Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Managing redirects notes & links

Managing Redirects

When designing landing pages with new unique marketing URLS, alerts need to set up a redirect to the correct page. If the site is indexed by search engines, the traffic needs to redirect seamlessly and correctly to avoid any problems with crawling and indexing.

The way to achieve the above is to implement a permanent re-direction (HTTP status code 301) to the pages which need to be moved.

Important to remember that 301 redirects – are server side redirects which are generally set up in the .htaccess file (Apache server) or in the control panel (IIS server).

Process being to use either the PermanentRedirect or mod-rewrite to redirect the page.

If on a Linus or Unix – system then placing redirects into a .htaccess file will be the best and easiest way.

The.htaccess file is just a text file which can be created in with a plain text editor (ie: Notepad). When uploaded to the root level of the website with the main index page, it will work alongside the server and handle everything.

It can even redirect from htm to asp – see below:

Redirect 301 /old-file-name.htm

Important to note that meta refresh or javascript redirects are not best practice when it comes to SEO – to find out more I recommend the below links:
Useful links for more information

IIS Redirects – 301 & 302

Apache Domain Redirects for SEO

301 Parking and Other Redirects for SEO

Draw backs and options

Setting up the redirects does mean that for every incorrect URL request, you will in turn be asking the browser to go and fetch a new URL (in effect 2 requests). However it is enabling you to not show to the search engines 2 URLs of the same content, which is bad practice.

Another option with regards to marketing landing pages, is that if all landing pages are set up in a separate directory - you can inform spiders not to index the pages, by disallowing that area for all spiders in the robots.txt file.

Setting up an internal 302 redirect will cause the original URL to be indexed, but the content found will be that of the destination URL – not the previous URL.

Duplicate content revisited

Redirects are also used to help solve duplicate content issues. It is important to make sure that 1 page can’t be reached by more than 1 URL. You can sometimes see sites with more than one URL for the same content example being:

Such as:


Should people (bookmarks) sites (Href) link into these pages then by having 3 separate URLS will mean that you will fail to maximise on all your incoming links.

The number of incoming links is very important for SEO – and if you fail to get control on how people could link to your site – then you are immediately reducing ability to appear higher in the natural search results.

No comments: