I would at least redirect any URLs that have 1) direct backlinks or 2) significant search traffic.
If you don't have a URL with equivalent content, then create it - these URLs are the search engine lifeblood of your domain. You certainly can 301 more than on URL to a given URL. To make that work to your favor, just be sure that the target page does cover the same essential content.
And no, I don't see any reason to use a 302 status first.
I'm in the process of doing this now myself, actually.
You didn't ask this but...
Before you start doing your 301 redirects, make sure you have firmly decided on your link structure for your wordpress blog.
it would be better to change things once instead of several times. I know this from experience...
Im going to use the wordpress 301 plugin 'simple redirects' or 'Redirection' - both look pretty straight forward to use and can be used in the wp admin panel.
Link structure is important, internal links pass value too, so try and maintain the same link structure if possible.
Can you not keep the same URL's with your wordpress setup using custom permalinks? This would be ideal.
If not, add all new urls underneath the old in your sitemap. Keep the old there until they are removed from search engines. An easy way to know if they are removed is to implement a no-cache meta tag and wait until all pages have fallen out of cache. When they have just remove the tag and remove the old url's from your sitemap.
You can 301 two pages into one but think of the user, will they find what they wanted? Definitely 301 relevant pages together and if possible 301 all pages to be removed somewhere that makes sense to the end user.
I would also suggest making a very useful 404 page since there will probably be at least SOME URLs that you will not 301 correctly. Just the law of averages.
Various projects I've worked on use those plug-ins. They are good choices.
I'd like to emphasize the comment about errors. Yes, a useful custom 404 page is good, and more than that monitor your errors and redirections pretty closely for a while after you go live. As Planet13 said, errors are almost to be expected at the beginning and you don't want them to mushroom into a major issue for you.
excellent advice thanks for the replies.
Also Ive noticed some sites (in top5 in google for my kw) also 301 all non domain URLS. (say for instance the correct URL specified in webmaster tools is http://www.mysite.com)
You would 301 the following to http://www.mysite.com
Is this correct methodology also?
[edited by: tedster at 7:26 pm (utc) on Jan 15, 2011]
[edit reason] fully display the example urls [/edit]
also I forgot to ask also...
Once you make the 301 redirect can you take the old page down off your server?
Or should you keep it up?
Yes, you only want one URL for your domain root - so 301 redirect any and all variations. And yes, you can remove the legacy file from your server if you want to. If you're redirecting all the requests for that URL to a different source file, then it serves no real purpose.
I'm using the Redirection plugin; I have around 1000 URLS to redirect, and it's easier for me to set it all up in a CSV file first.
|Shall we leave them to 'decay' or 301 them to their new relevant page? |
What's best for your visitors?
|Can you 301 two different pages (which are articles on a similar subject) to one new page? |
Yes & What's best for your visitors?
301 both to 1
|Would you get the link juice from the 2 pages? |
Stop building your site for Google.
|Should you 302 pages first then 301 them at a later date? |
What's the HTTP Standard?
ADDED: Sorry for the bluntness and what might seem to be a mini rant, but why is it people think they need to do something 'tricky' or 'special' for Google? IMO The easy, correct, Google Friendly way to do things is simple ... Follow the HTTP protocols and standards + Build your site for your visitors.
I'm sure it seems too easy, but if you just do things the right way, most of the time you will be successful. Forget about the tricks and gimmicks for a minute and ask yourself: What's the right way to do it for your visitors according to the HTTP Standards?
That's usually the right answer, IMO.
|Sorry for the bluntness and what might seem to be a mini rant, but why is it people think they need to do something 'tricky' or 'special' for Google? |
The question was a basic question on how to implement a 301 redirect correctly. Nothing tricky or special about that.
You asked 4 questions, not one...
The correct way to implement a 301 redirect is with a 301 redirect.
That's not the question you asked or you would have gotten a simple one line answer like I gave you above.
The correct place to redirect visitors is to the content they are used to finding on the old URL. (Visitors include search engines.) If two pages have been combined so one page provides the answers / information previously contained on both pages, the correct way to redirect is both pages to the one new page.
I consider this to be tricky or special for search engines:
Should you 302 pages first then 301 them at a later date?
Your 'people visitors' will never know if you did a 302 or 301, so it's 'special' for search engines, IMO.
My post / mini rant was more 'generally' than at you personally, sorry if you thought it was personal. It's not... It's a general thing here and if no one says anything about it, then some really bad info gets passed around. There so much FUD associated with SEO it's not even funny.
Example: There was a site I was concerned about being indexed (it's basically a one page site). Why? Someone was saying if you noindex a page it will not be included when you remove the noindex... When I asked about it there was a clarification. It took a week after removing the noindex, but the page is included in the index and it's now sitting at number 4. I only put it up 10 days ago.
Had future readers read the thread without clarification it could easily be FUDDED as FACT if you noindex a page it will not be reincluded in the index when you remove the noindex from it... It's false to make a blanket statement like that, but so many people read here it could easily get out of hand if left alone.
Anyway, hope you have a good day and things work out with your redirects.
thanks for those replies...you've made me alot more confident with my site conversion :)