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How to set up 301s for multiple file name changes
Or just forget it?
Lorel




msg:4682912
 10:40 pm on Jun 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'm working on a website that has had multiple file name changes.

First the pages from one site were moved to another site (on same server/owner) and set up with 301s. Those worked fine.

Then someone else took over the site and set up the site in wordpress with something like this.

dev.sitename.com

Then moved to:

sitename.com

301s were set from the dev to the finished site but the original 301s were ignored.

Should I leave them as is or set up all 301's reverting to multiple pages?

The reason I'm asking is because the site has been up for a month and google hasn't indexed any of the pages yet.

 

lucy24




msg:4682920
 11:32 pm on Jun 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

but the original 301s were ignored.

How? By whom? A functioning redirect can't be ignored. A robot may choose not to follow up on it, but it never has the option of barging on to the originally requested URL.

I assume there was a RewriteRule with accompanying RewriteCond looking at {HTTP_HOST}. Either it works or it doesn't.

In general, it doesn't matter whether the "before" and "after" URLs live on the same server. It only affects which rules go where. Any redirect has to be in a place where the requests will see it.

Lorel




msg:4683092
 7:08 pm on Jun 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

@lucy The site owner hired an employee of the host to set up commercial wordpress site (they obviously knew nothing about SEO -- all titles, descriptions the same, canonical issues etc.)
They ignored the previous htaccess file.

I'm not clear by your comments whether I should fix htaccess with every change in file name since the site was originally designed or leave it as is.

Lorel




msg:4683415
 6:30 pm on Jun 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

PS. I had checked the site command with the www when the site was redirected to the non-www version (which again was set up the other way originally).

Anyway, the site is indexed but lots of duplicate pages so I could use some advice on how to set up 301's for multiple changes per file name. I know how to do it for one change but not 4.

not2easy




msg:4683453
 8:51 pm on Jun 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

Just some thoughts on this - it looks like a primer on how to drive google mad.. But to look for ways to untangle, it helps to find out what can be eliminated from the older problems.

What kind of trail do you see in a header checker if you type in a few of the original(pre-WP I & II) file names? Check some filenames for header responses along the trail of changes to get a good idea of how far back the focus should be. Try with and without www since that was also altered to be sure it is working correctly now.

It is a real pain, but you need to know what URLs are valid, what gives a 404 and what is getting redirects from where to where so some of the original issues can be pared away to see what Google considers "current". Look at any old sitemaps that might be languishing forgotten and verify that changes at step 3 (for example) didn't undo 301s that had been functional.

In the GWT account are you seeing any "Crawl Errors" or Sitemaps problems.

phranque




msg:4683477
 9:22 pm on Jun 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

I could use some advice on how to set up 301's for multiple changes per file name. I know how to do it for one change but not 4.

all the 301s should redirect to the current canonical urls.
so if there are 4 old versions of the url, each should redirect to the new one rather than chaining through the series.

Lorel




msg:4684094
 1:40 pm on Jul 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

@not2easy and @phranque

Thanks for your very helpful suggestions. I checked several urls in a header checker. On further analysis I discovered that the designer of WP2 copied the htaccess file from WP1 site which of course doesn't work. What a mess!

lucy24




msg:4684210
 7:16 pm on Jul 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

designer of WP2 copied the htaccess file from WP1 site

Yeah, that's what it sounded like when you explained about "ignore". Honestly, you'd think the designer would at least ask about what to do with pre-existing material...

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