Redirects and SEO

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Summer 9 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #88002

    matts
    Member
    Post count: 33

    I have an old site that I am replacing with a brand new site with a new url also. The sites are pretty much the same as far as pages and posts. We exported all the pages/posts/media from old and imported into new. I have done a lot of SEO work on old site that I don’t want to waste. I have heard mixed answers on the best way to go about doing a redirect on old site to new site that will maintain most SEO efforts. One expert says that just doing a dns redirect will be fine while another expert says that won’t work well enough and I should create a redirect for every page and so on. The sites have over 700 posts on them not including pages and all the media. Hoping to get some more suggestions on best options to do this redirect and keep my good standing with SEO.

    Thank You
    Matt

    #88010

    Lorraine
    Participant
    Post count: 39

    Hi Matt, I still do 301 redirects in the .htaccess file and re-direct per page. I worked with a chap on a site with the number of posts you are talking about which stumped me but he managed to do it with regular expression…

    I wouldn’t be happy about leaving a DNS change to do the work, if that was the case most 301′s wouldn’t needed.

    If there are any people here who are good with regexp maybe they can steer you.

    #88023

    Summer
    Participant
    Post count: 1122

    I only started really reading upon SEO withing the past few months or so, but what I’ve read indicates that DNS redirects of one domain to the other will not retain your existing link juice… for that you have to redirect each page to its new page. I knew all the .htaccess tricks, but the SEO need for them was rather eye-opening.

    some references that might help:

    http://moz.com/learn/seo/redirection

    http://httpd.apache.org/docs/current/rewrite/remapping.html

    I also am still cleaning up a ton of 404s which negatively impacted us, from a transition we did in 2006 going from Movable Type to WordPress. Also, much to my surprise, even if you submit new sitemaps, you can’t get rid of those redirects for the 404s even after 5 years, because for some reason Google will still keep them indexed. That’s one thing I’d like to find out more about, why they do things like that.

    On some of my older sites (10-15-19yrs old now), I use a combination of mod_rewrite, .htaccess redirects, and more recently I’ve begun to use plugins like Redirection and Redirect List, just so I can see which old links are still getting traffic to them.


    #88031

    Lorraine
    Participant
    Post count: 39

    Just to add, Webmaster Tools has a csv that you can download with 404′s that can speed the writing of your 301′s. Obviously this is retrospective repairing so not best practice….

    #88044

    Summer
    Participant
    Post count: 1122

    Yes, Webmasters Tools has been a great help in my cleanup efforts, but what I found odd was that there are a lot of 404s in my logs that the Webmasters Tools tracker wasn’t listing. The 4-5 links getting the most amount of hits according to visists tracked by Redirection weren’t even in the top 25 prioritized links that WMT was listing.

    That discrepancy was what led me to trying to figure out how Google was tracking and ranking those 404s, but haven’t turned up any solid explanations as yet.


    #88094

    matts
    Member
    Post count: 33

    Thanks for the info. This scares me a bit. I really don’t want to take some big steps backwards.

    #88106

    Summer
    Participant
    Post count: 1122

    Learned some of it the hard way. We had an old site, from a defunct yet popular humor & beer podcast, and while we wanted to keep the show archives available online & in iTunes, we didn’t want to keep the old domain name (we had a bunch of old shows and domains that we wanted to consolidate).

    So I created one site, to archive all the different versions of that show (using Genesis and an old version of Minimum, in fact), and for a while, about 3 months, redirected posts from the old site to the new one, and successfully transitioned all the old podcast feeds to the new ones so that folks browsing in iTunes could still get to all the shows.

    But silly me, thinking that that was more than enough time to maintain the 301 redirects. We let the old domain lapse at the end of its registration, thinking that things would continue on just fine.

    “BZZZZT — Sorry Hans, Wrong Guess. Would you like try for Double Jeopardy, where the scores can really change?”

    Yeah, when that old domain went away, I noticed a small traffic dropoff, but I wasn’t prepared for the traffic disappearing completely when someone scooped up the old domain and turned it into a Japanese porn site :)

    If I were even more cynical than usual, I’d think that somewhere in all this mess was a scam to keep people paying for domains long after they don’t need or want anymore.

    So yes, approach your redirects and domain transitions with care. I did everything right from a technical standpoint, and everything wrong from a search engine standpoint simply because at the time I wasn’t aware of how much an impact it had on things. A year later, I know different.


    #88175

    matts
    Member
    Post count: 33

    I don’t plan on giving up the old domain anytime soon. Not for many years anyway.

    Do you think my best/easy option is to install a good redirection plugin on old site and just start individually adding the new links one by one?

    #88176

    matts
    Member
    Post count: 33

    But if 98% of all my links are the same with just a different primary url, would I actually be safe with doing a full one time redirect?

    #88181

    Lorraine
    Participant
    Post count: 39
    #88183

    matts
    Member
    Post count: 33

    So just add that Linux redirect to htaccess and I should be ok?

    Can I do this and exclude one page? For instance, I would like to be able to view my Dashboard area on old site for reference if needed but everything else can be redirected.

    #88184

    Lorraine
    Participant
    Post count: 39

    If you need a back up of the old site I would download it and set up a copy on your local machine. If you haven’t done that before WAMP server is a good place to start. When you get it running it’s just the same as setting up on a new server. You just need to set the user and DB from scratch in PHPmyadmin on your local machine.

    I’m not sure of the benefit of having access to the dashboard if you can’t see the front of the actual site.

    #88186

    matts
    Member
    Post count: 33

    I am not sure either. lol. Just in case I guess.

    thanks for your help.

    #88188

    Lorraine
    Participant
    Post count: 39

    You should set up a local copy then Matt… :-)

    #88207

    Summer
    Participant
    Post count: 1122

    If on the old site, you use this in your .htaccess

    RedirectMatch ^(.*)$ http://www.newdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L]

    that should redirect all the old URLs to the new domain with the same post names.

    However, if you want more granularity on what content you redirect, you might want to try Quick Page/Post Redirect. It give you the ability to enter a redirect URL on a per page/post basis, so you could redirect what you want, and not redirect other items.


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