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  1. #1
    Member Pink Spider's Avatar
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    Hi everyone

    I have a client who I'm doing a website re-design for.

    Basically, she has 2 websites - let's call them A and B.

    B is the new version of A but they have entirely different urls. For some reason, they're both still live - perhaps because she ranks pretty well for site A but badly for site B. However, site B is her business name so this is the one I'm re-designing for her.

    If I take down site A and do a simple re-direct to site B, is this going to affect her rankings for site A? I'd really appreciate any advice or recommendations anyone can give me on this.

    Many thanks
    Monique

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    Yes,

    Anytime you are planning on merging, making major changes to a site structure, changing primary domains... You should take the time and plan it out.

    301 redirects ( permanent redirects ) are the only recognized method to inform search engines they should no longer index a particular page, and start indexing an alternate page. ( yes, it's a page level thing ), but that's what search engines index... Pages not sites.

    If you use any other method of redirecting search engines, it will normally result in dropping the entire index and starting over again. Depending on the site and content, this could be a good thing. But if the site you are creating is the same basic concept and addresses the same demographic of visitors, then you want to capitalize on the move.

    In your situation what I would do ( I'm sure others may do thing differently ), create a line by line list of pages on each site, first determine which pages on the old site will not be carried over or have a similar page on the new site. Then determine which pages will be similar.

    Make a map saying which page you want to send to the new page.

    Start by gettin the new site up and running and you're happy with it.

    To find all the pages that you determined would NOT be redirected to the new site ... Put page level robots commands to not index and no follow.

    I normally wait a week or so, check the search engines and see if they have dropped this pages, you can also look in your log files to determine of search engines are still making "head" request for this pages.

    There are several ways of implementing 301 redirects correctly, and the best meh of will depend on what server side technology ( asp / PHP ) or of the pages are static.

    The absolute best way to implement a 301 redirect is straight from the server, but some hosting companies don't offer that level of access to that control, so if you don't have access to it...

    If you google 301 redirects, you should easily find the appropriate method for page level 301's that you can use. If your site is still static pages... You can use a JavaScript 301, but not all search engines recognize or support JavaScript redirects. If all else fails, for static pages, many hosting providers will manually set the 301 redirects for you, but you must submit a complete list at once.

    If you're using asp or PHP , you can use that to send the appropriate response back to the search engine and then redirect your page... To the new page. This is usually the easiest method for most people.

    As stated before, if you use any other type of redirect, search engines get suspicious and tend to back off of indexing completely.

    Once your 301s are in place, you can check search engines to see if they are listing the new pages ( google within a few days, some other search engines may take several months to update their indexes )... Once you know the bulk of your pages have been redirected... Then and only then should you consider a complete site redirect or shutdown.

    That will cause the least amount of negative impact on a site move ( in my experience and opinion ).

  4. #3
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Before you go any further, define "ranking well". "Ranking well" as in "receiving referral traffic for a term" or "ranking well" as in "I see me on Google on the first page so I'm ranking well"? The former is what you want...the latter is useless information.

    If it's the former, you might be better served to do your redirects the other way around...redirect users to the redesigned site with Domain A...assuming you're not altering content (be careful with this). Domain B can still be used for offline promotion, but there's nothing saying you can't use a domain name that isn't your business name as the primary domain for a site.

    If it's the latter, do what WZ said. The good news is if you're not receiving referral traffic, you don't have to be quite as careful as you normally would...you still will have to pay attention to what you're doing, but you won't encounter an end-of-the-world scenario if you slip up for the most part.
    Pink Spider likes this.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

  5. #4
    Member Squadron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pink Spider, post: 246383
    If I take down site A and do a simple re-direct to site B, is this going to affect her rankings for site A? I'd really appreciate any advice or recommendations anyone can give me on this.
    Short answer is "yes" in my experience.

    Site A will no longer rank and site B will eventually take on some of the Google PageRank, and hopefully the rankings, of site A. Last time I did 301 redirects it took 2-3 weeks for the new site to come into the search engine results.

    I suggest you hand-code page-for-page 301 redirects in the site A root .htaccess file. The wildcard redirect tools in some cpanel hosting sometimes don't work so well.

    To find a list of pages you may wish to redirect use this line in Google:

    site:siteadomain.com

    All the best.

  6. #5
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    The other thing you can do from within Google Webmaster Tools is indicate a new address.

    http://support.google.com/webmasters...n&answer=83106

    This can help speed things up, although as WZ and Squadron have pointed out, it still won't happen instantaneously. It will usually turn a process that can take a couple of weeks into a process that can take from my experience around 10-12 days, but every little bit helps.

    This only works for Google, though.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

  7. #6
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    I'd like to re-iterate the numbers I stated as well, they were with google.

    I did a major site rebuild last October, dropping a couple of sections and redoing everything else.

    I followed my above process and the search results started happening abiut a week out on google, took yahoo about 2 months to start updating theirs, but the the 301's handled users clicking on the links sending them to the new site.

    Not gonna name names here, but several other search engines still haven't updated their results. But then again, this site gets less than 100 referrals a month from those search engines. Where google sends 10000+ referrals ( based on log files ).

  8. #7
    Member Pink Spider's Avatar
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    Many thanks for all your help guys. I've not done 301 re-directs before but I'll follow your advice and see where it takes me
    Squadron likes this.

  9. #8
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    Using 301 Redirects from the old content to the new content will migrate your SEO results over and hopefully improve them if you have built the website correctly.Otherwise you might see a drop.I typically use redirects for 90 days then view the traffic analysis and google results to make sure the new links are being indexed properly. Hope this helps!

  10. #9
    Junior Member TheMachine's Avatar
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    Just remember that a percentage of Link Juice is lost when you 301 redirect.
    So you will want to try and contact as many site that link to Site A as possible and ask them to change their links to point to Site B to maintain the best flow of Link Juice.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMachine, post: 249014
    Just remember that a percentage of Link Juice is lost when you 301 redirect.
    So you will want to try and contact as many site that link to Site A as possible and ask them to change their links to point to Site B to maintain the best flow of Link Juice.
    Actually, not so much. 301's are the ONLY way to inform a search engine that a site layout or page structure has changed. If you have a lot of external links, unless they are great quality links on relevant sites with perfect anchor text. You should see little if any effect. Penguin addressed the " link exchanges", but even if you request an external site to hangs their link, they have no obligation to do so, if they even pay attention to those request.

    I recently did a site redesign for a client, he had over 60 inbound links from vendors, distributors, suppliers, mfg rep sites.

    His search rankings ( placement on page ), actually went up, partly due to the fact that many of his inbounds were not the greatest kind of back links ( click here ) and ( visit: sitename ), after restructuring the site, there were less than 30 visible inbounds ( according to google ), and inbound relevancy went from about 38% up to 86%.

    Since penguin and the link exchange fixes... Very few people talk about "link juice", why ? Because it was part of a overall scheme to manipulate rankings by buying or trading links to appear as if the site was more important " the more links the more important the content is" right ?

    Although google and every major search engine was talkin about the importance of back links, they knew from the beginning it was just a matter of time before it was easy exploited, and it was, and now its been addressed.

    Part of the "link juice" equation was the sheer number of inbounds you have, how can link juice even be a relevant term, when the number of inbounds is now a dis-qualifier ? Yes, your site can and will actuly be dropped from indexes if you have too high a ratio of "low quality" inbound links.


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