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301 redirect

Renamed file names - Do I need a 301 redirect?



1:22 am on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

someone was kind enough to point out that i shouldn't use 'underscores' in my website page names and i should use 'hypens' or 'periods'...my question...i went back and renamed each page name using 'hypens' do i now need to do a 301 redirect on those pages (in case someone out there 'bookmarked' that page with the 'underscore'?



1:27 am on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Yes and also to assist search engine to transition to new urls with minimum disruption.


1:40 am on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

well, i don't know about the search engine thing...i did a search to see if the pages were indexed (the site has been out there since may 2008 with the hypens) and i wasn't finding any pages indexed so the person pointed out now is a good time to 'rename' the pages.

is there a file around '301 redirect for dummies'? i know one thing i need to know is the .htaccess but i have no idea what to do with it (open it) or whatever needs to be done.



2:36 am on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

[webmasterworld.com...] or perhaps ask in apache forum.


3:44 pm on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

i managed to figure out the 301 redirect...but can anyone tell me if it's best to remove the 'old' page off my server (for google spider, etc reasons)?



11:59 pm on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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

If the 301 is working, the old page is accessible anyway. When someone (or some robot) asks for that page, he/she/it will be served up a 301 header and then the new page (or the old page at the new URL). So from the perspective of visitors and spiders, it's already gone. In fact, that's really what 301 means - permanently moved, never coming back, not here anymore.

By the way, it used to be that Google considered hyphens to be word separators, but not underscores. So if you had a url like


Google saw "blue" and "widget". But if you had a URL like


Google saw the single words "blue_widget" and "bluewidget" which nobody searches on. So the common advice was to use hyphens.

Google has gotten a lot more sophisticated in how it parses words and in all of the above cases it would probably see "blue" and "widgets"

The other problem with underscores is that they don't show up when text is underlined. So if someone puts your URL in a standard blue, underlined link, someone reading it out can't tell if it's a space or an underline. So that's another strike against underlines.


7:26 am on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I would like to know how much you would benefit from a 301 redirect in terms of ranking in Google, does the PR get distributed to the page your directing it to?

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