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Redirecting index.html and canonical

2:33 pm on Feb 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

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IF I want my website content at a subfolder to be displayed as the 'home page/url' - what is the best way to handle the 'old' index.html that will to all intents and purposes be obsolete.

I have 301'd the index.html to subfolder url and all is fine with that...

BUT... what do I do with old index.html and content

1. remove index.html completely and submit for removal in WMT?

2. reduce index.html to be a shell of a page with brief information as to new homepage.. and add a canonical to sub-folder url... (BUT... do search engines spider a page that is 301'd?)

3. any other suggestions?
3:21 pm on Feb 16, 2014 (gmt 0)


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

joined:Aug 10, 2004
votes: 8

any requests for index.html should simply be 301 redirected to the directory root url (trailing slash) and at that point the existence or content of the index.html file is irrelevant from a web perspective.
next time googlebot crawls the index.html url, it will get the 301 response.
on a subsequent request for the directory root url, the default directory index document will be served.
eventually the index will reflect this change in your server response.
4:16 pm on Feb 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

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votes: 244

do search engines spider a page that is 301'd

They can't physically crawl it, because a 301 is obligatory. Either accept the redirect, or go away. But search engines never stop asking for old URLs-- especially if it's the root. They would ask for it even if nobody in the universe linked to it. Like asking for nonexistent index pages of known directories, only more so. Even humans do that pretty regularly.

Why do you want the redirect? Can't you quietly rewrite, and let the page live wherever it physically happens to live?