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301 redirect errors. Severe problems!
301 redirects, pages disappear

 5:00 pm on Jan 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

ALL of my sites that has ever had any 301 redirect are almost gone from their index. One of my sites that has thousands of pages indexed in any searchengine has only 2 pages indexed in MSN and one of the is a redirect with no cached page and the other page is a redirect with a so called cached page where it says it has been Permanently moved.
What is going on with MSN these days?!?
Anybody else having the same problem or is it just my sites? I also have problems (see other post) using [Translation software]. It uses redirects, not 301, and some pages I see in MSN index don't have a cache and if they do it says it has been redirected with a 301.....

I have emailed them several times but never heard back of course!

[edited by: Receptional at 12:31 pm (utc) on Jan. 19, 2007]



 11:56 pm on Jan 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

if you message me with your URL/domain I can take a look.. thanks


 1:14 am on Jan 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

This is what it looks like in the cache for pages that were redirected to another domain about a year ago (or more):

This is a version of [live.com...] as it looked when our crawler examined the site on 1/5/2007. The page you see below is the version in our index that was used to rank this page in the results to your recent query. This is not necessarily the most recent version of the page - to see the most recent version of this page, visit the page on the web.

Live is not affiliated with the content nor parties responsible for the page displayed below.

Moved Permanently

The document has moved [linked]here[/linked].

Both of those sites have been on the same hosting for a couple of years, so it isn't a changed hosting issue.

There are a couple of sites that got KILLED when hosting was moved this past summer though, but with those two there might be something in the way the server is configured for the name-based hosting & IP numbers on their reseller accounts.

Another thing: when the number of pages with the site: operator is given it's WAY inflated. For one site it says 287 pages and it's got a total of about 60.

Also: the wording of this is troublesome:

below is the version in our index that was used to rank this page in the results to your recent query

If what was used to rank the page is what's shown below, how can that or the page redirected to rank for relevant search terms when the content is the 301 message? See what I'm driving at? If there's an irregularity with that, then those pages (the new ones) won't be able to rank, they'll be lost in outer space. Yes or no?

[edited by: Marcia at 1:22 am (utc) on Jan. 13, 2007]


 4:23 pm on Jan 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Looking at this thread it seems that not a lot of people here at WebmasterWorld have a problem with the 301's
I have checked my site over and over again and what I see is that now I have ONLY 301'ned pages left in MSN. All good pages are gone! and if i click on the cached page it says it is Permanently Moved and the link goes to the right page. My question is, why not show the right page and not the 301 Moved permanently? Where did a llt eh other pages go?
Also, the count of pages when you do a site command is off. Sometimes it says 52 pages and sometimes it says 125 pages but if you try to go to the last page it stops at 40 pages (page 4 in the results)
At least for my site(s) it seems to have started when I added [my translation software] but after some checking for other sites using it, it seems that some other sites doesn't have a problem with it so I am wondering if MSN thinks I have been hijacking or done something wrong. I wish I could find out so I can fix it if I did something that I shouldn't or they fix it whatever is wrong on their (MSN) side for my sites.

[edited by: Receptional at 12:33 pm (utc) on Jan. 19, 2007]
[edit reason] took out the translation software specifics [/edit]


 10:33 pm on Jan 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think it is a simple case that MSN is not listing new pages.
If you redirect, you delist the old page but then the new is not relisted.
In my case it was rewrites taking non wwws to www and index to / to sort out Googles duplicate contents issues.

I think i have deleted my main home page example.net (possible as it was first found by MSN) and rewrote it to www.example.net.

MSN delisted example.net but has not relisted www.example.net.

I dont think they will get up to speed with adding pages until Vista rollout.
I lose my homepage and then the links to other pages.

Its only a theory based on my experince and what I have read from others.


 11:03 pm on Jan 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

I also have 301'd a few pages on December 18th that are showing the same problem in the cached page when I search by the old url.

It's showing the same as others are seeing:

Moved Permanently
The document has moved [linked to the new url]here[/linked].
(Cache date is 1/9/2007.)

The new URL's (from what I just checked) are now available when I search for them by exact address as well as for a few search terms again. So maybe that means the problem (in my case anyway) is correcting itself. The new urls showing up has happened sometime since January 4th, the cache date for one is showing 1/9/2007 (same as problematic cache date on it's old "Cached error" pages url). Before the 4th they didn't show up at all.

msndude, I'd be happy to send you the addresses of these pages (both old and new urls). If it helps I can also send the lines in the logfiles where MSNbot crawled those pages, copy of the redirect code used, or anything you might find helpful to diagnose the problem.

I'd 301'd other pages September 4th that were updated as I'd expected. If any information about those would be useful, ditto about sending any info your way.

I almost forgot to add, these pages also do have the non www to www redirect, but I'm using absolute urls inside the website and haven't seen (in a quick scan of the logs) anywhere where MSNbot hit a double redirect, so I'm guessing that probably isn't the cause.

