We are asked by clients and SEO resellers about the entire 301 redirect issue quite frequently. If you have established yourself on specific keywords, or spent a great deal of money with an SEO, you are naturally worried about what happens when you move a site or redesign your architecture. So what is the real answer on 301 redirects? What can we tell our SEO reseller community with certainty? Are 301 redirect pages bad for your SEO?
As usual, it is a complex issue. When it comes to search engine optimization, there are very few simple answers. While our approach, both for direct clients and our SEO resellers, emphasizes transparency, this does not mean things are simple. Luckily, our friends over at the SEOChat forum have recently shared a great interview with me that helped me quite a bit. This is a blog post that describes an interview with Matt Cutt's where he specifically gets into the 301 redirect issue. He describes in detail how search engines view duplicate content and content that has moved on your website.
They also get into a number of side issues having to do with link juice, link juice bleeding and how Google handles link juice passed to duplicate content on your website. Give that a read and let me know your thoughts. Again - Be prepared for the fact that 301 redirects are complex and the entire search engine process is not easily summarized in a few sentences.