On Twitter, Google’s John Mueller said that you should keep your 301 redirects for years. In general, it’s advisable to keep redirects because other websites might still link to the old URLs. If you do not redirect the old URLs to your new URLs, these visitors are lost.
In addition, the new URLs will benefit from the links to the old URLs if you redirect the old URLs.
What is a 301 redirect?
A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. With a 301 redirect, you can send website visitors and search engines to a different URL than the one they originally typed into their browser.
It’s called a 301 redirect because the web server sends a status code with the number 301. The status code means “this URL moved permanently to a new location”.
You should use 301 redirects when you change the URL structure of your website. You can also use 301 redirects to redirect visitors from the HTTP version of your website to the HTTPS version.
Google’s John Mueller about 301 redirects
301 is permanent, it means forever and that's a mighty long time, but I'm here to tell you, there's something else: the server maintenance.— ? John ? (@JohnMu) 18. January 2019
After a few years the old URLs are often no longer accessed & you can drop those redirects.
How to check your web pages for 301 redirects
Among many other things, the website audit tool in SEOprofiler checks your web pages for 301 redirects. You can create your SEOprofiler account here: