This is my first post on this forum! Until recently I've just had a good overall understanding of SEO and the way Google ranks a website; enough to talk to people about it in theory.
Now I am trying to learn the technicalities so I can better protect my clients' interests.
I just finished a website for a client recently who currently has an html site. The website I developed, which will launch probably early next week, is running on Joomla, its around a hundred pages.
The website right now (old one) is PR4 and ranks decently for some keywords which lead to deeper (product) pages. Hence I need to maintain the rankings on the SERPs, PR, link juice, etc. Since it is a revamp, the new site will sit on the same domain name.
Consider this Scenario:
Product X's current url: ...../product/2.html
Product X's new url produced by Joomla: ...../products/product-x
So here's the critical question I can't find an answer for:
After writing the 301s and after the website has launched, is there any need to keep the old pages exactly on the same path as they were before??
Ideally I'd want to delete the pages of course. However an SEO optimizer I came across on odesk very strongly feels the pages should remain there. This doesn't make sense to me since I thought 301 is a server level redirect and when the request for the old page comes in, the web server acknowledges the request and outputs the new page based on the 301 instruction defined in the .htaccess file.
Can an expert please shed some light on this issue with some supporting evidence? I would graciously appreciate that!
Thanks guys! Hope to hear from someone soon!