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    Correct 301 procedure on existing domain and risks


    I have an existing domain and I'm finishing up a redesign that will result in a major change in the structure of the site. So, www.site.com/page.html will now be www.site.com/d/page.html and so on. My host uses cPanel which has a front-end for setting up 301s. I have two questions:

    1. Is this the best method for setting up 301's? If not, what is the best method (please be specific, as I'm more on the design side than coder side)?

    2. Will the PR and SERP's transfer? I've read some 301 horror stories, but they seem to be mostly surrounding changes in domain names. What are the risks of such widespread 301s, if any?

    Thanks.
    Chris
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    I wouldn't even worry about using 301s if your home page is still the same. I guess it depends. How old is your site, do the robots visit frequently, are you ranking first page for keyphrases on any of these pages? I'd just create a 404 error page that redirects to the home page of the site and get the pages that you want to redirect off of the server as soon as possible.
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    I wouldn't even worry about using 301s if your home page is still the same.
    Yes, the homepage will remain the same.

    How old is your site, do the robots visit frequently, are you ranking first page for keyphrases on any of these pages?
    The site is four years old (gone through many transitions). I am ranking first on some critical keywords. For the end user, the homepage would be fine -- as it would be very easy for them to find the information they are seeking. My concern is the loss of PR on the individual pages and loss of SERP's down the road. If Google realizes that www.mysite.com/review.htm is no longer there...maybe I lose my ranking?

    -Chris
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    The PR will most likely not be there until the next update, but still it is nothing I would lose sleep about. Just get it done now and it'll take care of itself. You won't lose your ranking from Google for changing page names. There are a lot of companies out there that move pages to archive folders or even delete entire pagesto keep their sites clean and they still rank very well.
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    I've got a few concerns of a 301 redirect I'm performing in a few days. This thread seems right.

    I uploaded a website to my new site on December 10, 2004. The site was redirected from my old site, but after no hits and me being new to SEO, I took the site down after March. After that, the old site went back on its way and the new site only had a domain name. Funny thing is, the new site ended up getting alot more links than the old site.

    SO I am here to try redirecting again, but this time I customized the new site with a CMS made from PHP. The content is 80% the same, but the CMS and new layout changes the site drastically. Will the Big Three SE's think of this as fine or what? Also is only having the domain name linked from sites and thus indexed in all the search engines make my new domain name now almost out of the sandbox? Its been nearly 9-11 months since I was indexed.

    Thanks
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    Something else interesting I found was that if you search for my site's name, Video Game Escape, my new domain is number 2, even though I blocked the site from google and there is no mention of my site's name in my site, yet my old site is on page 7 or so and its page title is Video Game Escape. (This means my backlink power for the new domain is much stronger).

    So if such a big change in coding occurs with the redirect, I wonder what google and other big search engines will think?
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    I wouldn't even worry about using 301s if your home page is still the same. I guess it depends. How old is your site, do the robots visit frequently, are you ranking first page for keyphrases on any of these pages? I'd just create a 404 error page that redirects to the home page of the site and get the pages that you want to redirect off of the server as soon as possible.
    Where did you get this information from??? It's completely not the right thing to do and could effect a site's rankings and PR drastically. Yes your homepage would be fine but all your internal pages would have to start from scratch.

    You DO want to redirect oldpage to newpage using 301. You DO want to keep all the old pages up for atleast a month until the redirect takes effect.

    Removing everything and simply putting up a 404 is foolish and I stronger discourage doing that. A 301 is a internet standard redirect all spiders understand and obey so why wouldn't you use it?

    Something else interesting I found was that if you search for my site's name, Video Game Escape, my new domain is number 2, even though I blocked the site from google and there is no mention of my site's name in my site, yet my old site is on page 7 or so and its page title is Video Game Escape. (This means my backlink power for the new domain is much stronger).
    That's because your old redirect worked and that's why your new domain has more backlinks. Most likely because your old site's backlinks were redirected to the new domain.
    -PK
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    Okay, pk_synths, will there be any problems to re-do the 301 redirect to the new domain (I stopped the 301 redirect months ago) if the code is different because of a PHP CMS and new layout, but content is 80-90% the same.
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    Originally Posted by Vgescape
    Okay, pk_synths, will there be any problems to re-do the 301 redirect to the new domain (I stopped the 301 redirect months ago) if the code is different because of a PHP CMS and new layout, but content is 80-90% the same.
    The redirect should be fine aslong as you redirect each page to it's new page on the new domain. Also give it time. The process does take awhile so dont panic.
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    I set up my redirects about two weeks ago. Today, I noticed that my rankings are using the new URL's which is good. No change on the PR front. All the new pages are PR 0. Not a big deal, but would nice to get them where they were before. My biggest concern were SERP's and they seem to have been carried over. The only thing I did not do was leave the existing pages up. This wasn't possible due to the CMS I use -- I simply moved a whole database over when the new site went live.

    So far, so good.
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    No change on the PR front. All the new pages are PR 0. Not a big deal, but would nice to get them where they were before.
    You wont have PR for awhile. Probably until the next PR update which happens every 3 months or so. At that time it's not even guarenteed to be the same as before (but usually is).

    Honestly all you should be worrying about is your traffic and rank and not about some little green bar

    Good luck!
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    Originally Posted by pk_synths
    The redirect should be fine aslong as you redirect each page to it's new page on the new domain. Also give it time. The process does take awhile so dont panic.
    Heh, one more concern pk (thanks for info so far), my link structure is completly changing into being organized while my old one was all over the place, do I really need to redirect allthe pages on the old domain? I have about 200 pgs of content and then another 200 of individual images. I really don't see a need of redirecting the images as for my new site, if you click on an image, it pops up as a javascript so redirecting would be hard.

    I am redirecting most of my content pages through .htaccess though.

    Would it be better perhaps to redirect everything indexed by the Three Big Search engines?

    How do you think I should do it? And although I hear loads of numbers, what is your estimated time of the 301 redirecting getting my new site indexed?

    Thanks.
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    do I really need to redirect allthe pages on the old domain?
    If you want to do a true 301 than yes. Have the filenames changed too??

    Also remember that the 301 will also redirct the USER which is the most important part of all. So image how a user will feel when they think they are going to a certain page and than shot over to a homepage on some new domain.

    I really don't see a need of redirecting the images as for my new site, if you click on an image, it pops up as a javascript so redirecting would be hard.
    Spiders dont read javascript so those were never indexed anyway.

    Would it be better perhaps to redirect everything indexed by the Three Big Search engines?
    What do you mean exactly??? A 301 redirect applies to ALL spiders. Dont specifiy just one or top 3.

    And although I hear loads of numbers, what is your estimated time of the 301 redirecting getting my new site indexed?
    It'll get indexed the next time a spider comes by. Doesnt necessarily mean it'll be "in" the index but it takes about a solid month for you to start seeing the results.
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    Okay, I think you misunderstood my screenshots concern. I'll do a more general question that should answer all my concerns:

    Is it fine to 301 redirect multiple pages from my old site to the same page on my new site?
    Last edited by Vgescape; Oct 7th, 2005 at 11:26 PM.

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