Oh, and Welcome WebmasterWorld (new) msndude! :)

[edited by: LunaC at 11:06 pm (utc) on Jan. 13, 2007]


 3:20 am on Jan 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hoping that this might be the case but all sites that either have problems or have been totally removed from MSN have used [Translation Software] so there might be something more to it than the 301 or possibly the way MSN has changed their algo because of 302/302 hijacks reported elsewhere a while back.
I have sent info to MSNDude since he asked for it so I am hoping that he can find the problem and fix it.
To be totally sure I have removed [Translation software] from most of my sites to see if that helps.

Haven't heard back yet from MSNDude so I amalso hoping that they are working to fix the problem(s) right now :)

[edited by: Receptional at 12:35 pm (utc) on Jan. 19, 2007]
[edit reason] specics removed [/edit]


 4:40 am on Jan 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've never heard of [Translation Software], so any problems I've had aren't even remotely related. But I would suggest checking server headers to see what kind of redirections are being served up.

[edited by: Receptional at 12:36 pm (utc) on Jan. 19, 2007]
[edit reason] Just cleaning up the thread, Marcia! [/edit]


 3:20 pm on Jan 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

My questions is, why do they even show the "Page has moved here" instead of showing the page? Who is interested in if a page has moved or not? People searching for something want to see the page, not get info about if it has been moved or not.
I think something went really wrong with their algo when they tried to fix the url hijacking thing a while back. My sites started to disappear some time in November when I redirected from non-www to www and started using that [Translation Software] so I am pretty sure it is a combination of 2 bad things for me.
Haven't heard back fro MSNDude yet and I don't see any changes in my stats for my sites so I guess (HOPE!) that they are wroking on it at this very moment.

[edited by: Receptional at 12:37 pm (utc) on Jan. 19, 2007]
[edit reason] I should have done this sooner, eh? :) [/edit]


 12:45 am on Jan 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

Ummm... it's Sunday, they might work Monday thru Friday, the usual regular business office work hours.


 11:15 pm on Jan 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hopefully MSNDude is working his *** off to get it fixed and don't have time to check this thread anymore :)


 2:11 am on Jan 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

System: The following 3 messages were spliced on to this thread from: http://www.webmasterworld.com/msn_microsoft_search/3220507.htm [webmasterworld.com] by receptional - 12:44 pm on Jan. 19, 2007 (GMT 0)

Not sure what happened with my thread but I can't find it anymore. I had a post from MSNDude and was awaiting an answer but If I can't find the thread then I guess he can't either :(
Haven't got any emails about thread being deleted or moved so ....
Anyway, ALL sites execpt 2 are gone from MSN and the onlt factor that is the same is that I have used [Translation Software] on the sites that are gone and not on the few that are left...
For now I have disallowed msnbot to even access the php-translation pages as well as removed them from some site to see if it helps.

[edited by: Receptional at 12:40 pm (utc) on Jan. 19, 2007]
[edit reason] specifics [/edit]


 7:38 pm on Jan 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Ok. I got an swer from MSNDude which I replied to and I am still waiting for another reply from him about my sites.

It seems that MSN has banned them for being spam sites and the "funny" thin is that ALL sites on the same IP has been banned for "getting a lot of suspicious links and appear to be in an illegitimate link exchange"

I know that at least one of my sites have been scraped and have links to my site (most of them rel=nofollow probably) but why should my site suffer from that? There is nothing I can do about it and I sure as hell haven't been in any illegitimate link exchange at all!
It seems that if one site on a shared IP gets banned, then ALL SITES GETS BANNED! This is NOT fair and should be fixed by MSN ASAP!

I am hosting sites for different people, even my mother-ion-law, and her quilting store got banned also! Bunch o' ......


 12:42 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well - we won't blame the translation software then :)

Sorry for all the hacking of everyone's posts in this thread. I ONLY took aout the name of the software package being mentioned. I also hadn't heard of the translation software being discussed, but its name wasn't very relevent in itself and we do avoid specifics.


 9:22 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I still think that MSN has huge problems with the translation software. Every site I have checked that has it have problems with the result and I see less and less pages being indexed.


 9:56 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>I still think that MSN has huge problems with the translation software. Every site I have checked that has it have problems with the result and I see less and less pages being indexed.

Maybe that would be valid logic if there weren't sites experiencing the same thing that don't use the software. The issue has deeper roots than that.

In my case, with one site that's been a problem it's been uncovered that there was a misconfiguration with the A-name which has now been corrected. As soon as it got fixed the site got deep-crawled by all 3 engines.


>>MSN has huge problems with the translation software.

If that's so, then that makes it the translation software that's the problem, not MSN. No search engine is responsible for a site's problems that are caused by proprietary software they're using. It's a responsibility to adapt to *standards* but software that one company is selling doesn't qualify as a *standard* - not with W3C or anyplace else.

[edited by: Marcia at 10:03 pm (utc) on Jan. 19, 2007]


 5:45 pm on Jan 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I wish I could post some links here so I could show you what I am talking about.


