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301 Redirects, www and Non-www
What should we do - what can we expect?
webconnoisseur




msg:736172
 7:28 pm on Jul 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

There's been a lot of talk about using a 301 redirect so there aren't two versions of your site out there (www.widgets.com and widegets.com) - I believe it is also a way to avoid being hijacked. It seems like everyone is doing it now.

I have a couple things I would like to clarify on 301's via this example:

A site currently has no redirect - google sees both widgets.com (PR 7) and www.widgets.com (PR 6).

It seems like this site should do a 301 redirect to widgets.com (the higher PR ranking).

Here are my questions:
1) Might this give the site an overall boost in PR?
2) What is the short-term effect of making this change (could it change your rankings and for how long)?
3) Is www. better than non-www?

Also, if you recently made this change yourself - how did it go? Thanks for your help!

 

gtmash




msg:736202
 10:39 am on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have a question. If I do the redirect, sending all hits from non-www to www, will the inbound links to non-www be wasted or passed on to www in terms of PR/SEO.

g1smd




msg:736203
 6:46 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Passed on... but you won't see the effects for a few months.

Smashing Young Man




msg:736204
 7:40 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Don't forget, in your browser when you type "widget" in the address bar and hit ctrl+enter, it automatically adds the www along with the rest of the URL. For that reason alone, I go ahead and direct my sites to the www version.

Clint




msg:736205
 12:00 pm on Jul 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I just posted this on another thread:

I would hold off on doing any redirects now, or changing any redirects. The new PR update fiasco has changed the www and non-www values for some, so you're going to have to keep watching that for a while. 4 of my 5 sites had higher PR on the www versions, now as of today, it's the OPPOSITE. All those that did these 301 redirects have now hurt themselves if this same thing happened to them--they'd now be having their HIGHER PR page going to the LOWER PR page.

g1smd




msg:736206
 3:05 pm on Jul 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

... but the PR for the two will be added together when Google sees that the two URLs are for one and the same page.

Showing your content under two different URLs is never a good idea. Get the redirect in place as soon as possible.

The reason that you have some of your incoming links going to non-www and others to www is that your site always returned "200 OK" for whatever you tried to access it by. By now providing a redirect, people will naturally link to you using the one that you want to be used. Make sure that all of your internal links go to the correct one too.

jd01




msg:736207
 12:54 am on Jul 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

...but the PR for the two will be added together when Google sees that the two URLs are for one and the same page.

Please see: [webmasterworld.com...] for multiple references to posts, threads, etc. supporting this.

Justin

7_Driver




msg:736208
 12:46 am on Jul 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

A couple of questions on this issue as it relates to a Windows (IIS) hosted site:

I've seen lots of info on how to do the 301 redirect on Apache - but can't find any info on how to implement the same thing on IIS. Anyone know, or point me in the right direction?

Secondly, if it's duplicate content that's the problem (ie the same page under different URLs) - isn't the fact that IIS isn't case-sensitive, and Google is case-sensitive a problem?

For example - I create one page:

www.mydomain.com/widgets.asp

I can do my best to link consistantly to this - but I can't control other people. So if I get links to:

widgets.asp
Widgets.asp
WIDGETS.asp
WidGets.asp

then Google thinks I've got 4 pages of duplicate content - when in fact I've only got one.

I can't think of a solution to this second problem...

jd01




msg:736209
 12:58 am on Jul 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

The answer to your first quest seems to be here:

[webmasterworld.com...]

You might also try: Redirecting IIS site:webmasterworld.com in your favorite search engine.

The second question is yes, that can, could, at sometime probably will be a problem.

Unfortunately, I do not work with IIS to be able to help you, except in that maybe when you find the code for redirecting, you can A) use that to catch the case? don't know on this one. B) Use a header function on the actual asp pages to catch the header and redirect it to the correct (non-cap) location... I again am not sure on this - I know it can be done with php $SERVER and a stringtolower() capabilities.

Sorry I couldn't help more.

Justin

eurotom




msg:736210
 9:33 pm on Jul 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi everyone,

First an apology. I know that there are dozens of threads about 301 redirects. I have read all of them that I could hunt down, but I still can't make this work for my site. If anyone has the patience and know-how, I will be extremely grateful.

My site has 10 sections off of the main directory. I noticed yesterday that google has given all of these sections a PR5 on the www site and PR1 on the non-www site. From what I've been reading, that PR could go higher, if only I could redirect with success!

The site is in ASP and runs on a shared Windows server. I called the host and asked them for access to the IIS platform and they laughed at me. It's only possible, I therefore gathered, to set up 301 redirects to the individual pages.

I have decided to put redirects on each of the these section home pages (http://widgets.com/section1/default.asp).

So, I followed the advice in this thread and added the following code:

<%@ Language=VBScript %>
<%
Response.Status="301 Moved Permanently"
Response.AddHeader "Location", "http://www.widgets.com/section1/"
%>

---

It didn't work. I changed it to "http://www.widgets.com/section1/default.asp" and it still didn't work.

It's at the top of the page, above the <HTML> tag.

I would be most grateful for any help on this.

g1smd




msg:736211
 9:54 pm on Jul 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

In what way did it not work? I assume that you asked for domain.com/somepage.asp and you were served that page, and the URL did not change in the browser address bar.

One problem - you need to test that the person has arrived at the page asking for the domain.com version of the page and only serve the redirect to them. If you serve the redirect to www.domain.com when the visitor was asking for that anyway, then they will get caught in an infinite loop.

eurotom




msg:736212
 10:55 pm on Jul 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for your response. When I typed in the URL to be redirected, it just wouldn't load. It looks like it's stuck in an endless loop.

You say that I should test to make sure that only those asking for domain.com/page.asp get the www redirect. How do I do that? It's the same page, right? Is there another piece of code that goes with this script that can tell if visitors have requested the non-www page?

g1smd




msg:736213
 11:31 pm on Jul 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't know ASP, but what you need to do is something like this:

IF {HTTP_SELF} != "www.domain.com" then DO redirect(www.domain.com)

Function redirect(domain):

Write.Header: "301, www.domain.com"

End Function.

SEOtop10




msg:736214
 3:26 am on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

You don't have to ask for access to the IIS admin - nobody will provide you that.

Just ask them to host domain.com also and then setup a permanent redirect for this domain to www.domain.com. This can be done in 2 minutes by the host admin who has access to the IIS admin panel.

They would already know how to do this but if they don't, you can search for "IIS 301 redirect" and look up the results. A few sites explain this with snapshots of the admin console.

If unavoidable, you may consider paying them a fee for this also. It is much more efficient and quicker than setting up redirects on all your pages.

g1smd




msg:736215
 10:51 am on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Make sure that they DO set up a 301 Permanent Redirect from non-www to www.

If they set up a 302 redirect, or merely point the two URLs at the same server space, then they will hose your site in the listings.

7_Driver




msg:736216
 7:29 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Eurotom,

The code I use is:

<%
Response.Status = "301 Moved Permanently"
Response.Addheader "Location", "http://www.yourdomain.com/yourpage.htm"
Response.End
%>

As the only code on the page. Not sure if the response.end is required or not - but worth a try if you're still struggling.

Total Paranoia




msg:736217
 7:18 am on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

My website that ranked well for 3 years was recently dropped on Google for every phrase that it ranked well for. When I tried a allinurl: command I can see dozens of supplimental results for the site - each one being a non www. duplicate. Could this be causing the problem?

The thing is, I always believed that there was a 301 redirect already set up on the server because when I type in [mysite.com...] it automatically takes me to [mysite.com....] Can anyone give any advice as to what I should do? I can write a htaccess and put the redirect in there but as far as I can see this is already in place.

Total Paranoia




msg:736218
 7:25 am on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just to add to this, I have tried using the header checker on [mysite.com...] and I get a "302 found" status with the following information noted - Location: [www.mysite.com...]
Connection: close.

When putting in [mysite.com...] it shows a 200 OK status. Why is Google caching 2 versions of the site?

Clint




msg:736219
 9:10 am on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well, after this new PR update I dropped TWO PR SPOTS on my main site's index page, so this www redirect doesn't seem to be all it's cracked up to be! Also, I DROP IN THE G SERP'S EVERY TIME I add the 301 redirect! I've tested this SIX times. Once or twice it may have been coincidental, but not 6 times. It seems to do nothing but hurt me.

Clint




msg:736220
 9:17 am on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

My website that ranked well for 3 years was recently dropped on Google for every phrase that it ranked well for. When I tried a allinurl: command I can see dozens of supplemental results for the site - each one being a non www. duplicate. Could this be causing the problem?

The thing is, I always believed that there was a 301 redirect already set up on the server because when I type in [mysite.com...] it automatically takes me to [mysite.com....] Can anyone give any advice as to what I should do? I can write a htaccess and put the redirect in there but as far as I can see this is already in place.

You don't think you dropped due to the Bourbon update? I know of several people that dropped in Bourbon, NEVER DID the 301 redirect and got back the pre-Bourbon SERP's.

You obviously have some kind of redirect going on if mysite.com goes to www.mysite.com, you don't know how to check your .htaccess file for that?

You next post indicates you have a 302 which is not good.

If, IF you want the 301 redirect from non-www to www, you should have this in your .htaccess file:
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} .
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.MyDomain\.com
RewriteRule (.*) [MyDomain.com...] [R=301,L]

[edited by: ciml at 6:59 pm (utc) on July 21, 2005]
[edit reason] Space missing from RewriteCond [/edit]

Total Paranoia




msg:736221
 9:40 am on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks very much Clint. My HTACCESS file was missing R=301.

I don't think it had anything to do with Bourbon as the site bummed out on 2nd July, I believe the update was long before then?

g1smd




msg:736222
 10:35 am on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

You hosed your own site by using the 302 redirect. The 301 should fix it.

It will take a few months and you will see some odd stuff along the way. Be patient.

Total Paranoia




msg:736223
 10:55 am on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks g1smd I hope the 301 does fix this - The 302 was set up by default by my host. I always thought that it was a 301 until I used the header checker. After looking at this further I can see that a 302 can be harmful but having said that it did not hurt my site for 3 years.

The thing is, I tried using the amended htaccess file and it will not override what the host has done at the root with the 302. I think I need to move hosts.

Clint




msg:736224
 11:40 am on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks very much Clint. My HTACCESS file was missing R=301.
I don't think it had anything to do with Bourbon as the site bummed out on 2nd July, I believe the update was long before then?

Welcome. ;)

The update was different for different people. It didn't affect me until May 21st, some it affected weeks before that and some long after May 21st. It's still going on from the looks of the G SERP's.

Clint




msg:736225
 11:51 am on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

The thing is, I tried using the amended htaccess file and it will not override what the host has done at the root with the 302. I think I need to move hosts.

Not sure what you mean by "amended htaccess file". The .htaccess file should be in your root folder/directory and if it has something in it that did your previous redirect those lines are first going to have to be removed before the new lines will work. The line RewriteEngine on just needs to be in the file once, so you remove that line from what I posted if the line is already in the file, and the other lines have to go below it with a space before and after it:

[space]
RewriteEngine on (add that if it's not already there)
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} .
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.MyDomain\.com
RewriteRule (.*) [MyDomain.com...] [R=301,L]

[space]
("Hot Link protection" lines if any)
[probably a space]
("IP Deny" lines if any), etc.

In my htaccess file, I have IP Deny lines above the redirect since they were already there, I just put my redirect directly below my existing RewriteEngine on since it was there above the Hot Link protection lines. If you mess with your file, be sure and first make a copy of it. If your previous 302 lines are not in your htaccess file then you're going to have to ask your hosts about it.

[edited by: ciml at 6:59 pm (utc) on July 21, 2005]
[edit reason] Space missing from RewriteCond [/edit]

g1smd




msg:736226
 12:48 pm on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> It didn't affect me until May 21st <<

Hmm, that date is significant. If I remember rightly, that is the date that all the previously fixed listings (on the site that had a redirect first installed in March, and which took until early May to be fixed {all www to be dropped, only non-www then listed}) were suddenly reverted back to how they were at the end of last year, with cache dates to match. The listings remained incorrect for several weeks, and then fixed themselves on their own.

Clint




msg:736227
 1:08 pm on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Interesting. What happened to my siteS on that day is all but one was REMOVED. The 20th all was as it had been for years, then on the 21st all hell cut loose for me (and that's when I came back to this forum and learned of Bourbon). I was not even showing up for my proprietary business name, yet sites that linked TO me were showing up. That lasted over a month. :( :( I didn't even know about a 301 redirect back then, I only found out about that after I saw the thread.

Total Paranoia




msg:736228
 4:18 pm on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

g1smd when you had your problem did your listings disappear completely or just drop a few pages?

Catnip




msg:736229
 9:54 am on Jul 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

What is the proper way to do a 301 redirect from all of the non-www to the matching www pages?

Internal Server Error
Apache/1.3.27

Thank-You,

Ryan

g1smd




msg:736230
 10:24 am on Jul 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Catnap: See post #54 above.

g1smd




msg:736231
 10:27 am on Jul 21, 2005 (gmt 0)


Total: many of the www pages that had been dropped just re-appeared as URL-only listings for a few weeks. It fixed itself after about a month; now only the non-www pages are listed - and all are with title and description. All of the www pages are gone, as required.

Catnip




msg:736232
 10:44 am on Jul 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have the following:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} .
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.mydomain\.com
RewriteRule (.*) [mydomain.com...] [R=301,L]

ErrorDocument 400 /errordocs/400.php
ErrorDocument 401 /errordocs/401.php
ErrorDocument 403 /errordocs/403.php
ErrorDocument 404 /errordocs/404.php
ErrorDocument 500 /errordocs/500.php
ErrorDocument 501 /errordocs/501.php
ErrorDocument 502 /errordocs/502.php

And if i try to go to [mydomain.com...] nothing happens? I just get Internal Server Error, Apache/1.3.27

[edited by: ciml at 7:00 pm (utc) on July 21, 2005]
[edit reason] Space missing from RewriteCond [/edit]

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