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Will 301 redirecting 10-20 pages hurt Google rankings?

 4:31 pm on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I am in the process of cleaning up some pages on my site (combining a few small related articles into single larger ones, redirecting old / outdated articles to more relevant recent ones and moving static pages onto a Wordpress blog).

All this is being done to improve content and user experience. It'll also help to ease website updates in the future with everything being on Wordpress.

My main concern is that redirecting so many pages so soon will have a negative impact in terms of Google SERPS. Will it?



 8:13 pm on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

All this is being done to improve content and user experience.

I like the sound of it. As long as you keep the user experience in mind, and do the redirects that help the user find the content, you should be all right.

There's a good video by Matt Cutts:

Basically, make sure that you don't chain-redirect pages. PageA -> PageB -> PageC -> PageD is the wrong way of doing this. PageA should redirect to PageD directly.

Don't worry if you notice a slight drop in traffic. It sometimes happens when you make onsite changes. If the redirects are implemented properly, rankings should bounce back.

"Properly" is the key. If you're using a plugin or a 3rd party script to create redirects, make sure that it really does 301.


 8:21 pm on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

That's great.

Yes, all outdated articles redirect to their more recent (and better written) equivalents.


 9:23 pm on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've redirected a lot more than that with no adverse effects.


 9:34 pm on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

combining a few small related articles into single larger ones

Does this mean that in some cases multiple pages will redirect to the same page? Here you may want to be careful. Can you redirect to a specific point on the new page? Like

:: shuffling papers ::

RewriteRule ^old-dir/rats/(kabloona|yesno)\.html http://www.example.com/new-dir/caribou.html#$1 [R=301,L,NE]

where the old content still exists as a unit, but it's no longer a page to itself.

You can tell when you've tipped the google scale because there will be requests for nonexistent URLs. That's google checking to make sure you're not simply using a 301 as a 404. (I have to assume there's some simple mathematical formula that triggers this behavior, because I tend to see it for a short time when I've done any heavy redirecting.)


 9:45 pm on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

at most, there's 2/3 pages redirecting to one, however 90% are just 1 page redirecting to 1 newer version.


 12:46 pm on Nov 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

If pages being redirected to another page are not ranking now, and the target page ranks already, I think you should not see any problem.

If the pages being redirected do rank at the moment, then the issue is more complex and the result depends also on how similar the content of the target page is to the page being redirected.

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