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Url rewrite
URL Redirecting or URL Rewriting - Which is best?

 8:18 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hi Folks!


I would like knew a haunting query regarding URL Redirecting & URL Rewriting.

I have a website 10 years old which did not follow any of the SEO guidelines. The pages PR is 3. I started Optimizing pages one by one. Majorly all the subpages were constructed with underscores like www.example.com/make_sense.php (the pr is 3)

My Query is can redirect all these type of urls like www.example.com/make-sense.php (with hypen using 301 redirect)

or Is it wise to send the old
(www.example.com/make_sense.php)urls to 404 error page by simply rewriting it www.example.com/make-sense.php

Does it effect the page rank?

Please Suggest. Masters of Web


Make Sense



 4:17 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

or Is it wise to send the old
(www.example.com/make_sense.php)urls to 404 error page by simply rewriting it www.example.com/make-sense.php

The question doesn't, er, ahem, make sense. Rewriting an old URL to a new path wouldn't result in a 404 unless the new location doesn't really exist-- and if so, why are you rewriting to it?

I suspect that when you say "rewrite" you really mean something else. But I'm not sure what.

Frankly I think lowlines vs. hyphens fall into "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" territory. Use hyphens in future URLs for new pages, but don't bother changing things that already exist.


 12:39 pm on May 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks a lot Lucy. I understood your suggestion. As you said none of my website urls breaking. So i am not changing them to hypens

My view of rewriting is "simply restructuring" url with lowlines to hypens; If I am not confusing you.

Scenario: Say there are 25 urls (most them having pr 3) with low lines (not keyword rich). If I want to replace the lowlines with hypens and also with rich keywords; Then Is it not wise to send the old lowlined urls to 404 error pagex by keeping remove url request @ webmaster tools? So that I can show search engines and users new urls with hypens. Is it a not good SEO Practice.


 7:44 pm on May 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Aha. You didn't mean rewrite at all. "Rewrite" means that the user asks for one URL and you secretly serve them content living at a different URL. Here you're talking about changing the URLs of pages that already exist.

If you rename your pages, update the links and don't redirect people asking for the old URL, you lose all the accrued benefits of the old name (rank, link juice, etc.). AND you'll slam into Duplicate Content issues as soon as the search engines discover that you have two different pages with the same name. Or, if they notice the 404s, the search engines will get suspicious and will wonder why you've dumped an old page and replaced it with a new page that is identical.

If you feel that you must change the URLs, the normal course would be to redirect all requests for the old lowline form to the new hyphen form. You might want to remove the old ones from google's cache; no need to remove the URL from the index, since search engines will immediately pick up the redirect.

With only 25 URLs, you can easily do the redirect right in htaccess. In Apache, the pattern would be-- don't cut and paste, this is off the top of my head--

RewriteRule ^([^_]+)_(.+)$ http://www.example.com/$1-$2 [R=301,L]

with more details if some of your URLs contain more than one hyphen/lowline.

But at this point your question is branching into two different directions: the "google SEO" direction, and the "apache" direction. (Or possibly the IIS direction.)

:: looking vaguely around for nearest moderator ::

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