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Using a 302 redirect on a non-existing URL (SEO)
Looking at adding a 302 redirect on pages that don't exist as of yet...

 1:59 pm on Mar 31, 2008 (gmt 0)


I've got a theory that I'd like to share and hopefully get some good feedback as to whether this would be a good idea or not.

Let's say may website, www.example.com, consisted of a page www.example.com/something/. I plan to create new content for my website that may take several months to develop/create. So my theory is that if I create the URL now called, www.example.com/something-else/ and include a 302 temporary redirect to the most relevant page, in this case www.example.com/something/. I would then include the new URL into the Google Webmaster Tools sitemap so that it is accessible by the Googlebot. As a 302 redirect will crawl the URL and not pass any PR or bad equity to the redirected page (www.example.com/something/) meanwhile indexing that URL in Google.

As my actual page won't be ready for a couple/few months it would give the URL www.example.com/something-else/ time to gain some sort of trust and recognition in Google. So once it eventually does go live, it would take less time to start ranking for a competitive keyword.

As I've mention, this is a theory and may raise a number of issues. Would this be something worth testing and potentially risking my site or would it be a straight 'NO DON'T DO IT!'

I appreciate anyones help as I am still pretty new to the SEO world!




 9:39 am on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Straight - no, don't do it.

The theory is based on the premise of earning trust, but would you trust a page that has no content and redirects you? I wouldn't, the search engines likely won't either.

Your best bet is to fully flesh out a page before publishing it, give it some meat for both bots and humans. When you pull the 302's off there is no guarantee a bot will re-visit anytime soon. They are quick on the initial crawl, but not so quick on re-crawls depending on what they found the first time around.


 4:11 pm on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well to be honest I'm not sure it wouldn't work. May depend on lots of factors. The trust of the site itself. The nature of the target page, how many URI's on the site do this.

Plus keep in mind that the empty page is never "seen" by the bots if there's a redirect in place. They head straight for the target page and simply associate new URI with target page content.

That said, I wholeheartedly agree with JS_Harris. It's just another form of "sneaky redirect" and if the SE's catch you, you run the risk of getting toasted completely.



 11:57 am on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

don't know, what's with the DON'T DO IT. it sounds like a pretty good idea. if nobody has done it before, my guess is you'll probably do good to test it out.


 4:30 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

> if nobody has done it before

LOL. ;-)

We're trying to ensure the OP understands that the risk is great and it's not a smart way to run a Web site. High risk, low reward. Makes no sense.

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