|Safely redirecting from obsolete pages|
No .HTACCESS, what else works?
Site is hosted on Win2K/IIS, so no .htaccess file is available.
Crux of this issure is that I don't want 404 errors for old pages (which I made obsolete by changing the page names to now include keywords and hyphens). And I was afraid of penalties for automatic redirects.
So, my fix (so far) is to delete all content from these obsolete pages and add a graphic that says "Sorry, this is an obsolete page", plus a text link for visitors to use to manually go to the new page.
I've used my ROBOTS.TXT file to keep these pages out of the index, but they are a maintenance hassle (lots of these obsolete pages to deal with) and not too friendly to visitors.
Also, this method does nothing to get the obsolete pages out of the SERPS and out of many people's bookmarks - so this issue isn't going to get any better.
Is there a better solution?
You can do the same stuff with IIS that people talk about doing here with .htaccess.
In the case here, It sounds like you want to do a 301 redirect. Click the Home Directory tab in the Internet Services Manager for your web site. Choose the radio button called "A redirection to a URL" enter the url to redirect the site to and check the checkbox called "A permanent redirection for this resource"
That should do it, I believe.
Wonder what the chances of me getting my large hosting service to do that for a list of 10-15 pages? Not to good, I fear. But worth a try...
Oh. That's different...
Without access to the IIS Manager it seems like you are kind of stuck. I don't have any great ideas.
Maybe (I haven't tried this for a 301 redirect, but I have used "Response.Status = ..." to issue a 404 from an ASP page. and, of course, the "Response.Redirect" will send the user to another page.
Perhaps, this would work:
Response.Status = "301 Permanent Redirect"
I have some ASP experience, and since it's "server side", it shouldn't upset the SEs like a redirect in the page would.
Errr..How do I capture the request (or failure thereof) for a particular obsolete page and redirect to the only correct new page?
Can you just leave the page there? Remove all the code from the defunct pages except the response.status and response.redirect. And, leave the page there for a couple of months until everybody has seen the 301 redirect and is ignoring the page.
The other option, unfortunately, involves accesing the IIS manager to capture and handle 404 errors with a asp 404 handler script.
Oh, okay. If putting the ASP into the obsolete pages is not a problem for the SEs (if they don't see it as an automatic redirect), then I can just add the ASP to my existing striped-out obsolete pages, That would be easy.
I was afraid to put redirect coding into the obsolete pages, but I guess ASP would serve up the new page before the spiders had a problem.