If I may Ken, I may have a couple additional uses for the 301...
1. It takes away some of the 'scary guess work'.
For example, say someone is on the fence about the specific /URL.html for a page and they decide later that they should have gone with the one that they didn't.
They can create the URL.html they want now and then 301 the original URL.html to the new URL.html.
To me that seems to take a lot of the 'scary guess work' out of figuring out what to make the URL.
It feels like a safety net of sorts because you're assured that you won't end up with a 404 error, or an orphan page, or a meta-refresh, or duplicate content, etc.
2. I haven't taken this thought all the way through yet but...
Say you're out and about on the town and you end up in a conversation on a subject that you happen to have an excellent web page(s) written about.
You want to direct the person to the page but you don't want to say go to [Domain Private]
But I really want the guy to be able to read it.
If I create a page that's something like [Domain Private]
I can tell the person I'm speaking with to go to [Domain Private]
I will have created /seminars.html and then 301'd it to /attending-seminars-for-contractors.html.
It may not be 100% ideal (you'd really have to come up with a memorable word for the .html portion of the link) but it's definitely easier to remember "seminars.html" than it is "attending-seminars-for-contractors.html". It's easier to write on a piece of paper as well.
I'm curious though as to whether or not there's another module within SBI! that would accomplish the above (telling a person [Domain Private]
/seminars.html and when they type it in it sends them to the /attending-seminars-for-contractors.html page) without 301's and I just haven't picked up on it yet?
Is there a report or something that shows how many times the 301 was 'activated' - how many times and when the 301'd page forwarded to its counterpart?
The potential with that report:
One could build pages such as, for example, [Domain Private]
/1(.html) and /2.html and /3.html, all that actually 301 to [Domain Private]
Say the /1.html appears on postcards that I sent to a particular area, /2.html is a magazine ad I bought, and /3.html is some other form of offline advertising.
I could look at those 301 reports and use them as an advertising and tracking tool.
If the /1.html doesn't bring in any visitors then I know it either wasn't a good promotion or it's not a good area for me. If it does bring in folks then I know I'm on to something with that particular advertisement.
Same with the /2.html and /3.html pages.
But as mentioned it would require reports of how many times those 1, 2, and 3 pages were hit.
Does that make sense?