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Links or 301 Redirects - from Old to New Site?
soxos




msg:4172818
 2:39 pm on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

If you have 2 websites, a new one and an old one for the same company (different domains). They are both about the same general subject, the url structures are totally different however and there are alot LESS pages on the NEW site. Plus the designers of the new site gave no thought to matching the url structure.

As the old site has had lots of SEO work and inbound links, it has top serps for nearly all its keywords.

The company however do not want the old site listed, just the new site.

Which would be the best approach....

1# Leave both sites as they are and use a page by page 301 on the old site, matching up the content as best as possible.

2# Changing the old site, so it does not look like the companys old website (take off branding) and add links from the content of this site to the new site.

3# Uploading new site to old domain even though urls dont match, just to try and keep the links to the homepage.

4# Some thing else i've not thought of?

A page by page 301 has always been my method of choice.. what would you do?

 

Robert Charlton




msg:4172967
 7:03 pm on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

As the old site has had lots of SEO work and inbound links, it has top serps for nearly all its keywords.

I'd be inclined to do a page by page 301 too, to preserve these links and rankings... but you really want such redirects to resolve to relevant pages on the new site with content that's related enough to be useful and similar enough to rank... on a page by page basis.

...there are a lot LESS pages on the NEW site.

This suggests that for some phrases/topics, there often may not be such corresponding pages.

If there are no useful corresponding pages on the new site, I'd build those pages (and integrate them into the new site's structure), before I did the redirects. Otherwise, you might well end up redirecting apples to oranges.

You'll have to decide whether "best match" is good enough. Again, from your description, it sounds like, often, it may not be.

Try to salvage relevant old content as appropriate where you can, and to make sure your revised new nav structure supports the additional content. As I read your post, this isn't the same as what you describe in item #2.

soxos




msg:4172992
 7:48 pm on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks Robert, so you would do a page by page 301 matching the most relevant content and for the remaining pages on the old website which does not have corrosponding pages on the new site, to create these pages?

With #2 I was just actually referring to just "a href" links from the old site to the new one - as this is what some other seo guy said would work best, although I don't know how qualified he is to say as ive never met him.

Thanks

soxos




msg:4173914
 9:36 am on Jul 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

Does anyone else have any thoughts on this as the other seo guy has said its questionable whether a page by page 301 will even pass on link value.

The other seo guy is still saying content links from the old site to the new would be more effective.

What do most other people do in this situation?
Thanks :)

Robert Charlton




msg:4174286
 8:44 pm on Jul 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

With #2 I was just actually referring to just "a href" links from the old site to the new one - as this is what some other seo guy said would work best, although I don't know how qualified he is to say as ive never met him.

soxos - I was under the impression that you're being asked ultimately to dump the old site... effectively changing domain name... and that, given that you're stuck with the new site or an improved version of the new site, you'd like to preserve as much of the old site's value as you can.

It sounds though, from this particular comment by the other seo guy, like you're talking about keeping both sites up. The scenario he suggests, of keeping both sites and linking a lot from old pages to new pages, is not the way I would go. Google would very possibly see the links as excessive cross-linking. It sounds also, with both sites up, that there would be a good chance of dupe content as well.

If you kept both sites, possibly you could use the robots noindex,follow meta tag on the old site to get around the dupe situation. I'm not sure how Google would look at the multiple links from the old site... but its likely that it would devalue them. I can't imagine that you'd get anywhere near the inbound link credit you originally had for your well-linked original content on the old site.

Does anyone else have any thoughts on this as the other seo guy has said its questionable whether a page by page 301 will even pass on link value.

Depends on what each of you has in mind when you say "pass on link value"... ie, what link value you are envisioning preserving.

Keep in mind that when a page is 301 redirected, the content of the original page disappears, and when that happens, any links from the old page also disappear. So, if the other seo guy is thinking that links from the old pages (going either to the new site or to other pages within the old site) would be lost, he is technically correct. The old page will be gone.

But, when you 301 a site, you don't need to preserve links from the old page to the new one. You also don't need to preserve internal nav links. The new site takes over here, with its own nav and its own linking scheme.

In the situation we're discussing, what you want to preserve with 301s are external inbounds from other domains to your old pages. You should be redirecting these to your new pages.

I should add that in cases where I redirect an entire old site to a new site, I do page-by-page redirects only for the old pages that have external inbound links. Otherwise, I redirect the domain and allow the new site structure to take over and sort things out.

Re preserving PR etc on page-by-page redirects, you've also got to be concerned about "chained redirects". Do some searches on WebmasterWorld for chained redirects. Take a look at these discussions, among others...

301 redirect rules causing a double jump
http://www.webmasterworld.com/apache/4113724.htm [webmasterworld.com]

Changing Domain Name - Best Practices?
http://www.webmasterworld.com/domain_names/4115520.htm [webmasterworld.com]

As to how much PR might be lost in a well-written redirect, look at this thread...

301 Redirect Means "Some Loss of PageRank" - says Mr Cutts
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4097565.htm [webmasterworld.com]

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