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Are there any Google-friendly alternatives to redirects users from old to new pages (after a site redesign)?
Is meta http-equiv="refresh" now Google-friendly and will we eventually be able to delete the old pages?
What I do now is to create a page that has a redirection timeout of 5 seconds, has a message explaining why the visitor has received this page, and has a link to click on if the redirect fails.
Google sees that link.
I also use a META ROBOTS = FOLLOW, NOINDEX and it's not long before Google has found the new page and lost the old one. Then it can be deleted (unless someone outside your site has linked to it, of course, in which case leaving it there in perpetuity isn't a problem).
header( "HTTP/1.1 301" );
header( "Location: [domain.com...] );
Where your old file was (and in the case of a directory, you could simply call this index.php and place it in there).
If you haven't got PHP enabled either, there's bound to be something similar in ASP that'll do it, and if you haven't got ASP then it's time to move host imo!
I prefer the meta refresh solution: has it worked in Google for anyone else?
AddHandler application/x-httpd-php .php .htm
If not then I guess you'll have to use another non-301 method outlined above.
However, I personally would not be happy with such a restrictive host. I use complex mod_rewrites and carefully tweaked servers. The Devil is in the detail as they say, and never more so than when dealing with getting listed on Google. It can be the difference between making a living and not.
Good luck with it!
I discovered some months ago that Google was accepting <meta> refreshes with a timeout of 0 while checking out a site that was originally hosted on geocities where they obviously had no access to server-based solutions. While checking out the backlinks on the new location, I noticed some of the links shown for the new site were actually pointing to the original geocities URL. So, it seemed clear that Google was handling these like 301 redirects. That's what led me to feel comfortable enough to do it on a client's site.
Last year when I moved a site I used the <meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow"> tag in the head section on every page of the old site, and made all the "internal" links on the old site point to the equivalent page over on the new site. I also made sure that the new site had a few incoming links from other sites too. Google delisted the old site about four weeks later, and relisted the new site the same day.
So just to get my bearings in this thread, is it a reasonable conclusion to say that adding a meta refresh with time=0 to each page is a safe non-server alternative to sending an HTTP 301?
The old site stayed listed for 4 weeks; and was at position #80 or so.
Then, one day, the old site disappeared from the SERPs and the new site appeared that same day.
The new site appeared at #1.
I've never lost position when using 301's
The new site had the same content as the old site, but with a few extra pages, and a few more incoming links including those links from the old site! The new site went in at #1 (and has stayed there).
I used plain HTML a href links from the old site to the new site, along with the <meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow"> tag.
I did not use, and I do not recommend the alternative <meta name="refresh" content="0; url=http://otherdomain.com/"> tag. Most search engine guidelines caution against using that method for several reasons (again, not sure why you thought that I had used that method as I did not mention it at all in any of the above posts).
did not use, and I do not recommend the alternative <meta name="refresh" content="0; url=http://otherdomain.com/"> tag. Most search engine guidelines caution against using that method for several reasons (again, not sure why you thought that I had used that method as I did not mention it at all in any of the above posts).
A 301 redirect is the correct thing to do according to the HTTP/1.1 RFC. While some robots have or have had problems in the past, in the long term, the RFC will be followed.
Where that isn't possible, the <meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow"> tag along with normal human-clickable <a href="http://www.thenewdomain.com/" title="go to our new site"> type links also works well.
I would avoid the <meta name="refresh" content="0; url=http://theotherdomain.com/"> completely.