How To Do a 301 Redirect

A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect that sends users and search engines from one page to another. It routes your website visitors to the correct webpage, which helps maintain your search engine rankings. In this post, we’ll guide you through the process of implementing a 301 redirect with the latest strategies.

What is a 301 redirect? A 301 redirect is an HTTP status code that directs a page to a new URL. When someone encounters a 301 redirect, they’re automatically redirected to the designated destination URL. This type of redirect is commonly used when the content on a page has been moved permanently. By using a 301 redirect, you can retain the link value earned by the old page and avoid duplicate content issues.

Implementing a 301 redirect using .htaccess for Apache:

Ensure that you have access to your server and the Apache configuration file. Contact your hosting company if you don’t have access.

Locate the .htaccess file in the root web folder of your site. If it doesn’t exist, create a new file.

Open the .htaccess file using a UNIX-style text editor.

To redirect a specific page, add the following line to the file:

RedirectPermanent /old-file.html http://www.domain.com/new-file.html

Replace “/old-file.html” with the old page URL and “http://www.domain.com/new-file.html” with the new page URL.

To redirect an entire domain:

RedirectPermanent / http://www.new-domain.com/

Replace “http://www.new-domain.com/” with the new domain URL.

Make sure to add a blank line at the end of the file.

Save the changes and test the redirect to ensure it’s working correctly.

Implementing a 301 redirect using IIS on a Microsoft Windows Server:

Open Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager from the Administrative Tools in the Start menu.

  • Select the site you want to work on.
  • Check if the URL Rewrite module is installed. If not, install it.
  • Double-click the URL Rewrite module to open it.
  • Click “Add Rules” and choose “Blank Rule” under the Inbound Rules section.
  • Enter a name for the rule and go to the Match URL panel.
  • Set the requested URL to “Matches the Pattern” and select “Using” as Regular Expressions.
  • Specify the pattern based on whether you’re redirecting a single page, a group of pages, or an entire domain.
  • Ensure that “ignore case” is checked.
  • Go to the action panel and select “Redirect” as the Action Type.
  • Enter the new destination URL, including the backreference {R:0} to preserve page URLs.
  • If you use tracking parameters, check “Append Query String.”
  • Choose “Permanent (301)” as the Redirect type.
  • Apply the redirect and save the changes.

Alternative methods to implement a 301 redirect: If you don’t have access to your .htaccess file or Windows Server Administration Panel, you can implement a 301 redirect using code on your old pages. Depending on the programming language used (e.g., PHP, ASP, Java), you can modify the response headers at the top of each page to perform a permanent redirect.

Why you might need to implement a 301 redirect: There are several common scenarios where a 301 redirect is necessary:

Changing your entire root domain.

Reorganizing pages by changing or removing a directory.

Redirecting incorrect or outdated URLs to the correct ones.

Creating vanity URLs for marketing purposes.

Remember, 301 redirects are crucial for maintaining your website’s SEO and user experience. We’ve outlined all of the information you need about 301 redirects, but if you have any questions or need further assistance with 301 redirects, feel free to ask in the comments below.

Maximize your website’s potential and SEO prowess with expert 301 redirects—elevate your site traffic and rankings now. Contact us.

FAQ: How can I implement a 301 redirect for SEO success?

Mastering the intricacies of SEO is crucial for online success. How can I implement a redirect 301 for SEO success? This question arises frequently. Let’s look into the importance and effects of redirects with an eye toward seamless implementation.

Understanding the Power of 301 Redirects

Implementing a 301 redirect is more than a technical maneuver; it’s a strategic move that can significantly impact your website’s search engine ranking. A 301 redirect signals a permanent move from one URL to another, consolidating link equity and ensuring a smooth transition for both users and search engines.

SEO Impact of 301 Redirects

When executed correctly, 301 redirects contribute to maintaining your website’s authority and visibility. They prevent users from encountering dead ends and guide search engine crawlers to the new location, preserving the value of inbound links. This not only enhances user experience but also safeguards your hard-earned SEO efforts.

Elevate Your SEO Game with Expert 301 Redirect Implementation

Mastering the art of 301 redirects is a pivotal skill in the SEO realm. By understanding their significance, impact, and implementing them strategically, you pave the way for sustained online success. Remember, SEO is a dynamic field, and staying abreast of best practices ensures your website remains competitive in the digital arena.

Step-by-Step Guide for Implementing a 301 Redirect:

  1. Audit Your Site: Conduct a comprehensive audit of your site’s current URL structure.
  2. Choose the Right Method: Opt for a 301 redirect for a permanent move.
  3. Access Your Server: Use FTP or your hosting provider’s file manager to access your server.
  4. Locate the .htaccess File: Find the .htaccess file in your website’s root directory.
  5. Backup .htaccess: Create a backup of your .htaccess file.
  6. Craft Redirect Rules: Write 301 redirect rules using the syntax “Redirect 301 /old-page.html http://www.yourdomain.com/new-page.html.”
  7. Test the Redirect: Verify the redirect’s functionality.
  8. Update Internal Links: Modify internal links to point to the new URLs.
  9. Submit Updated Sitemap: Notify search engines by submitting an updated sitemap through Google Search Console.
  10. Monitor Performance: Keep a vigilant eye on your website’s performance post-implementation.

Continue with the remaining steps to ensure a seamless 301 redirect for SEO success.

This article was updated on December 11, 2023.   

