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301 redirect review pages to a "view all" page? advice for handling paginated review pages

11:13 am on Jun 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Our site has product reviews, which are very important to us. We are currently in the process of moving over to a new CMS and doing 301 redirects to new URLs.

The issue we're having with review pages is that there are historical pages with accumulated reviews. These pages do show in the SERPs and we don't want to lose any SEO value and rankings. These are not static pages; as new reviews come in it pushes old reviews on to the next page. Also, the number of reviews displayed on the old and new pages are different.

Should we map the old review page 25 to the new review page 25, or should we permanently 301 redirect the paginated pages to a “view all” page (something similar to this: www.example.com/product-xyz-reviews/view-all/).

Does anyone have any good advice or recommendations to share? Any help would be appreciated!
6:00 pm on June 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Will the new format still be paginated? If so, you can't redirect all requests for paginated pages, or else everyone will end up on the "view all" page. Options include redirecting pages with no referer (this is mainly but not exclusively bookmarks) and temporarily redirecting pages whose referer is a search engine. That is, redirect 301, but drop the redirect code as soon as the new URLs are indexed. This sounds messy, and probably is. Will the new URLs be entirely different, or is only the page changing?

Before you even go there, the real question may be how far you've gotten in the CMS migration. Is it too late to work out some alternative way of naming and storing archival reviews? If links to old reviews are important, you want them to stay at the same URL rather than getting dislodged by new material.
3:11 pm on July 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the response, Lucy24! After looking into your advice, we were thinking about making our existing review pages static with the oldest page being number 1. The newer the review page, the higher the page number. For example, the reviews on page 7 would then never change. On the front end we would show "next" and "previous" instead of numbers. Do you reckon our fix will work?
4:21 pm on July 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I as a visitor would like to see the newest reviews first.

Why not make URLs static, but pages (links to URLs under [1], [2] etc) can still be ordered in the time descending order so that when the user clicks on [1], it requests the URL for the page with newest reviews.