You’re damned if you do and your damned if you don’t
301 and 302 redirects have been on my agenda once again over the past week or so. I met an attendee at Search Engine Strategies Milan this year – he was desperately seeking help …
He told me the story of his website – 10,000 page views per day, 95% of which organic placement: Things were going well when suddenly his website went supplemental – that was his story.
I reviewed his site and got back to him. There were strange things going on, like a home page PR=6 and all internal (first level) pages linked from it with no PR at all … very strange.
I contacted him and asked numerous questions and only then he told me he had implemented a 301 redirect via a mambo plugin. He and omitted this minor detail in the story he told me at SES.
Problems started about 20 days after implementing the re-write. All old URLs were dropped from the index after about 20 days, leaving the new ones to shift for themselves, no Page Rank, no link juice, no nothing – just new pages, and all supplemental.
This lasted for about 4 months and just a few days ago the situation was improving (quite significantly according to the Client). The new URLs were now inheriting all the links and history from the old re-written ones. It took 4 months.
This is a perfect case of:
If it works don’t fix it
It also goes to prove that implementing a 301 to re-write your URLs works according to most guidelines out there; what they don’t tell you is how long it’s going to take to get everything back into place and working properly.
301 redirects are like moving to a new house – something is going to get lost or will break in the process and it’s going to take months to get things in the right place once you’re in your new home.
Now having said that you might enjoy reviewing the following posts on 301 redirects and 302 redirects …