Online Marketing at Personal
17 November 2009 06:52am
We are about to change our website URL structure to improve our Search Engine performance.
Our current structure is: http://www.expatwoman.com/Dubai/monthly_sub_1031.aspx
We want to change this page to something like:http://www.expatwoman.com/dubai/education-primary-secondary-schools-repton-school-dubai-sub-1031.aspx
We are worried about the knock-on effects of doing this, most importantly losing our page history with Google and current ranking.
Does anyone have advice?
17 November 2009 14:32pm
Ideally, you should use 301/302 redirects from old to new URLs. That way you preserve the old links from search engines and tell them that the content has moved to a new URL.
Worth searching the web for 301 re-directs, which are permanent (as opposed to 302, which are temporary).
Read more about these at following blog URL, where there is more information and pretty good explanations of your options:
On the webserver side, you should use mod_rewrite with apache. For IIS, there is a URL rewrite extension available... Very powerful and wide-ranging changes can be made with very little effort.
Managing Director at Inspiration Inc
17 November 2009 14:33pm
If your only looking at changing the sub-domain part of your URL then it's reasonably straight forward and only painful on Google for a very short while - if at all. Just make sure you have 301 redirects in place!
Hope that helps,
Managing Consultant at Firehorse Digital
17 November 2009 14:47pm
Make sure that you implement a comprehensive programme of 301 redirects from the old URLs to the new ones. A 301 is a response that the web server sends that tells browsers and search engine robots that a page has moved permanently from one location to another. The effect for search is that the search engine will transfer the authority built up by the old URL to the new one, assuming that the new URL does have the same or similar content to the old one.
All other things being equal, if you do this, you should lose no ranking in search (though there may be some short-term ups and downs while reindexing takes place) and you may in fact gain a few places by having better keywords in your URLs.
Seeing that you have over 89,000 pages indexed by Google, it may be quite hard to do this effectively unless you have access to a development team who can write you an application to create the redirects. You might also want to check that you have sufficient server capacity to cope with this number of redirects.
If doing them all is unworkable, then I've found a two-pronged strategy effective in similar situations to decide on which ones to target. First, look at all the URLs in Google's main index and try to do them (a competent SEO should be able to find this out for you), then look at your analytics and target the top landing pages from the last few months. (Exactly how many and how far back you go will depend on you and your website's particular recent history).
I hope this helps and please do get in touch if any of this needs more explanation.
searching at sco
20 November 2009 06:46am
We can remove the any structure very easily.
CEO at Econsultancy
23 November 2009 10:04am
I think you're doing the right thing with the URLs. However, as the others have said, it's critical to obsess about getting the permanent redirects (301s) done properly.
With a lot of content/pages (as we had when we did something similar) you need to automate it/write a script to do it.
You can read the full story of the Econsultancy Site Migration and SEO Impact here - if you're not changing your actual domain (as we were, along with host/IP etc.) then you should be fine. Hopefully you won't see any impact at all as you migrate and then possibly some uplift.
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