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Using 301 redirects or not

the pages url has changed

     
2:39 am on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have a problem

I fixed the canonical issues with the domain

redirected all non www to www
and also redirect domain.com/index.html to domain.com

is this beneficial so far?

But here is the problem.
Many indexed pages in google are not there anymore so I wanted to do a redirect 301 because the url of those pages has slightly changed.
For example domain.com/guitarbass13.html to /guitarbass.html

SO I made those redirects for 20 pages or so but after just a few hours the number of indexed pages in google dropped from 1900 to just 20. Why is that.

I removed all the redirected pages and the number went up to where it was before.

So is making 301 for changed pages beneficial of not?

thank you

12:16 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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It should be beneficial, but the results can take a few weeks to see... unless something about the way they process these has changed in the last few weeks.
1:59 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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We did several 301 redirects this past summer and still google tries to go look for the old pages. I assume it will take about a year for them to finally be flushed out.
2:07 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member jetteroheller is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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I just make much more 301 redirects than before

Before:

www to not www
old location to new location

Now new 301 redirects

/index.htm -> /

delete?strange-parameter-strings

// to only one /

So a

www.example.com/index.htm?some-strange-parameters

is redirected to

example.com/