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Proving historical redirect

 12:20 am on Dec 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

I need to prove that a redirect was not done in the past on a server I don't have control over any more and the website has been completely redone. I need more than one way to prove this.

Here are the ways I cam up with:
1. Analytics
2. Backups from their server
3. Archive.org

Can anybody think of another way.



 1:19 am on Dec 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

4. timestamped record of every change you have ever made in htaccess

But that's proving to yourself. Do you need something that's out of your control, so you can't ever have tampered with the documentation? (Obviously any idiot can fiddle with the timestamp on a local file, digital photograph or similar. But the person at the other end may not know this.*)

Do you need to prove that the redirect was not in place at all, ever? Or only that at some specified time, a request for A did not point the user to B?

Proving a negative is a pain at the best of times.

* I have the impression that printed copies of email are accepted as evidence in at least some courts. This is obviously insane.


 4:19 am on Dec 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

Somebody redesigned a site and took over hosting. It was decided that the new redesign was unacceptable. The DNS was changed back to the previous design and a different host.

When the hosting for this site was out of the owners control all URL's were changed and none of the previous URL's were redirected.

I would like to prove that the redirects were not created. I know they were not but I need to prove it.


 4:34 am on Dec 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google Webmaster Tools? WMT never forgets 404....

For example a message "The increase of Not Found errors" in WMT - which is date/timestamped.

In fact if the 301 redirect was done successfully, old URLs should never be reported as 404 in WMT.


 5:02 am on Dec 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks that did help.

The 404 was not much help. It is not very complete.

I did find the indexed report.

As expected it shows a huge drop in pages indexed during that time period. Would it look exactly the same if all the pages had been redirected. I assume that a redirected page would not count as a "page indexed" on this report.


 5:46 am on Dec 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

If pages were redirected, there would be an upward spike in "pages crawled" with at most a temporary hiccup in "pages indexed". But only, of course, if old and new are on the same domain.

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