In this article I will focus on web page redirection techniques, what works and what to avoid.
What is web page redirection and why would you want to use it?
Let’s say you rename a web page in your website, for no matter reason. Perhaps you determined to revamp your whole naming conference, maybe you determined to restructure your web site and want to maneuver pages into different folders, otherwise you just realized that you’re lacking valuable keywords.
Let’s elaborate a bit on the key phrases difficulty, since it’s a part of your search engine ranking success.
Let’s say the web page in question is about customized USB drives and you named it page1.htm. Then you definately learn some search engine marketing (Search Engine Optimization) articles and also you came upon that some search engines like google and yahoo use words within the actual file title as search keywords. Subsequent time you do a Google search, take a look at the results, most could have phrases in the precise file name (within the URL part) bolded, denoting a keyword match. Your USB drives web page will definitely benefit if named something like custom_usb_drives.htm instead.
Now that you renamed your page, you simply created a symphony of points for your self, for your users and for your position in search engine results.
You will have to point each link in your web site to the brand new page name. In case your web site is small, it should not be an enormous deal, but if your web site is large, you will inevitably make mistakes, primarily forgetting a hyperlink or two. This can end in visitors getting the dreaded “404 web page not discovered” error when clicking in your hyperlinks, robots (additionally know as crawlers or spiders) avoiding you, etc. Additionally, if you are heavily relying on guests from serps, then again, individuals will get a “404 page not discovered error”.
Let’s use the earlier example, for a long time your page1.htm was indexed by main search engines. If someone types “customized usb drives” in a search engine box, your page exhibits up on the first search outcomes screen. That’s improbable, only if somebody clicks on the link, they will be pointed to page1.htm, not to custom_usb_drives.htm, as a result of the primary web page is the one in the search engine’s index. It should take time, sometimes months, before the major search engines update their indexes with your new page name.
Lost Web page Rank (PR) points:
Google developed a proprietary algorithm that assigns a Web page Rank (PR) to every page on the web. PR is a quantity from 1 to 10 (10 being the perfect) and is intended to be a representation of how helpful and widespread a given page is. PR is influenced by many elements, one of many essential ones being Link Popularity. Link Recognition is a representation of how many “quality” or “relevant” sites hyperlink to your page. Without getting into an excessive amount of detail, it is increasingly tough and time consuming to achieve a excessive PR for your pages, particularly in the event you don’t have a very distinctive website with distinctive and highly wanted content. If you are merely working a business website, in a aggressive market (similar to selling customized branded USB drives, as in our example), then it takes lots of time and hard work to construct an excellent page PR.
When you rename a web page and discard the old web page, you additionally discard the PR of the page. Your renamed web page will probably be seen as a very new web page, with zero PR.
What is the answer?
I’ll start by enumerating a few of the methods used by the non-initiated.
Not recommended resolution 1: Duplicate content.
First thing that most likely is available in you thoughts is: nicely, why can’t you simply duplicate the page and let nature take its course. In different phrases, you should have two similar pages, one named page1.htm and one custom_usb_drives.htm. This gives you time to replace all hyperlinks and the search engines will eventually index the new page.
This resolution shouldn’t be viable as a result of search engines like google and yahoo will penalize you fairly badly, ‘thinking’ that you’re making an attempt to scam them through the use of the ‘duplicate content material’ technique.
Not really useful answer 2: Customized error message.
You possibly can create a custom error page. Nevertheless, you will lose rankings on the next search engine update as the file will appear to be non-existent. As discussed above, it could possibly be a while earlier than the web page with the brand new identify shall be listed and can appear in individuals’s searches. Additionally, your website online guests shall be frustrated by the fact that they now need to dig by means of your website to find the specified information.
Not advisable resolution three: An HTML Meta redirect.
You may implement a so called Meta refresh in a clean or custom-made page that has the title of the previous web page (in our example, page1.htm) that points to the brand new page. The redirect might be instantaneous, or delayed by a predetermine quantity of time. The delayed redirect has the benefit that you can place an additional message, corresponding to “please bear in mind that the page you are in search of changed location….. etc., and so forth…. you’ll be redirected robotically to the brand new location”
Prior to now, this was most likely probably the most used technique.
