g1smd - 12:35 am on Mar 10, 2010 (gmt 0) [edited by: g1smd at 12:37 am (utc) on Mar 10, 2010]
Once you install a 301 redirect to fix canonicalisation problems or to redirect requests for URLs that no longer exist to a new URL for that content, your measure of success is in how many of the new URLs are indexed and how quickly.
The old URLs that now redirect are moved to a Supplemental Results database and may continue to appear in the SERPs for up to a year for certain search terms. This is NOT a problem. Do not be tempted to force removal of those old URLs from the SERPs. Where those old, now-redirected, URLs still appear in SERPs they will still bring you traffic, and your on-site redirect will get the visitor to the right content.
One change in recent weeks, or certainly one that I haven't noticed before, is where Page A ranked for Keyword X and Page B did not contain that word and never has. Page A had very old, stale content and was deleted. An external redirect was added such that requests for URL A are now redirected to URL B. Interestingly, URL B now ranks for Keyword X even though that word is nowhere on the page, nor in the anchor text of any link (internal or external) pointing at the page, nor has ever been on the page.
Another change I see in recent days is a COUNTRY name being mentioned in green text in Google SERPs. It appears after the URL, and before the link to the cache. It appears on only a very small number of URLs, and only for a very small number of searches.
[edited by: g1smd at 12:37 am (utc) on Mar 10, 2010]