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Changed File Names
Added hyphens, now existing links are broken.
jmdb71

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4330 posted 8:19 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi,
Please ignore my previous post - i tried to delete it after stumbling on a billion threads here that answer that question.
Anyway, heres another-
I just changed all my pages to include hyphens to break apart the words. So now all my links on google, yahoo are dead until the site is reindexed. Any advice? Will these dead links be removed when google revisites, etc? Thanks!

 

Alternative Future

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4330 posted 8:48 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Welcome to WebmasterWorld jmdb71,

It might be best to put a 301 Moved... in place of all the old files so that a) yes the SE's will pick it up b) you dont loose any visitors

If you are working with ASP here is an example of what to do:
<%@ Language=VBScript %>
<%
Response.Status="301 Moved Permanently"
Response.AddHeader "Location", "ht*p://www.domain.com/your-new-file-or-dir"
%>

and for PHP:
<?
header("HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently");
header("Location: ht*p://www.domain.com/your-new-file-or-dir/");
?>

JSP:
<%
response.setHeader ("Location", ht*p://www.domain.com/your-new-file-or-dir/);
response.sendError (HttpServletResponse.SC_MOVED_PERMANENTLY);
%>

HTML:
<HEAD>
<META HTTP-EQUIV="refresh" content="0;URL=ht*p://www.domain.com/your-new-file-or-dir/">
<TITLE>Page has moved</TITLE>
</HEAD>

Or you could use .htaccess but you would require access to the mod_rewrite on your server.

HTH,

-George
edit: de-linked urls

[edited by: Alternative_Future at 8:51 pm (utc) on April 15, 2004]

smayler

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4330 posted 8:49 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think yes.

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4330 posted 9:07 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I just changed all my pages to include hyphens to break apart the words. So now all my links on google, yahoo are dead until the site is reindexed. Any advice?

Change them back if they weren't broken. Also depends on how many file names you've changed. If it was just one or two, no big deal. Unless of course those one or two pages account for the majority of your entry traffic.

Google now uses stemming so the hyphenated file names may not be an issue anymore with G. There are other search engines though that cannot stem so it may have been a good move to target all of the search engines.

In a perfect world, you should have set up a 301 for the old file name to the new file name. This way the userAgent gets a server response telling it to drop the old file name and index the new file name.

jmdb71

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4330 posted 9:19 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

i changed a lot of directory names too, so is it worth adding back the directories and files i have changed and including the code?

jmdb71

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4330 posted 9:25 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

and if i dont do this, will google, etc. drop the dead links? Thanks!

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4330 posted 9:25 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I changed a lot of directory names too, so is it worth adding back the directories and files I have changed and including the code?

Not sure what you mean (including the code). I will say that if the pages were performing without the hyphens, why did you change them?

You'll have about 30-90 days of indexing woes while the search engines try to sort out what is going on. Too many 404s and there might be some issues.

Again, the best way to have dealt with this would have been to implement 301s for all of the old files names.

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4330 posted 9:26 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yes, the search engines will eventually drop the dead links. Some will take longer than others. I hate having links out there that 404, it just doesn't look real professional. That is why planning is imperative when structuring a web site and organizing content. You don't want the URIs to change, ever! ;)

jmdb71

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4330 posted 10:59 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

The pages werent performing as well as they should, and the search engines werent picking apart my keywords, since they werent very basic. I noticed my competitors keywords being highlighted in the urls and mine were not (once again, ive heard that google can split up words, but were talking about flooring tools so it can be confusing to isolate out the correct words)
Anyway, i think the change was for the better, so in my case, do you think its worthwhile to go back and re-add the pages/directores?

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4330 posted 12:56 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

The pages werent performing as well as they should.

I would have looked at other areas first before making the jump to changing file and directory names. You will now have a 30-90 day lull where those pages are going to be returning a 404 in the SERPs, not a good idea from my perspective. I would strongly suggest that you speak with a technical person at your host and see if you can implement 301s from the old to the new pages. This way you can effectively transfer whatever PR is there and also capture traffic coming from any inbound links.

There is another issue, inbound links. Are you going to contact everyone who has a link to those old pages and ask them to update to the new page? If not, many will probably drop the link as it is now broken. If you had a 301 in place, at least the visitors from those links will be redirected to the new pages.

[edited by: pageoneresults at 1:26 pm (utc) on April 16, 2004]

jmdb71

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4330 posted 1:11 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hello,
All other sites link to my home page, which hasnt changed. And my site is fairly new, most of it hadnt been picked up yet.
So, now, should i go back and add the redirect code to all those pages? I realize it wasnt the best idea to do this without adding the redirect code, but NOW should i go back and add it? Yes, no?

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4330 posted 1:22 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

And my site is fairly new, most of it hadnt been picked up yet.

If it hasn't been indexed yet, then you may be okay. But, if that site has been live for more than a week or so, I would imagine that most of the major search engines have at least indexed a few pages, you just won't see them yet until they update their index.

If those old pages are indexed, then yes, I would recommend a 301 redirect to the new page. It is not something you are going to be able to do at the page level unless they are .asp, .php, .etc pages. If they are, then you can easily insert code above the <html> that will perform the 301 redirect for you.

If they were static .htm pages, the 301 will need to be handled at the server level. There will be other issues involved here. I'm not a server admin so I cannot give you the complete list. You should talk to your host and explain what you've done and what has been recommended here.

jmdb71

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4330 posted 2:07 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

my pages are asp, i do have the 301 redirect code, so i guess i should do a site:mysite.com search on google and yahoo and put this code on every page that come up that ive changed. And take it off as soon as these pages stop coming up. Right? Thanks!

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4330 posted 2:23 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Classic ASP

At the top of the old page...

<%@ Language=VBScript %>
<%
Response.Status="301 Moved Permanently"
Response.AddHeader "Location", "http://www.example.com/new-page.asp"
%>

ASP.NET

At the top of the old page...

<script runat="server">
private void Page_Load(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
{
Response.Status = "301 Moved Permanently";
Response.AddHeader("Location","http://www.example.com/new-page.asp");
}
</script>

Verify that everything is set up correctly by using the Server Header Checker [searchengineworld.com] at Search Engine World.

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