With out moving into the mechanics of the Meta redirect, which is basically a META tag assertion you advert to your HEADER section, know that there are additionally Java Script strategies that obtain similar results.
What is unhealthy about that is that this is a approach typically utilized by spammers to trick search engines like google and yahoo and it should be avoided, unless the page is in a section of your website that is not listed (often known as spidered or crawled). Search engine spammers create a web page that’s optimized for certain key phrases and phrases – it often has no real content. The page is then picked up by some serps, but when a customer clicks on the search engine entry, they are redirected to a different web site, often unrelated. Most serps have filters to detect this. Utilizing this type of search engine deception will see a site eventually banned or penalized by main players corresponding to Google.
The really helpful redirect strategy – 301 Redirect
A 301 redirect is the most efficient, visitor friendly, robotic (spider, crawler) pleasant and search engine friendly solution around for web pages that are hosted on servers running Apache. If you are unsure, examine with your internet hosting provider.
A 301 redirect is just a set of instructions you type into your .htaccess file.
When a customer (whether or not human or robotic) requests an internet web page by way of any means, your web server checks for a .htaccess file. The .htaccess file accommodates particular instructions for certain requests, including security, redirection points and the right way to deal with certain errors.
The code “301” is interpreted as “moved permanently”. After the code, the URL of the missing or renamed page is famous, followed by an area, then adopted by the new location or file name.
First of all, you will want to seek out the .htaccess file within the root listing of the place all your net pages are stored. If there isn’t any .htaccess file there, you possibly can create one with Notepad or the same application. Be certain when you name the file that you just bear in mind to place the “.” at the start of the file name. This file has no tail extension.
Some hosting providers provide redirect services via their “management panels”, so you don’t should carry out low stage changes on the .htaccess file itself. Instead, they supply a user pleasant interface for this. Examine with your internet hosting provider to see what the optimal technique to perform a 301 redirect is in your case. I will continue the article with the barebones solution.
If there is a .htaccess file already in existence with traces of code current, be very careful not to change any current line until you are acquainted with the features of the file.
Scroll down previous all the present code, leave a line house, then create a new line that follows this example:
redirect 301 /folder/page1.htm http://www.you.com/folder/custom_usb_drives.htm
It’s as easy as that. Save the file, add it back into your web and check it out by typing within the previous tackle to the page you have changed. You should be immediately and seamlessly transported to the brand new location.
Notes: Ensure not to add “http://www” to the first part of the assertion – simply put the trail from the highest level of your website to the page. Also make sure that you leave a single house between these components:
redirect 301 (the instruction that the page has moved)
/folder/page1.htm (the unique folder path and file name)
http://www.you.com/folder/custom_usb_drives.htm (new path and file name)
The identical format applies not solely to renamed files, but additionally to files moved to a special location.
The 301 redirect is the most secure strategy to preserve your rankings. On the subsequent indexing (crawling, spidering), the search engine robot will obey the rule indicated in your .htaccess file and index the new web page name every time a hyperlink or its inner database tries to access the outdated page. In the next replace (once more, this might take months), the old file title and path will likely be dropped and replaced with the brand new one. Generally you may see alternating outdated/new file names through the transition period, together with some doable fluctuations in rankings as things settle. Don’t panic, this is normal.
What if your web site is hosted on a Microsoft IIS server as an alternative?
If in case you have entry to the server, do this: In web companies manager, right click on the file or folder you want to redirect. Choose the radio titled “a redirection to a URL”. Enter the redirection page, examine “The exact url entered above” and the “A everlasting redirection for this resource”. Click “Apply”.
Should you shouldn’t have access to the server, ask your host to point you into the best direction.
In conclusion, one of the best and essentially the most clear way (to both human and robotic customers) to rename and move files in your website online, while preserving your search engine ranks is the 301 redirect.