301 Redirects – Can Make or Break your website
Looking at the trend that websites have taken – be it design, concept, influence of search engine, new launch of website has become a big stressful exercise. Following are identified as Risks in re-vamping website
- Loose Search Rankings
- Loose content and images
- Book Marked links
For sure we’ve all seen that when we clicked on a website link and it ended up being broken. Typically you’ll see a “404 Error message” or “Page Not Found exception.” A lot of times this is caused when a page is moved to a new URL and the old link hasn’t been directed to the new page. 404 errors can also be seen during Perfornance testing a website leading to issues in your HTTP servers. In case of live website, just think about the lost opportunity when your customers or potential buyers want information and they get 404 errors. So a mechanism needs to be devised such that when we move a page on a website, make certain that one needs to use a permanent 301 Redirect, a method used to change an old URL to a new one.
In addition to keeping visitors happy when navigating your website, permanent 301 redirects are also important for SEO. When a user can’t find a new page, nor can a search engine, and you’ll lose any SEO status the old page once had. To keep the SEO juice following to new pages, set up a 301 redirect for pages that have been moved so search engines know where to find it.
What are 301 Re-Directs?
301 redirects are a server side redirection, meaning that once a search engine (or user for that matter) comes into the page looking for a previous URL they are redirected to the new URL and simultaneously told to remember that redirect because the change is permanent.
How to do 301 Re-deirects?
Most websites are hosted on apache web servers and therefore the easiest way to handle a redirect is with regular expressions in the .htaccess file.
Example Using .htaccess (Linux / Apache)
redirect 301 /old-page.php http://www.example.com/new-page.php
Example Using httpd.ini (Windows)
RewriteRule /old-page.asp http://www.example.com/new-page.asp
There are multiple things that can happen and needs 301 redirect thought process.
What if a company is taken over by another company and wants to retain the old search engine rankings?
What if the company name is changed?
ow to handle the website if the company is split?
How to remove the old service that is no longer a need, but introduce new service?
How to get same ranking for new service introduced?
at if we move the website to new server with new service provider?
I except that when a website needs to be re-vamped, one person can spend time to list the pages (along with Bread Crumbs) that will be removed and as and when new ones get developed, update the list to interlink the two. Before going live, we can host the website and immediately update appropriate files to have them re-directed. It is always advised to have a professional people to do who can understand – Website design and development, SEO and Social media optimization organization like Nispaara.