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Redirects and Google



12:46 am on Apr 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

When we completely redid our site, someone at our hosting company gave me this bit of code for redirecting our pages that were already indexed by Google:

<meta http-equiv='refresh' content='0;URL=/main_custom.php?headfield=header_main&sidefield=sidebar_main&mainfield=cust02&footfield=footer_main'>

to put in a file on the root that was named "/oldpage.htm"

Now I see that this might cause some troubles with Google, as it looks "spammy"...

Then I found this little bit of script to redirect to a new URL:

This domain has been temporarily moved to <a href='http://newurl'>http://newurl</a>. Click the link if you are not redirected. There is no need to update your bookmarks.

Would I do the same with this code - put it in a file named "/oldpage.htm" on the root?

I don't have access to anything server side except to add files to the root, and change the dynamic content. Is what I have above a good way to do the redirect, or is there something better?

Thanks in advance for your words of wisdom!


4:10 am on Apr 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Okay, so I answered part of my own question - the "how do I do this" part.

I still need input on which method is better...

I ran sim spider on both, and the js method seems to give the better result.

Any thoughts?


5:28 am on Apr 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

You say you have access to the root directory on the server, does that also mean write access to .htaccess? If so you can enter a 301 redirect which is known to be safe.


5:38 am on Apr 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

As far as our host has told me, I don't have write access to htaccess, and they don't intend to give me access.

We're on some sort of template driven site builders set-up. I access the site through an admin panel, and there I can upload static content and manage the dynamic page content. I don't understand all of the ins and outs of it - I became the "web chick" by default when our webmaster was let go and I was the one in the office with the greatest likelihood of being able to handle the job.

Our host is fairly good at getting stuff done for me, but at this point I have to run everything I want them to do past management for budget approval. Anything I can do on my end makes the whole process just that little bit easier...


5:54 am on Apr 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I know it's annoying when people say 'change service providers' but that might actually be the only option in this case.

Assuming that Google only likes 301/302 type redirects, and will possibly punish you for HTML style redirects. Perhaps management will allow you to change hosts if you put it to them in this way. I.e. "change hosts or we lose the site in the google index!".


6:07 am on Apr 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I might be losing control of this issue soon anyway - they're looking at outsourcing our SEO (though i'm fighting it tooth and nail, since i've already put so much work into optimization). I hate the idea of someone else getting to take credit for all of the work i've already done, but then at least they'll have to deal with these issues and I won't!

What I'm hoping is that Google will list the new index page within the next couple of dances, and go out from there. I've got the site map well built and waiting to be spidered. Deepbot did hit the new pages, but not for long, and not repeatedly like the old links. I just got access to the server logs a couple of days ago, and what I found was that the bot was mostly hitting the old links (which i understood our host had taken care of forwarding, until i learned yesterday that they had not). We're not high in the SERP's anyway, so there's no loss this month if the crawl of the new pages doesn't get us anywhere. It will be gravy if it does.

Thanks for your input!


7:44 am on Apr 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Ally Cat, if you set up a javascript redirect on your old index.html page that will redirect only users who come straight through that page i.e. typed url in address bar etc. If however they happen to come through on any internal pages, perhaps by a search engine, then the redirect will not work. If you can't set up a 301 on the site you might want to ask your host about using a custom 404 error page which you could put a link or redirect on that. Once it is in place, remove all your old site files from the hosts server which should generate a 404 all round.


3:25 pm on Apr 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Sorry - I didn't explain totally clearly. The domain is still the same, and anyone typing in the domain does automatically reach the old site. The only links I'm trying to forward at this point are the pages that were already indexed in google (about 20), as right now they're getting a 404 error. Thanks!

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