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Moving pages to new URLs
jackdack

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3439663 posted 2:28 am on Sep 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

My site is moving platform and I want to know whether or not to use redirects and how best to use them

The old static pages had an extension of .htm and all existed in root

I gather 301s might be the best redirect method but given the many changes in the new system, will SE's like 301s or get upset?

In the new system
- URL change i. in many cases the file name has changed
- URL change ii. the new pages have no extension
- URL change iii. the new pages are now contained within subfolders
- in some cases the page title has changed
- the meta description has changed
- the meta keyword has been dropped
- IP address has changed

1. The content for each page is the same (except perhaps the title), will Google be ok with 301s?

2. The new system can be configured to display the new pages using the old URL - would you recommend doing this in the short term? The new pages would also be displayed using the new URLs (unless we block spider access to new pages in short term).

Many of these static pages have been gaining PR for years. I figure this change could slam our SE performance so I'd welcome any suggestion on how to approach.

Thank you

 

tedster

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



 
Msg#: 3439663 posted 4:01 am on Sep 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

First, know that it is a url that Google indexes - so when you change a url you WILL experience a drop. If you use a 301 redirect from the old url to the url that holds the new content, Google will, eventually, process all that.

Changing titles can also affect ranking in a big way - titles are arguably the strongest on-page factor you have under your control. If at all possible, I would suggest making these title changes - in fact all on-page changes - after you establish the new urls in Google, at least for your most important content.

Changing too much at once can create a chaotic situation. It can become almost impossible to troubleshoot if something does go wrong, so in my view, the best approach is one step at a time.

The change of IP address, as long as it's technically sound, should not cause any trouble. This would be a good first step.

jackdack

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3439663 posted 8:58 pm on Sep 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

thanks Tedster.
Has anybody else made these types of changes all at one time? How did it go?

I'll think about whether the titles can be changed later. All the changes including IP will occur on the day of switching the server and system architecture. On the one hand I'm thinking so much will have to change perhaps it's best to bite the bullet & get it all done in one hit.

Any comment on faking the old URLs either with new URLs (dup content) or blocking the new URLs from SEs in the short term?
_
2. The new system can be configured to display the new pages using the old URL - would you recommend doing this in the short term? The new pages would also be displayed using the new URLs (unless we block spider access to new pages in short term).
_

Thank you

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3439663 posted 10:14 pm on Sep 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

If, for example, you are going to be using PHP scripts on an Apache webserver, you can set things up so that the file extension for the filename, and for the URL, is anything that you want it to be. In that case, you can continue to use your .htm filenames and URLs and Apache will then see that they contain PHP scripting.

Look at the AddType declaration.

.

Did you know that URLs in links, and filenames on your server, are two entirely different things?

In that case you could continue to use .htm URLs but set up a rewrite system so that the content comes from the .php files on the server that contain the scripts. As the files really are PHP files, then the scripts will still run. The user never sees the fact you are using PHP scripts. They just see friendly-looking .htm URLs.

.

Moving to all new URLs is not such a good idea. However, if you do, you can set up a series of redirects so that a request for any old URL simply issues a redirect to the new URL. You'll lose some ranking while the reindexing of your site is going on and for a few months after, too.

.

That was the general answer. As for your case, you are going through a complete change of site architecture. This will be painful for very many months. Don't be tempted to show the same content at two URLs. That will cause even more grief. For each page in turn, one of the two possible URLs must be a redirect to the URL that you want to be indexed.

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