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Content Consolidation and 301 redirects

Can/should you 301 redirect to an anchor (#)



10:47 am on May 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Here's the scenario:

I have two pages, one about 'widgets' (generally) and one about specifically about 'widget usage'.

I've a crazy idea to move the 'widget usage' content into the main 'widgets' page under a subheading (H2) of 'Widget usage'. The H2 tag will be an anchor point (id="usage") such that the URL: www.mydomain.com/widgets/#usage will skip down the page to the appropriate part of the widgets page.

Should I 301 redirect the old usage page to www.mydomain.com/widgets/#usage?
or just www.mydomain.com/widgets/

Logically, it seeems the right thing to do, but I've never seen a URL like this in G. SERPS, so I'm not sure how G. will interpret the 301 when it contains a #?


10:59 am on May 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

It's a fine idea to use #widget for linking using named anchors but for a 301 redirect, I'd say /thepage/ simply because th PR will accrue to the page redirected to, and there's no indication that crawlers will follow a link to a named anchor.

But mainly, to be sure the redirection will actually work. I've thought of it, but never done it, instead just used named anchors with links from other pages. It's part of the HTML specifications to used a named anchor but I doubt that it's specified as valid with Apache. I've never seen it in the Apache documentation.


11:22 am on May 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks for your input Marcia. I've set it up as a test and the 301 redirect (containing the #) is functional, in that it does redirect the browser to the anchored part of the main page. My main concern is how/if Google will react to the # as part of its 301 processing system.

I'm still unsure. I assume that since google does not show anchors in its SERPS, Google must simply strip out the # part (and anything following it) and simply index the page using the main part of the URL. For some reason a part of me thinks that that might not be the case though...


5:13 pm on May 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

- bump -

Anyone else have experience of this?


5:54 pm on May 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jdmorgan is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Google should ignore the named anchor, as it is considered a "presentational" element. For the same reason, Clients never send named anchors in HTTP requests to servers; They send only the URL. Once the requested page has been fetched, clients then use the named anchors to navigate within the content to present the indicated part.



6:17 pm on May 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

So it seems highly unlikely that this would cause any problems with Googles indexing systems. It's what I'd suspected, but its always good to get some feedback instead of just assuming. Thanks JDM.

[edited by: Panic_Man at 6:18 pm (utc) on May 6, 2007]


6:52 pm on May 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Also, consider how many named anchors spiders run across when they crawl pages. If they would consider these pages separately from the 'main' page, there would be a lot of duplicate content within the SERPS. I assume that they just strip out anything after the # and add what's before to their crawl list.

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