 4:52 am on Jan 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

ALL of my sites that has ever had any 301 redirect are almost gone from their index.

Your other post talks about your suspicion that reciprocal linking was a big factor, do you now believe this is the issue?


 5:54 pm on Jan 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well, it seems that the link exchange was the real problem, but I can see that pages that are still in there and other sites that have used the 301 in conjunction with the translates pages are still having problems.

But I guess, I was on the wrong track with the 301 redirects at least for my sites but it is something that MSN needs top llok at still.


 4:19 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well, it looks like we just got hit by this too on another site. It went from a few hundred unique pages to 4 rather odd pages that would normally be 301ed based on the design of our site.

Stickied you msndude; hopefully you can confirm and fix.



 6:28 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hope you get a response from MSNDude. None of my follow-up emails have been answered and the site he said was OK has not yet surfaced in their index.

Not sure if they are working on a fix or not. Maybe they are not at fault at all. It's probably just us that do wrong things but it's hard to be able to follow all the rule changes that goes on in SE's. One day you can do this and the next day you're #*$! out of luck because you did it.

To me it seems like link building is not something you do. You don't trade links, you don't ask for links, you don't have links out to other sites, in short, don't point to any other web sites than your own. Then what? How are SE's going to "value" your site? Their algo's will break since they don't have anything to tell them that "it is a good site" and should rank higher. Maybe this is what we need to do to get a real change and challenge them to not to fix broken algo's but actuall create a new one that works.

Wonder if DMOZ created a Search Engine if that one would be better since they have actual people checking the sites. If the site is not good, then don't add it!


 5:36 pm on Jan 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Our website has what I believe to be the same problem. I've tried to isolate conditions and found when the problem is resolved.

SUMMARY: It appears that if the page was indexed before 1/25/07, any 301 condition is temporarily redirected to a “301 Permanently Moved” page and the SERP shows only the domain as the “title” and the URL. Previously existing redirects indexed after 1/25/07 appear to be fine.

Command site:www.example.org shows 2,499 pages (about right) in the count. The first page SERPs looks correct with Title, Snippet, URL, and cache link for all but one listing.

Multiple 301s to Single Page No Cache Link

The "Line Listing" looks like:


There is no cache link for this Line Listing

This page has multiple 301 redirects in the .htaccess file, all going to the same new page.

redirect 301 /lasik_faq.html http://www.example.org/faq/lasik_faq.htm
redirect 301 /faq/faq.htm http://www.example.org/faq/lasik_faq.htm
redirect 301 /faq/faq.html http://www.example.org/faq/lasik_faq.htm
redirect 301 /faq/lasik_faq.htm http://www.example.org/lasik/faq/lasik-faq.htm

Two-Step 301 Redirects with Cache Link

The "Line Listing" looks like:

www.example.org/faq/subjects/certified.htm • Cached page

The cache for this Line Listing shows it was created on 1/15/2007 and has the "301 Moved Permanently" page noted by others. Clicking on their link takes you to http://www.example.org/lasik/faq/best-lasik-doctor.htm

In the .htaccess file there is a two-step redirect:

redirect 301 /faq/subjects/certified.html http://www.example.org/faq/subjects/certified.htm

which is then redirected to:

redirect 301 /faq/subjects/certified.htm http://www.example.org/lasik/faq/best-lasik-doctor.htm

Multiple 301 Redirects, Lost Cache:

www.example.org/surgeons/lasik-doctor-not-certified.htm • Cached page

Clicking on the cache link provides a page blank except for saying, “Could not find the requested document in the cache.”

In the .htaccess file there are many 301 redirects, all pointing to the same page.

redirect 301 /surgeons/first1_last1.htm http://www.example.org/surgeons/lasik-doctor-not-certified.htm
redirect 301 /surgeons/first2_last2.htm http://www.example.org/surgeons/lasik-doctor-not-certified.htm

Clicking on the Line Listing “title” (www.example.org) takes you directly to http://www.example.org/surgeons/lasik-doctor-not-certified.htm at our website.

301 Redirect with All Items Correct

Epi-Lasik Laser Eye Surgery
Epi-Lasik is gaining in popularity because of quick vision recovery and a reduce probability of ... Lasik Top Three Articles: Find Certified Lasik Doc: Detailed Lasik Description: Wavefront Lasik
www.example.org/lasik/faq/epi-lasik.htm • Cached page

In .htaccess file there are two 301 redirects, both pointing to the same page.

redirect 301 /faq/subjects/epi-lasik.htm http://www.example.org/lasik/faq/epi-lasik.htm
redirect 301 /faq/subjects/epilasik.htm http://www.example.org/lasik/faq/epi-lasik.htm

Clicking on title “Epi-Lasik Laser Eye Surgery” takes you directly to http://www.example.org/lasik/faq/epi-lasik.htm on our website. The cache is current and shows it was created on 1-25-2007

If you want to see the actual website, replace “example” with “usaeyes”

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