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We are in the process of switching from MovableType to a new CMS (expression engine).
The problem is that this new system is not compatible with the old urls for our articles. My fear is that when this new system is put in place we will lose all of the backlinks we have acquired, which are pointing at individual articles, thereby losing some of our search engine "weight". We will also likely loose traffic due to people clicking on links that lead to dead pages.
My question is this: How can we somehow create 301 redirects for all of our existing articles (there are several thousand) so that we don't lose all of those existing backlinks, which are pointing to MovableType urls that no longer exist?
Any pointers will be greatly appreciated.
A simple way to do this is to use something like Xenu to spider your site and list out all of your current links. Then use a spreadsheet and make a table of the relevant redirects to the new URLs. Then apply the list to your .htaccess file.
Your SE rankings will most likely dip for a while with a URL change. It may take a while to recover. It may be good to budget for some extra promotion during this time.
Also, since some of our key pages our static, we will be able to retain quite a bit of link love.
Lastly, if we do 301 redirects, why would we suffer any dip in "link love"? Google and company should be able to follow those redirects, thereby passing the PR along to the new urls, right?