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Google no longer obeys 301 redirect?
internetheaven




msg:4105638
 9:13 am on Mar 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

All of our pages/sites that redirect to other pages/sites are suddenly appearing in the SERPS on their own. They appear with the titles and descriptions of the page they redirect to and show the cache for that page too.

Has Google stopped obeying 301s and is treating them all as 200s now?

This only seems to be happening with 301s we've set up in the past few months. No 301 URls from 2009 have appeared yet.

 

g1smd




msg:4105834
 10:41 pm on Mar 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Not seen that happening, and I am looking at a lot of redirects and canonicalisation fixes.

Do verify the redirect is still in place, still returns 301, and does go from unwanted to wanted URL in a single hop: no chain. Use Live HTTP Headers or similar.

I have seen one odd effect ongoing for several months now. Page "A" contains keyword "B". It is decided to delete page "A" because the article is old, out of date, no longer needed, etc. The URL is then redirected to some other page, page "C". Within days, page "C" is ranking for keyword "B" even though that word does not appear on the page, does not appear in any anchor text pointing at it, and never has done so. The Google Cache for URL "C" says "The following terms appear in links pointing to this page: 'B'" but that is untrue. The term used to appear in the page at URL "A" but that page has been deleted and URL "A" now redirects here (to "C"). URL "A" also continues to appear in SERPs, presumably as a 'Supplemental Result' long after the page was deleted.

internetheaven




msg:4106169
 11:25 pm on Mar 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Do verify the redirect is still in place, still returns 301, and does go from unwanted to wanted URL in a single hop: no chain. Use Live HTTP Headers or similar.


All verified.

TheMadScientist




msg:4106178
 11:45 pm on Mar 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Sounds like a glitch... The same thing used to happen with 302s, which was (is) the 'correct' way to handle a temporary situation.

My guess is if everything on your end is correct it will be sorted out on theirs shortly.

According to the standards, they should request (direct to) the old location rather than the new location in a temporary situation, which is probably what caused the 302 issue in the first place and how content on the destination URL would be associated to the original location when a 302 was used, so IMO it's probably not that they are 'not obeying the 301' necessarily, but for some reason the redirect is being treated as 'temporary' within their 'assignment process' at this time rather than 'permanent' and IMO will probably be corrected shortly.

An Interesting Note About the 302 Issue: They actually handled 302's according to HTTP Standards before they 'fixed' the issue and treated them as 'more permanent' ... They broke away from the standard handling of the 302 status code (found, temporary) to fix the issue it caused in the SERPs. IOW: It was not a 'bug' that caused the issue, but rather handling the redirect status code according to HTTP Standards...

steveb




msg:4106202
 2:00 am on Mar 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have Google leaving the old URLs redirected since mid-January in the index and ranking them (though the new pages rank better)... but the old URLs are all showing their own caches.

g1smd




msg:4106586
 8:38 pm on Mar 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Old URLs can show in SERPs for up to a year after redirects are put in place. That's usually not an issue.

Vimes




msg:4106696
 2:33 am on Mar 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

whats the cache date on those 301 url's 25th Jan?

I've got a small amount that have reappeared from late 2008 when i restructured the navigation.

all display the same date.

Vimes

steveb




msg:4106856
 8:08 am on Mar 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Old URLs possibly showing in the results for a year is not the issue here.

Prior to mid-January Google never left the URLs longer than a few crawl throughs of the 301. When Google never discovers the 301 through a crawl then you can't expect them to update to the new destination, but never updating URLs that it has crawled through 20 times is entirely new behavior.

Vimes




msg:4107334
 1:43 am on Mar 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

sorry steve didn't make my self clear these url's have been crawled and removed, i was pointing out that the redirect date doesn't seem to matter. As per internetheaven's comment.

All of our pages/sites that redirect to other pages/sites are suddenly appearing in the SERPS on their own. They appear with the titles and descriptions of the page they redirect to and show the cache for that page too.

Has Google stopped obeying 301s and is treating them all as 200s now?

This only seems to be happening with 301s we've set up in the past few months. No 301 URls from 2009 have appeared yet.


and the 20 or so URL's that appeared all have the same cache date.

Vimes.

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