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301S And Back Buttons


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8 replies to this topic

#1 copywriter

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 01:14 PM

I have a client who is paranoid about breaking their back buttons by using 301 redirects.  I am not a techy gal, but from what I've read, a 301 keeps you from screwing up back button functionality, correct?

 

http://www.w3.org/QA/Tips/reback

 

 



#2 Jill

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 05:35 PM

One has nothing to do with the other. 



#3 chrishirst

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 06:23 AM

The technical bit is that the 'back button' reloads content from the local cache. So, as a URL that is redirected server side with a 30x response code does NOT load any data into the local cache, there is nothing to go back to for the 'previous' URL.



#4 copywriter

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 06:29 AM

Ahh... I see.  So what do ecomm sites do that need to redirect pages so that customers still have back button functions?



#5 chrishirst

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:15 AM

Ahh... I see.  So what do ecomm sites do that need to redirect pages so that customers still have back button functions?

Not that is a good question. The main thing on 'ecommerce' systems that will 'break' the back button is a form POST submission as browsers 'expire' the previous page immediately as a safety measure so payment submissions and the like are not duplicated unintentionally.

 

So the only thing to avoid is, as the W3c suggests, a meta refresh directive redirect. Because the previous 'page' is the one that redirects on load, so all the back button does is load a document that promptly sends the browser to the document that the user tried to leave. They can of course hold down the backbutton to get a list of cached URLs in the current session, but that is not something the "average user" even knows about seemingly.



#6 copywriter

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:26 AM

OK then, let me ask you this, since you're being so very helpful :) 

 

Here's the deal. They have numerous pages for the same filter (for example).  This filter can be used with (oh let's say) 10 different products.  For whatever reason, the programmers who created this custom CMS made it necessary to create a different page for each filter to go with each of the products it will work with. (Following me so far?)  These are all complete duplicate pages.

 

What I was thinking the customer could do is 301 nine of the filter pages to 1 of the filter pages.

 

If the 301 is going to be an issue (and I'm not sure about whether they can do the meta refresh directive redirect), would there be a better option?  This is primarily for SEO purposes, but we don't want to screw up the usability for the customer in the process.

 

Canonical? No index, no follow (would lose page rank for the 9 pages, right)?

 

I'm not an SEO so my knowledge of such things is limited... just trying to help a client out. 



#7 chrishirst

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:53 AM

For whatever reason, the programmers who created this custom CMS made it necessary to create a different page for each filter to go with each of the products

Bloody Programmers!!!! :)

 

What I was thinking the customer could do is 301 nine of the filter pages to 1 of the filter pages.

 

Not a problem, under those circumstance a server side 301 is perfect. The visitor will land on the product document they expect to, albeit with a slightly different URL and the back button WILL take them back to the document they just left.



#8 copywriter

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:57 AM

Bloody Programmers!!!!

 

Did I mention they are Russian?

 

Thanks chrishirst!  You've been a big help.

 

#9 chrishirst

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:11 AM

 

 

Did I mention they are Russian?

 

Hah! Been there, had to rescue a hosting client's site after it had been 'outsourced' to a Russian company who then disappeared off the face of the earth when things started going wrong.






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