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    301 or rel=canonical


    Hello guys,

    We are redesigning a site and some of the URL structure have changed in order to have a better content organisation amongst other things (many URLs were just in the root but now are under relevant categories).

    Now some of those old pages have a pretty decent Page authority and are ranked at page 1 for their keywords and reading through some articles, there was a suggestion to not touch those URLs since even with a 301 to the new url (for e.g. /top-page.html to /top-page), the indexed pages will loose their ranking and page authority.

    This kind of conflicts with what Matt Cutts said about 301 although since having never done it, another option we considered was keeping the old page as well as the new page and in the old page putting a rel=canonical to the new page rather than doing a 301. Will this second option help preserve the current ranking or is it just too much effort for something that won't make much difference?

    Any pointers would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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    Use the 301. If you keep both indexed, the new version of the page will be competing against the old one in search results, which benefits neither.
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    Originally Posted by nirpan
    Hello guys,

    We are redesigning a site and some of the URL structure have changed in order to have a better content organisation amongst other things (many URLs were just in the root but now are under relevant categories).

    Now some of those old pages have a pretty decent Page authority and are ranked at page 1 for their keywords and reading through some articles, there was a suggestion to not touch those URLs since even with a 301 to the new url (for e.g. /top-page.html to /top-page), the indexed pages will loose their ranking and page authority.

    This kind of conflicts with what Matt Cutts said about 301 although since having never done it, another option we considered was keeping the old page as well as the new page and in the old page putting a rel=canonical to the new page rather than doing a 301. Will this second option help preserve the current ranking or is it just too much effort for something that won't make much difference?

    Any pointers would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
    301 redirect would be the proper element to do.

    The amount of PageRank that dissipates through a 301 is currently identical to the amount of PageRank that dissipates through a link.
    Source: Google: 301 Redirects & Links Pass Equal Link Juice
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