|I just did my first 301 redirect... what happens now?|
Ok, so I'm redirecting Site A to Site B.
I don't care what happens to Site A.
I'm concerned that this redirect could impact Site B negatively.
Will Google look at this and say, "Hey, what's this?" and do something to demote Site B?
Site A is highly ranked in the SEs, but Site B is ranked higher. Both sites have SIMILAR content. The domains almost perfectly match each other. In fact, it's a perfect marriage, that's why I'm doing it, to bolster Site B, which is my primary site.
If it makes sense for USERS then google probably won't have a problem with it.
But make sure that you redirect the appropriate pages to the MOST appropriate page on site B.
If you DON'T have an appropriate page on site B, then you would probably be best to either create that page on site B, or just 404 the old page.
One think you DON'T want to do is redirect a bunch of pages from site A to the home page on site B.
Site A -- the one being redirected -- only has like two or three pages, the other two are the disclaimer and sitemap. Should I just delete the whole site?
Does "404" mean you just delete it?
404 means the server can't find the page. In the case of a dynamically generated page, it can also mean that the page code hasn't received valid parameters, so it returns a 404 instead of giving the user an incomplete page.
You can also issue a 404 manually in htaccess, but ordinarily there would be no reason to do so. If you've removed a page and want to acknowledge the fact, code a 410 for it instead.
Do the "two or three" pages on site A have exact counterparts on site B? If yes, redirect to the best-match pages. If no, well, two or three pages redirecting to a single page hardly falls into "soft 404" territory.
UNLESS! And this is a big unless:
UNLESS "two or three pages" means two or three files on your server, and possibly only two or three URL paths, while in actual page functionality there are hundreds of possible outputs for the human user.
There are not hundreds of possible outputs. It was a very simple page. I removed the whole site.
I use Godaddy's web site builder.
A very small amount of traffic is going to be redirected, maybe 30 hits per day.
I think I'm ok. I hope.