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The new home page and all other new site pages will be housed in a subdirectory rather than in the root. Example: the new home page will be at www.example.com/New/index.html.
The proposal is that when a user goes to www.example.com there will be a 302 redirect to the www.example.com/New/index.html page.
I am more involved in the page design aspect, but am concerned about how the use of the 302 redirect will impact page ranking.
Regarding inbound links: Our marketing team will want promote www.example.com and drive inbound links using that URL. But people may link to us using the /New URL. How will that impact us?
Regarding SERPs: Can anybody confirm what will show up as the URL in the SERPs? There are many articles on this out there that have given me different answers.
Regarding 302 v 301. I am assuming the use of the 302 means that we will eventually clean up our environmental issues and move index.html into the root. If not, I would assume a 301 would be more appropriate.
[edited by: tedster at 2:07 am (utc) on Mar. 4, 2009]
[edit reason] switch to example.com - it can never be owned [/edit]
I've been involved with two companies who had a similar challenge and they both resolved it with a 302 redirect -- and Google continued to accumulate PR to the domain root in both cases. After those two experiences, I'd venture to say that a domain root redirect to an internal url might be the one situation where a 302 status redirect is more the right choice than a 301.
There are two concerns I'd have in your plan:
1. It's not good practice to used mixed case urls - someone is going to get it wrong sooner or later, and file paths ARE case sensitive. So I'd use /new/ instead of /New/
2. Think about those internal urls and what will happen if you ever do fix the environment so you "could" drop the /new/ directory from the filepath. All your indexed internal pages, and their backlinks would change -- and that would mean a new 301 redirect. Better not to go in this direction if you can avoid it - it pretty much guarantees another speed bump in the site's future.
[edited by: tedster at 7:27 pm (utc) on Mar. 4, 2009]
This action occurs completely inside the server in the context of the original HTTP request, and does not involve sending any redirect response to the client. The fact that files are not located in the server's DocumentRoot is completely invisible to visitors or search engines, and the URLs do not change.
It would seem that in this scenario someone could either link to us using example.com or example.com/new. Wouldn't this be seen as two different pages by the search engines therefore hurting our inbound link contribution towards page rank for our home page?
Thanks for enduring my newbieness.
Assuming you choose to internally rewrite URL example.com/<anything> requests to filepath /new/<anything>, then you can also detect any direct client requests for URL example.com/new/<anything> and generate a 301-Moved Permanently redirect back to URL example.com/<anything>.
Generally, this is only necessary if you have already (intentionally or accidentally) published the example.com/new/<anything> filepaths as URLs, and search engines have already listed them in results and people are already linking to them. If not, then properly-implemented, no-one will ever know that you are internally rewriting URL example.com/<anything> requests to filepath /new/<anything>.
In other words, do both. :)