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Redirecting site - what should I expect?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by bigleftie, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. bigleftie

    bigleftie Junior Member

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    Occupation:
    Senior Software Engineer
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    I built a site, OLD.com, that was ranking pretty good in Google (On page 1 for 8 terms). I decided that I wanted to stop pushing OLD.com because it had a trademarked name in the domain.

    I created a new site, NEW.com, by using most of the content from OLD.com.

    OLD.com uses URLs like: OLD.com/a-url.htm and NEW.com uses URLs formatted like: NEW.com/a-url/ - (.htm versus slash at the end). Because of this, I was unable to use a 301 at the top level; had to put one in each page.

    At this point, each URL on OLD.com is properly being forwarded to the corresponding URL on NEW.com. FWIW, I accomplished this using the following code on each page of OLD.com:

    Code:
    <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
    <HTML>
    <HEAD>
    <META HTTP-EQUIV="Refresh" CONTENT="0; URL=htp://www.NEW.com/a-url/">
    </HEAD>
    <BODY>
    </body>
    </html
    
    NEW.com is not yet indexed.

    I have stopped building backlinks for OLD.com and begun building them for NEW.com.

    Have I done everything necessary to make the migration occur?

    I expect to see the following:

    1. Google indexes NEW.com.
    2. NEW.com will rank for same/similar keywords that OLD.com is ranking for.
    3. NEW.com will continue to rise in the SERPS; OLD.com will continue to drop.
    4. Eventually, OLD.com will fall out of the SERPS and only NEW.com will rank.

    Is this correct?
     
  2. Olbol

    Olbol Junior Member

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    If done all correctly, and every single link is accounted for, then the results should be pretty much as you've said. Some people say that a 301 redirect is not a strong as a straight link. I guess your move will be the ultimate test!

    Might also be worth pinging a few of the "weaker" pages, make sure they are all indexed quickly.
     
  3. bigleftie

    bigleftie Junior Member

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    All links are accounted for and done correctly (tested each one).

    By "straight link", do you mean the "meta-refresh" approach I am using?

    When Google encounters a 301, it updates its database to show that the old URL has been permanently moved to the new URL.

    Will it does the same thing for a Meta-Refresh?
     
  4. Crixus

    Crixus Regular Member

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    Occupation:
    Jack of all trades, master of a couple.
    Location:
    the ludus
    Meta refresh is a bad idea. You need to 301 those urls.

    Code:
    <?php
    header("HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently");
    header("Location: http://www.newdomain.com/newdir/");
    exit();
    ?> 
    Your transition may not be a smooth one, never expect the best results.
     
  5. bigleftie

    bigleftie Junior Member

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    Occupation:
    Senior Software Engineer
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    NJ, USA
    Thanks Crixus. Your reply made me do a little more research and learn that using my original (META REFRESH) method was telling Google that there were two sites with duplicate content. Definitely not what I wanted to do.

    My old domain is hosted using GoDaddy's Windows hosting, and made up of .HTM pages.

    My new domain is hosted on a GoDaddy's Linux hosting and is a WordPress blog with slugs that do not end in .HTM.

    1) Windows hosting prevented me from simply updating a .htaccess file on the OLD domain and being done with the problem in 5 minutes
    2) Simply redirecting the entire domain was not an option since the target URL was not the same. (OLD-page.htm -> old-page/ )


    I have come up with a solution that will:

    1) Tell the search engines that the site has been moved permanently.
    2) Redirect each page from the old domain, to the corresponding page on the new domain.

    For each page on my old site, I added an entry in my .htaccess of my new site like this...

    Code:
    Redirect 301 /old-page.htm http://www.newdomain.com/old-page/
    Then, using LiveHTTPHeaders in Firefox, I was able to look at the Headers to see that the headers do in fact indicate that each of the old pages was being redirected to the proper page on the new domain.

    Then, I set up GoDaddy to forward the OLD domain to the NEW domain.

    Finally, I went to Google Webmaster Tools, where I had both the OLD and the NEW domain authenticated already, and set the OLD domain to be redirected to the NEW domain (using Change of Address under Site Configuration).

    Based on everything I have read, this is the best shot I have at keeping the rankings I achieved with the old domain.

    More importantly, this method will not make the search engines think that my new site is a duplicate of my old site.

    Hope this helps someone... thanks again to all who replied.
     
  6. WebOvative

    WebOvative Newbie

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    I picked up a great dropped domain last year, built a new site in the same niche on the domain, checked my apache error log for the highest traffic 404 urls and and used the htaccess 301 to redirect them to new pages with good results, no loss of pr