on your production server. If redirects are not properly configured, you could end up with broken links, 404 errors, or even more redirection problems.

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