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301 redirects - Best practice for high traffic URLs?

     

shaunm

10:56 am on Oct 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

What is the best practice in the following situations?

I need to 301 pages which are getting constant traffic and downloads. I know it's not a good idea to 301 pages which are already established and doing good. But it's because of the CMS change I think.

The URL structure is changing with the redirect
It's now example.com/product/productname

It's going to be example.com/productname

We cannot prevent the change but only to decide the best practices to drive the same traffic and downloads that the previous one is getting to this new URL.

What ARE the BEST PRACTICES? Could you please help me guys?

Thank you so much!

aakk9999

6:06 pm on Oct 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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We cannot prevent the change but only to decide the best practices to drive the same traffic and downloads that the previous one is getting to this new URL.

Permanent redirect (301) from the old URL to the new one. This should bring any visitor that requests the old page to the new page (including search traffic, type-in traffic, bookmarks, external links, etc.)
Internally link to the new page.
Keep permanent redirect up forever.
And make sure the redirect from the old to the new URL is in one hit (no chain redirects).

tedster

6:11 pm on Oct 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Internally link to the new page

Yes! And changing the existing internal links is one that many sites forget - don't. Laeving those in-content links to old URLs seems to shave a decent amount off your rankings.

[edited by: tedster at 7:21 pm (utc) on Oct 9, 2012]

setzer

6:55 pm on Oct 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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In my experience you'll still loose a little link juice even when redirecting everything properly. And the rankings may bounce around for a while. Google doesn't like URL changes :)

I just want to say though... your old format (example.com/product/productname) makes more sense for a URL structure. example.com/productname seems rather limiting, but if you have to make the change, so be it I guess...

lucy24

8:53 pm on Oct 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Do you have to redirect? Can't you just rewrite to the new location and keep the URL as-is?

g1smd

9:36 pm on Oct 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



Unless the new CMS was designed from the start to use the same URLs as the old CMS, changing the code to deal with that is going to be quite complicated. The new CMS would need to link to the old URLs.

It's probably better to redirect requests for old URLs over to the new URLs. There's short term indexing and ranking issues, but if the new CMS is well designed there will be long term benefits.

shaunm

7:18 am on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@aakk9999
Thanks!
Could you please tell me what you meant by type-in traffic? Is that direct traffic from browsers?

Internally link to the new page.

Oh you saved my life, now what would happen if I don't? Do you say that I need to replace the OLD URLs with NEW URLs? I am confused, why should I do that? When there is a redirect already in place, and when a visitors or SE bot visits that URL, won't they get the NEW URL even if I don't change the internal links?

And make sure the redirect from the old to the new URL is in one hit (no chain redirects).

It happens so often with my website where there are more than 5L pages. What would be the impact of having chain redirects? Could you please show me some light on this topic from your personal experience? I would very much appreciate. Thanks again


@tedster
Thank you Ted,
Yes! And changing the existing internal links is one that many sites forget - don't. Laeving those in-content links to old URLs seems to shave a decent amount off your rankings.

And yes I forgot as well :)
Again, could you please tell me what happens if I leave them in the content?
If my understanding is wrong, please correct me.

Say I have an OLD URL named 'A' and redirecting it to NEW URL 'B' and the OLD URL is used in the content of the PAGE/URL 'C'

When a visitor visits the page and click on the in-content link to the OLD URL, they are redirected to the NEW URL?
A search engine bot visits that page for links during the crawling process and when It gets that in-content link, it automatically stores the NEW URL in it's database as there is already a redirect in place.

@setzer
Thank you so much for answering on my post :) Yes I don't like it either, but the change is inevitable.

@lucy24
Thank you!
This time I didn't get a complicated answer from you lol. Oh wait, I think not :(

What is the difference between rewrite and redirect? We usually perform the 301 redirects in the .config file. Isn't it rewrite already?

@g1smd
Thank you!
Could you please tell me how long would it take to get back the same visits and downloads?


@All,
I said that we are redirecting the OLD URLs to NEW URLs. The NEW URLs are also URLs which are already well established and there for a long time.

Now when I redirect the OLD URLs to the NEW URLs, the OLD one would be removed from Google's search index and I will be only getting the traffic from the NEW URL right?

So the traffic from SEARCH is going to reduce badly?

2URLs - Visits - Downloads - HIGH
1 URL - Visits - Downloads - Less

?


Thank you all again for taking your time to answer on my post.


Best,

g1smd

8:10 am on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



Internal site navigation should always link to the required page and not to a URL which then redirects.

Asking for old URLs should redirect in ONE step to the new URL and not through a chain of redirects.

These are signals of "low technical quality".

There's no trust in internal links that redirect. PageRank doesn't pass through multiple steps.

phranque

8:35 am on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



when It gets that in-content link, it automatically stores the NEW URL in it's database as there is already a redirect in place

it keeps the NEW URL in the index but it also keeps the OLD URL in the crawl database because it doesn't trust the 301 immediately, while and especially because you are linking to the OLD URL in-content.
 

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