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Due to making a lot of changes to a site. the entry pages has now changed.
In reality their were 3 main entry pages when I started to work on the site called:
"main.shtml" and "index.shtml" and "home.shtml"
these 3 above pages are very well positioned in any search
The new entry page has now become "index.htm"
and the other 3 pages have been deleted.
I have now been told that by doing this,
Google, Lycos and Looksmart would penalize my entry page or/and even the complete site or even exclude it from their database, because of Reditect!
Does someone have a good knowledge about this?
The method you have used should be fine, in fact I'd even suggest that in doing so, you are making the user experience better.
The redirects as 301 (permanent redirects) is a bit like the postal redirect service.
The only potential spanner is why there were 3 different home pages, did they have unique content or were they all the same.
The reason search engines don't like redirets is the intent of the webmaster in doing so, nobody (even a spider) likes going to one place, to be sent off somewhere else.
And yes, the 3 pages had different content, but the 3 of them were entry pages - It was confusing for the user.
One think I still dont understand with RedirectPermanent:
will the search-engines, after some time, no more list the 3 first pages and hopefully just list the new "index.htm" page?
How long should I wait before taking these redirects out of the Htaccess-file?
To tell the truth, I really don't know. It all depends on whether you are trying to fool the search engines by using the meta-refresh. It is one thing to ask if there is an automatic detection and penalty mechanism, and another to ask if you could be penalized if a competitor reported your site and asked for a review. So it depends on what you are using the meta-refresh for.
I use a meta-refresh on one page of one of my sites which has a "robots noindex,nofollow" meta tag on it. The page itself serves as a fixed-URL page for visitors to bookmark, and then meta-refreshes to a monthly schedule, with a different URL from month-to-month. The redirect page is not disallowed in robots.txt. I have had no trouble with the site.
In case that wasn't clear, I have a page called "This month's calendar" at URL /calendar.html which users can bookmark. It contains the "noindex,nofollow" meta robots tag. This month it meta-refreshes to /calendar-may.html, and next month it will meta-refresh to /calendar-june.html.
If you use a 301 Moved Permanently redirect to steer multiple old URLs to one new one, then you will not have any problems with duplicate content. The 301 tells the search engines, "These URLs are obsolete, please use this new one." Only in the case where a transparent redirect is used will there be any suspicion of duplicate content. So, the code you posted above is safe.
This way if your default page changes again (!), the majority of people won't notice, since they'll have ended up in the slash-terminated version, not the slash-index.htm terminated version.
I generally get fed up of seeing people making links to
the whole point of index.html is that it's a file which is displayed if you don't specify it, so you can then publicise (and link to, both externally and internally within your site)
(Ok, strictly this should end with a slash, but that's not so good when written..)
Am I right in thinking that Dreamweaver and its ilk don't strip off index.html automatically if you make that a link via dragging (or however it works)?