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How to deprecate a URL for your site
Free redirect should not be listed in search engines

 7:11 pm on May 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

My page's URL is [example.ca...]
We used to use [oldsite.cjb.net...] to redirect to the page as an easier-to-remember short URL. We then purchased [example.org...] and we now recommend that as the sort URL to access our site.

I want to deprecate the cjb.net URL. I don't want to shut it down because we have distributed old bumpf with that URL on it and I would like the URL to work for another couple of years. However, I don't want search engines to include the cjb.net URL in their indices as I would like to eradicate it from the web as I slowly phase out its use.

When an agent naviagtes to [oldsite.cjb.net...] the resulting page is a frame with my site's correct URL, [example.ca...] inside of that frame. What I have done is include the following code in my page's head: <?php $ref = getenv('HTTP_REFERER'); if ($ref == "http://oldsite.cjb.net/") { print '<meta name="robots" content="noindex">'; }?>

I don't have access to, and cannot alter, the head of the cjb.net page.

I don't want search engines to list the cjb.net address, but I want both other addresses listed. I don't want to manually request that each search engine remove that URL because:
1. It would be a lot of work
2. I'd be worried that they'd drop the site's other URLs too

I don't think that my above approach with PHP will be effective. If every page pointed to by a page with frames has the noindex meta tag, will robots index that framed page? What should I do instead?


[edited by: Marcia at 10:41 pm (utc) on May 29, 2003]
[edit reason] No URLs, please see updated Google charter and TOS. Thanks! [/edit]



 7:19 pm on May 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

86 posts and you haven't read the TOS?

Search this site for "301 redirect".



 8:30 pm on May 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

Where should this question be listed? It explicitly and exclusively deals with search engines so I assume that it belongs in a search engine-related forum.


 8:39 pm on May 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

I emailed cjb.net to ask about this problem. They responded saying that what I want to do is not possible. Case Closed.


 10:40 pm on May 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>exclusively deals with search engines so I assume that it belongs in a search engine-related forum

Just goes to show us that every webmaster should think about search engines going in the gate - for every site.

Glad you found out, we generally have to go to our hosts first thing to find what's available. In this case I might be inclined to leave the old site up, if it gets some traffic, and put up a notification with a link that you've moved - without leaving one speck of duplicate content to be found. Then work on getting links changed.


 11:27 pm on May 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

I had a similar problem with one of my clients. He had his page hosted on a free web host and used a cjb.net redirect. Since it was a free host we didn't have access to the .htaccess so we couldn't do the 301 redirect.

What I ended up doing was just putting a "This page has moved, please update your bookmarks" thing with a link on the free host one. (Also deleted all the content on the free site so SE's couldn't index it.) I then contacted any directories the site was in and got them to change from .cjb.net to .com. When the .com was added to google it started off below the .cjb.net, but as time progressed and after a few updates the .com climbed and the .cjb.net became irrelevant.

So don't worry about it too much (if you don't have .htaccess (if you do use 301 redirect)), google will balance itself out.


 4:28 am on May 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

MWpro, thanks for the suggestion. I have taken your advice and put up a blank page indicating the change. I'll cross my fingers that Google will sort itself out within a couple of months.

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