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Redirected URLs in SERPs?
shaunm



 
Msg#: 4609276 posted 2:30 pm on Sep 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hi All,

It's said that the redirected URLs will no longer appear in the SERPs, may be after 10-15 days since the redirect put in place.

But I see a lot of redirected URLs still showing up in the SERPs. How does that happens?

Page A redirects -> Page B
Google crawls the web after the redirect, which can be seen from the cached date. But the Page A still showing up in the SERPs, and being redirected to Page B while clicking.

There is this incidence, where the new landing page is being tested on the home page.

Home page: example.com
Landing page: example.com/somthing=?411

But the page at example.com is still showing up in SERPs. What is it actually with redirected URLs showing up in SERPs?


Thank you all!

 

phranque

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4609276 posted 3:15 pm on Sep 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

is a 301 status code used for the redirect?

lucy24

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4609276 posted 7:27 pm on Sep 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

How much time has elapsed? There will always be an overlap. If you've done the purest form of redirect where you simply change the URL of an existing page, you can see it in wmt. For some period of time they will complain about duplicate titles and metas-- for the very good reason that it's the identical page.

Exact amount of time probably depends on your site. For me (very very very small site) it was, I think, a few weeks of overlap.

g1smd

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



 
Msg#: 4609276 posted 8:12 pm on Sep 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have seen sites where it has taken Google several weeks or more to crawl the old URLs again and discover the redirect, hence the old URLs remained listed for a long time.

Do check the response really is 301 and not 302 or done via javascript.

shaunm



 
Msg#: 4609276 posted 6:28 am on Sep 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

@phranque, lucy24 & g1smd

Thank you all for answering on my post guys.

So about the homepage that I was talking above, I did a server response check on it. It's weird it returns(seobook)200 ok response. It's not a 200 ok page. As you have pointed out there isn't even a 302 temporary redirect in place, but the URL redirects to a landing page with improved buttons. How do I know what type of redirect it is? How come SEs don't see them?

Also, could you please care to answer some of my questions about redirects?
1. Page A is ranking at 10th place for a query. And for some reason we redirect the Page A to a newly created Page B. The redirect is permanent. Will this Page B replace Page A in ranking? I mean will it rank at 10th place or at any favorable place since Page A was ranking fairly well? Sorry if it makes no sense!

2. In the same scenario as above, it's a temporary redirect. Will both Page A and Page B show up in the SERPs?


Thanks again :-)

phranque

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4609276 posted 11:24 pm on Sep 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

So about the homepage that I was talking above, I did a server response check on it. It's weird it returns(seobook)200 ok response. It's not a 200 ok page. As you have pointed out there isn't even a 302 temporary redirect in place, but the URL redirects to a landing page with improved buttons. How do I know what type of redirect it is?


what is the response status chain?


1. Page A is ranking at 10th place for a query. And for some reason we redirect the Page A to a newly created Page B. The redirect is permanent. Will this Page B replace Page A in ranking? I mean will it rank at 10th place or at any favorable place since Page A was ranking fairly well? Sorry if it makes no sense!

page B will replace page A in the index and there is typically some degredation of PR through a redirect.
this may or may not affect the ranking of page B for a given search term.
there are many other unknowns that could have a greater impact.

2. In the same scenario as above, it's a temporary redirect. Will both Page A and Page B show up in the SERPs?

a 302 response will typically show the results of page B indexed for the page A url.

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4609276 posted 11:39 pm on Sep 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

Home page: example.com
Landing page: example.com/somthing=?411

When you redirect a home page to an inner page the home page will continue to show in the SERPs even if the redirect is 301 Permanent. Google [and back-in-the-day when they ran a search engine Yahoo!] for some reason opts to show the original root domain location in the SERPs rather than the destination of the redirect -- I haven't tested it on Bing.

phranque

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4609276 posted 12:03 am on Sep 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

i've seen special handling for indexing of home page redirects as described by JD_Toims.
i'm guessing this decision by google is due to widespread technical malfunctions/misimplementations by content management systems and corporate landing pages.

it would be interesting to test how much of this is due to ignoring the redirect(s) and how much is due to filtering and consolidation of duplicate content among non-canonical urls.

lucy24

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4609276 posted 2:00 am on Sep 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

there isn't even a 302 temporary redirect in place, but the URL redirects to a landing page with improved buttons. How do I know what type of redirect it is?

I thought this was your own site?

Is 200 the response the server sends, or the response the visitor receives? Most of the time they are the same. But if the redirect is issued somewhere other than your config/htaccess file or IIS equivalent, such as a dynamic php page, the server will always return a 200.

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4609276 posted 2:22 am on Sep 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

How do I know what type of redirect it is?

Enter the URL here Header Checker Tool [freetools.webmasterworld.com]

shaunm



 
Msg#: 4609276 posted 6:51 am on Sep 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks @phranque, JD_Toims & lucy24

what is the response status chain?
nter the URL here Header Checker Tool


I checked this home page URL with both webmasterworld.com http server response checker and that of seobook.com, both returns '200 ok' nothing else.

page B will replace page A in the index and there is typically some degredation of PR through a redirect.
this may or may not affect the ranking of page B for a given search term.
there are many other unknowns that could have a greater impact.


Is that advisable or SEO best practice to pull the list of high profile pages that link back to page A, and replace those backlinks with this new page B URLs after the redirection is done?

Will that have any advantage over leaving it just as it is?

I thought this was your own site?
It's the company website where I am working in. And I don't have access to the dev side at all.

Is 200 the response the server sends, or the response the visitor receives?
The server sends 200 ok. As a visitor when I click on the search engine result page or directly type in the home page(domain), it takes 2 sec and then redirects to a different testing page.

