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Simple Question About 301 Redirects

     
2:44 am on Oct 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I am about to start redirecting 3 domains into 1, exact filename by filename, and it occurred to me that I don't actually know the answer to a simple question:

Do I leave the original files on the original server/domain, or do I erase them? Presumably they won't count as duplicates, since spiders shouldn't see them if I do the 301 correctly... but does it make any difference?

Basically, what to do with the old domain after the 301 is setup? Do I have to keep it alive in perpetuity?
2:48 am on Oct 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Yes, you can get rid of old files. They will never be sent back to the client since any request for them will return just HTTP headers with 301 redirect response.

If you want to keep your redirect, you need to keep your old domain, as you cannot set up redirect for a domain you do not control. You do NOT need to keep your old server though. Just point your old domain to the same webspace on the server you have for the new domain and make sure that your .htaccess has correct directives if a request is received for the old domain.
6:54 pm on Oct 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Do the three old domains all have home pages? If so, where are you going to redirect them?

Also, how are you going to handle the internal linking on the new domain?
9:26 pm on Oct 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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aakk9999 - that's what I was thinking.

aristotle - the linking structure of the new site will maintain the linking structure of the old domains, with the added benefit of interlinking.

So, where once there was bluewidgets.com and yellowwidgets.com etc. now there will be a widgets.com/blue/ etc. and they will link to each other. My hope is that this will create a "whole greater than the sum of its parts" situation, and all the sections will get a boost from being on the same domain.

I should add that these domains are coming up on being 13 years old, so I am taking a bit of a risk giving up on something that's been around for so long. OTOH, my once stellar positions in the SERPS have been reduced to 6-7th page at best, so It's worth a shot.
10:01 pm on Oct 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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My hope is that this will create a "whole greater than the sum of its parts" situation


We were in the same exact situation as what you mention here, we did the 301 a few weeks ago and the pain so far has been intense, so far we have lost all of the old and the new is not improving at all. Hopefully it will turn around soon.
Just wanted to throw that little warning out there for you, hopefully yours goes better than our has so far.
 

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