As the old saying goes, knowledge is power, and committed to empowering people – including our customers, potential customers, and Internet users everywhere. I intended this article to inform you about a process called domain redirects. Redirects are a common practice for domains and websites. I believe it’s important that people understand how redirects work and how they can use, including the way someone can use them for malicious purposes. A recent news cause of this practice.
How redirects works?
Websites, individual web pages, and even content on the web have unique web addresses through which a computer browser can reach them.
For example, domain.com is the address of your website. And domain.com/blog/know-your-facts-what-is-a-redirect/ is the specific content address of your website.
Likewise, large corporate websites and blogs, individual posts on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. And many images and other digital content (such as YouTube videos) have their own web addresses.
Each registered domain and URL to specific content offers the ability to apply a “forwarding”. So if you have tried to reach the web address for the domain Bestblogger.com set up for forwarding to easisol.com, you will take directly to our website.
Important fact: Redirects controlled by the domain name registrant and/or website owner. They not controlled by the website or the page to which they redirect. We will explain below why this is important.
Why does someone use a forwarder?
There are many uses for a redirect. Let’s look at some of them.
Rebranding. Once upon a time, you may have created a website in a domain such as widgetsarefun.com. Later, as your business grows, you can decide that your original domain name no longer fits your business concept, perhaps because you now offer much more than just widgets. You can redirect all traffic from your old domain name to a new one so that your customers aren’t confuse.
Humor. Some people create links that sound serious but lead to a joke. One of the most common cases is when you send someone to an important article. But it ends up on a YouTube video in which Rick Astley sings “Never Gonna Give You Up,” a practice known as Rickrolling.
Avoid 404 results. I can set redirects up to point each website or content to a different URL. For example, if a company removes a blog post because it is old. The company can point the web address/URL to its main blog page (for example, we can set up a redirect from an outdated blog post to https://www.easisol.com/blog/). Creating such a forwarder provides a better user experience than viewing a 404 page that says the page is unavailable. This is a very frustrating experience for the visitor.
Create an unauthorized mapping. Forwarders can also use in unauthorized ways. I say some of which to be malicious. These are redirects designed to deceive or mislead people into believing that one website actually connects to another and can use to harm or confuse a brand.
These are some examples of common uses of redirects. As you can see, there are many reasons to set up a redirect, and why it is important to understand the uses so you know what is legitimate or what is trying to deceive you.
For example, anyone can register a domain like NikesGreatestShoes.com and redirect it to Adidas.com. That NikesGreatestShoes.com lands on the Adidas website does not mean that Nike or Adidas involved in forwarding the website. While it’s possible that someone at Adidas has set up the forwarding. It’s just as possible (and much more likely) that this is someone else who is trying to make trouble or laugh.
Redirects are useful for many legitimate purposes, but can use sometimes for confusion or damage. It is important to remember that when you click a link to a website. You may redirect to another website that not related, misleading, or causes confusion.
Thanks to the information we provide, we hope that you will develop as a more informed citizen of the Internet. If you understand domain redirects, you can understand what is legitimate? What can be malicious and if someone is just trying to have a bit of fun?
Frequently asked questions
Why is the association allowed if it is not allow by the target website and malicious?
Good question. There are several factors. First, the domain/website that instructs the forwarder has control over when/where it sends the forwarding. The landing site usually has no knowledge that it has happened and/or learns later. Second, nothing prevents forwarding unless the forwarding is contrary to the law. Normally, there are no laws prohibiting this.
Why don’t registrars and/hosting companies just have action?
I believe that the Internet offers unparalleled access and freedom: access/ability to become producers, and ability of speech and expression. Regardless of whether the voice is accept worldwide or is consider a minority. As the administrator of the most important tools that enable this access (domains and hosting), we consistently assume our responsibility to be neutral in the service of our ideals. This means we follow established laws and turn to the forums (e.g. courts) that are the right ones to decide about freedom of action and speech.