Most of the time they are the same. But if the redirect is issued somewhere other than your config/htaccess file or IIS equivalent, such as a dynamic php page, the server will always return a 200.
Is that so? I am pretty sure that this redirect is performed in the .config file on the IIS server. That's how it's usually performed.

Thanks again!

lucy24

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4609276 posted 7:57 am on Sep 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

it takes 2 sec and then redirects to

Some servers are slower than others. But 2 seconds-- especially in conjunction with a 200 response-- almost has to mean the redirect is happening within the page itself.

Did you mean that you first see one page, and then after two seconds a different page comes up? Definitely an in-page redirect. Even setting aside search issues, this can be a problem with human visitors, because this is the type of redirect some browsers encourage you to block.

shaunm



 
Msg#: 4609276 posted 8:54 am on Sep 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks lucy24,

Did you mean that you first see one page, and then after two seconds a different page comes up? Definitely an in-page redirect. Even setting aside search issues, this can be a problem with human visitors, because this is the type of redirect some browsers encourage you to block.


Actually it's just like any other redirects. I type in example.com in the search bar, it takes some 2 secs, between this two secs the URL(example.com) is not changing. No content loading but only the nav/menu bar. After two secs, the new content loads.

Btw, how do I know if it's an in-page redirect?

lucy24

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4609276 posted 10:06 am on Sep 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Btw, how do I know if it's an in-page redirect?

By looking at the page source.

You have to have some type of information. Either the site's raw logs, or the pages' source code, or both.

You don't need to be a developer to look at logs. If you don't have access yourself, ask the People In Charge to give you a few days' worth; it's simply a text file.

The server sends 200 ok. As a visitor when I click on the search engine result page or directly type in the home page(domain), it takes 2 sec and then redirects to a different testing page.

Now, wait. Based on everything you've said so far, you don't actually know what response the server is sending. You only know what you (the user) are receiving.

Search engines measure the time elapsed, from request to completed page load. If a page takes many seconds to load up, it's going to start counting against you.

shaunm



 
Msg#: 4609276 posted 10:27 am on Sep 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Now, wait. Based on everything you've said so far, you don't actually know what response the server is sending. You only know what you (the user) are receiving.


I don't understand what you meant by that?!? Do I miss something here? I checked it with all the http status checking tools online and they all return 200 ok response for this particular page even though it redirects to a different landing page in real life.

Search engines measure the time elapsed, from request to completed page load. If a page takes many seconds to load up, it's going to start counting against you.
That's really an important point to note. I am also worried of the same, so that I am working on this to find out what's actually happening.

One more thing, so this page A(home page) is showing up in SERPs, but while clicking on it it goes to page B(landing page)

Q. Will that result in increased bounce rate for page A? Will that be counted as one page visits? Because I don't navigate to other pages in the website from page A but page B? Does that make sense at all?

Many thanks!

shaunm



 
Msg#: 4609276 posted 10:11 am on Sep 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

@phranque, lucy24, JD_Toims

Any further help guys?

Thanks!

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4609276 posted 10:58 am on Sep 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

This:
No content loading but only the nav/menu bar.

+ This:
The server sends 200 ok.

+ This:
...it takes 2 sec and then redirects to a different testing page.

Say it's a <meta> refresh rather than a true redirect -- To serve a redirect you'll need to use .htaccess, PHP or some other server-side "control" that can send a header to a browser prior to loading a page.

* If the preceding is not possible you'll need to set the meta refresh to 0 seconds and likely allow some time for it to be trusted by search engines as a redirect that's not going to change.

Q. Will that result in increased bounce rate for page A?

No, page A should have no stats associated with it if it's just redirecting, unless you're using raw server logs for stats, then it may depend on the program you're using and the specific settings.

Will that be counted as one page visits? Because I don't navigate to other pages in the website from page A but page B?

Yes, most likely.

Does that make sense at all?

It does, but don't believe all the hype about bounce-rate and pages/visit being a big deal for rankings -- I've had pages with an average +90% bounce rate and 1.1 page views / visit in the top 3 before. [I might still have a couple, but haven't checked in a while.]

Bounce rate and pages/visit are great *internal* indicators that can give you an idea of how to improve user experience, which can lead to good things, but worrying about those numbers and/or attempting to manipulate them [rather than providing a better experience and letting the numbers take care of themselves] will not help you or anyone else in the results.

Example:

If Page A above "counts" as a page view in a stat program, who cares?

Your site didn't really change or "get better" even though your page views per visit would increase and your bounce rate would decrease -- Visitors don't know that or care about how many page views a stat program records.

As long as the redirect is fast and visitors find what they're looking for on the new page like they did on the old one nothing's different but your stats would look better if redirected visits to Page A "counted" even though visitors only actually viewed Page B.

[edited by: JD_Toims at 11:19 am (utc) on Sep 19, 2013]

aakk9999

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4609276 posted 11:19 am on Sep 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think JD_Toims may be right and that the page is using meta refresh (or perhaps redirects using client-side javascript).

There is an easy way to find this out. Go to WMT and do the Fetch As Googlebot.

The fetch will give you not only the response code but also the HTML of the fetched page. Look at this HTML for one of the following:

a) <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="some-number"
b) window.location="http://www.example.com/url-where-page-goes-to";
c) location.href="http://www.example.com/url-where-page-goes-to";

The javascript code may be triggered by some kind of onload event (i.e. if you find the above javascript code, you must check it is not executed "onclick").

Note also that if javascript is used to redirect client side, the code may not be in the HTML, instead it could be in one of external .js pages that are being loaded, so if you do not find one of the above in the page html, you should check all .js scripts the page loads (you will see them referenced in page HTML)

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