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How to do a 301 redirect on Twitter- even though Twitter doesn’t allow it

Posted on Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - Featured, SEO, Social Media

When you make a new Twitter account, it’s important to grab your old username. You don’t know how many blogs, articles, lists, etc. are pointing to your old profiles. If someone clicks on one of those links, they will be directed to your old page, which, unless you claim it, will be an error page saying that the username doesn’t exist anymore. Or even worse, one of your competitors may notice you’ve abandoned it and pick it up for their own use.

Unfortunately, Twitter doesn’t allow you to do a 301 redirect when you want to change your profile username, but with a couple of easy steps you can achieve the same result.

Step 1 – Get a Gmail account: You need a Gmail (or other email) account that is not associated with any Twitter usernames to make this work, so get that taken care of first.

Step 2 – Change your existing Username: Sign in and click on your name in the upper right corner, then click on Settings and change your Username to whatever you want it be and then sign out of Twitter.

Step 3 – Make a new Twitter account: Using the email account you secured in Step 1, sign up for a new Twitter account and claim your old Twitter Username.

Step 4- Update the Info: Update the bio for your old username with a simple message stating the profile has moved and can now be found at @NewTwitterUsername. Then, post a single tweet stating the same thing. For an added bonus, you can create a new list and put only your new account on it. If you have a custom background, it’s also a good idea to change it to reflect the change as well.

Step 5- Let Them Know: Send out a tweet under your new username letting everyone know you’ve changed it. If you have a newsletter, include that update in it. Also, be sure to update all of the links you have to your Twitter account.

That’s it. 5 easy steps to changing your Twitter username without losing any followers or having your old username pillaged.


About Josh Peters

Josh Peters is the Social Media Manager at The Search Agency. He’s the co-author of TwittFaced: (Your Toolkit for Understanding and Maximizing Social Media), blogs regularly at Shuaism & New Mix Marketing and can be found wasting company time daily on Twitter. Before joining TSA he ran his own internet marketing consultancy where we worked with small owner operated businesses to medium sized travel companies and Fortune 500 tech companies.

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4 Responses to “How to do a 301 redirect on Twitter- even though Twitter doesn’t allow it”

  1. This is so not a 301 redirect or anything like it, but I guess it is the closest thing we have for now. Thanks for the step by step.

  2. Josh says:


    Thanks for the comment and I’m glad you found the step by step useful. You are indeed right, in the literal meaning it’s not a 301, but as you pointed out it’s as close as you can get at this time. Maybe someday they will enable a true 301 feature so that name changes can be even easier, but for now this method will at least let everyone know you’ve changed to a new address and you won’t completely lose the value of any links pointing to your old username.

  3. Thank you so much for the tip. I had changed my Twitter handle without much thought about this issue of redirection. And I just reclaimed my old twitter handle using a different password. I know its not a 301 permanent redirect but it is working just fine. The best one could do to divert traffic to new handle. Thank you so much for your help.

  4. Salvatore says:

    Thanks, great suggestions :)


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