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Meta Redirects... how best to redirect users with a message?

     
6:58 pm on Jul 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Here's the situation:

We want to redirect a large section of our site, but we'd like to provide users with a message telling them where they are being redirected and why (i.e.: "This section is no longer maintained, you are being redirecting to a new section").

Is there a way to accomplish this while preserving a 301'esque redirect for SEO purposes? Also want to avoid any "sneaky" redirects that Google warns against.

-t
7:57 pm on July 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Could you put the message on the landing page instead of a "between" page?

You might be able to check with something like php or another server side script what page they CAME from, and if so, have a little popup message that says: The content you are searching for has been moved to this new location" or something like that.

Maybe with php you can just check whether someone arrives via a 301 redirect?
8:21 pm on July 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Could you put the message on the landing page instead of a "between" page?


Good suggestion and this would probably be the way I'd do it.
8:45 pm on July 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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"This section is no longer maintained, you are being redirecting to a new section"

Will this be a one-on-one redirect, or a block redirect where all requests for /olddirectory/anything-here.html go to /one-specific-page.html ?

If you've got a substantial number of redirects all ending up on the same page, you may be better off serving a 410 and then making a directory-specific 410 page. It depends on how many pages are involved.
2:16 pm on July 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Will this be a one-on-one redirect, or a block redirect where all requests for /olddirectory/anything-here.html go to /one-specific-page.html ?


It will be a block redirect for all sub-pages of a sub-domain, pointing to a single page.
2:59 pm on July 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

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besides warning against sneaky redirects google also warns against techniques intended to manipulate pagerank.
6:55 am on July 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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"This section is no longer maintained" normally means the old content is still available but no longer being updated, corrected or added to.

This doesn't seem to apply to your case. You're removing the content. The old URLs should therefore return "410 Gone" and the error page should contain links to the new part of the website.

I wouldn't use a meta refresh, the HTTP 301 method is far better. However in this case, I think 410 Gone is the better solution.

If you instead intend to keep the old part of the site active, then you should put a status notice at the top of every page with a link to the new part of the site.