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301 redirect or repoint a domain?

     
1:58 pm on Oct 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Here's a scenerio I have come across which would welcome input on; An old .com site has been replaced with new pages and structure (none of the previous pages exist on googles index as they were deleted), not a big deal as they were very poor.

The client wants a .co.uk version on the web as the 'priority domain'.

As a result the new .com has been blocked via a "no index" directive to avoid dupe issues and a .co.uk site was launched. Visibility or lack of it has become an issue for the .co.uk version.

Considering 301 redirect to carry link juice from existing backlinks (that still point to .com domain) or repoint the .com domain to the .co.uk site which I don't think will carry link juice?

Thoughts friends?
7:44 pm on Oct 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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301 redirect.

I am not sure of the timeframe you have done all these changes in, but if (as your post imply) the .com domain restructure/redesign has been done recently and then on top you noindex it and put the content on co.uk, I can see how you can have a problem now.

I would 301 redirect .com domain to co.uk domain

If you had any redirects implemented after you changed the site structure of the .com domain, then these redirects will have to be changed so that they point to the equivalent page in co.uk domain in one hit.

I would also add both domains to the same WMT account and execute Change of address option.
8:31 pm on Oct 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Appreciate your reply aakk9999 - best to redirect the .com to the .co.uk (no redirects for individual pages are in place), just keep to the top level?
11:08 pm on Oct 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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No. You need to redirect page by page. The RewriteRule has an extra 5 characters in it over the one to just do the root.
2:59 am on Nov 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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new pages and structure (none of the previous pages exist on googles index as they were deleted), not a big deal as they were very poor

I thought this mean that there isn't a one-to-one correspondence? Some subdirectories maybe-- but "new structure" implies not even that.
7:05 am on Nov 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I understood that .com was replaced with new pages and structure on .com and that latterly the site has moved from .com to .co.uk retaining the new .com site structure.

Ideally all old URLs and all new URLs on .com should be redirected to the new .co.uk site. This should have been in place from day one of the launch.
4:53 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Sorry, to clarify... the .com site is not on the google index, this was given a no index directive to avoid duping as the client wanted the site to go on the new .co.uk

Company literature and links from other sites still point to .com

As the .com has not appeared on googles index is it needed to 301 all pages or can this be done as a domain redirect?
8:26 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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There is difference between URLs shown in Google index and what URLs Google knows about. Even if the page has meta robots = noindex, Google will still periodically request (crawl) the page, especially if there are external links pointing to it.

The correct way to avoid duping would have been to implement 301 redirect on the page-to-page basis and this is still what you should do now.

This way, when Google requests the URL next time in order to crawl it, it will see 301 redirect (and will not see "noindex" any more).

The process will however be much slower than if you have implemented 301 redirect straight away since URLs that are noindexed may be crawled more rarely.

<added>You should also see if you can approach some of sites that link to you and ask them to change the links to co.uk domain. I would also add both sites to the same WMT account and execute "Change of address".</added>