See Bruce's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (92)
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92 Replies to “How To Do a 301 Redirect”

I really loved your blog. It helped me understand the 301 redirection quite easily. Thanks. Looking forward to more such blogs.

How about if we do a redirect on Domain server level – i.e. like if you check Godaddy they give you option do you want to move domain (old URL) to a new URL.

Robert Stefanski

Hi Drone Ninja,

Thanks for your question! A redirect on the domain server level is OK as long as that redirect results in a 301 redirect AND the subpages for the URL are also redirected in a way that you want them to be.

Amazing article, very helpful and informative. Thanks for sharing it.

Extremely helpful. Thank you for sharing this information I will surely apply it on my website.

Very nice explaination about 301 redirection. You have nicely explained about implementation of 301 redirect.

Very informative. This blog helps us to make a better understanding of how can we redirect 301.

its crazy to think how 301 redirects could impact your SEO efforts.

Bad method, avoid it.

Hi,
It counts as a 302 redirect.
With a 200 OK on both the start and target page, the search engine index both the start page and the target page.
Since this method is a known spam method, it is best to avoid it.

I’m not sure what you’re asking here. If you don’t want a file to be indexed, then yes, use the robots.txt file to exclude it.

This defines index-d.html as being the first page that the server looks for on a directory request. If it can’t find that page, then it will go to index.html and so on.

I have a question about 301 permanent redirect and your advice will be great. I have an website about snoring and on that website are 2 related articles, 1 of them ranks for a lot of kws position 2-10 ( article A) and the other one just for 4-5 kws position 1-3 (article B). Both articles are on first google page and I want to permanent redirect the article B to A. Also on my website are some articles that point to article B and I want them to point to article A using same anchor texts. Now my question: Does this changes will pass the juice to article B to A and it will increase the article A rankings? And if I do this changes should I delete article B and reuse the content on other websites? Thank you very much for your time I will wait your answer, please excuse my bad english.

Paula Allen

Susan: There are no guarantees, but your plan seems basically sound. The 301 will preserve existing link equity. But consider whether the two pages are currently acting as support pages for each other (linked and with unique but closely related content). If so, they form a sort of mini-silo, and the surviving page’s rankings might suffer if you remove its support page. Also, any time you want to remove a page that is ranking, try to make sure that the page you’re redirecting it to can answer the same questions. I hope that helps.

its crazy to think how 301 redirects could impact your SEO efforts.

This blog really helped me out in placing redirect 301 on its place. Everything has been explained really well.

Very informative. this blog helps us to make a better understanding of how can we redirect 301 . thanks for the post.

Awesome easy guide ! A newbie can understand that very well .Thanks for the post !

301 redirects have a lot of uses when it comes to SEO. Use them strategically and you could see huge gains in organic traffic. However, it pays to make sure there are no existing problems with 301 redirects on your website first, as these could be hindering your current and future SEO efforts.

How to do a 301 Redirect is really most important when you don’t want to lose your website traffic. Really appreciate your efforts in writing this and sharing with us.

I really appreciate your efforts in writing and explaining the implementation of 301 redirect. It is really helpful for all the SEO experts.

301 and 302 re best SEO practices. whenever we want to temporary down a page we need to use 302 redirects. If you use these redirects in a wrong way then you can loss your website seo, so always make sure and double check when using these redirects.

Found the solution,After struggling redirection issues

thanks

How about if we do a redirect on Domain server level – i.e. like if you check Namecheap they give you option do you want to move domain (old URL) to a new URL

Paula Allen

Drone Master: If you do a redirect on the server level like the example given with Namecheap, then you will use their tools to set it up and the host (Namecheap) will do this for you. Typically, they redirect ALL URLs to the new site, so if you want some customization then this probably isn’t the best way to go.

Thanks, I had no idea how a 301 was done on a windows server :) Always done in .htacces, the first time I had a Windows server I didn’t know how to insert the rules :)

Paula Allen

Teamgorilla, we’re happy to help.

Thx Bruce,
For last couple of days I was having difficulty for 301 Redirect code.
You gave many examples and thx to all those made comments.

Paula Allen

Hi Riya – We’re so glad this article helped you work out your redirects. Thanks for letting us know!

It really bugs me that I have let so much good juice go to watse by not properly editing the 301 re-directs. But at least now I have a good grasp of what is required – thanks for this – even if I was a little late in picking it up!@

Grateful,
Dan

This is a great post. Properly 301 redirecting is very important. Especially in 2016.

almigomo

I would like to move one language version (in this case english version) of the multilingual site to the new domain but, on the new domain would like to use different URLs for some old pages.
Is it possible to do it like that and what would be the step by step guide?

Best regards in advance for a help.

Hey Virginia,

Wow! apart from redirection, I was looking into LocaliseJS or something – which was obviously prooving to be too expensive!

Had never considered the hreflang option, as I wasn’t even aware of it!

Thanks for the helpful suggestion :)

Cheers!

Local searches will include keywords and phrases that relate to the businesses within their neighborhood,

I would like to say 301 redirection can seems like a bit of a “double-edged” knife. It does sometimes take a while for the search engines to attribute your new page with the search authority of your original page. All depends on how often your new redirected page is crawled by any search engines. Moreover, it takes too much time if you have many pages. Why not just simply by adding rel canonical attribute instead of 301 redirection?

Great article. Gonna use this as a good resource page to the challenge I’m facing.

Currently I’m doing SEO for a company that wants to rank in multiple countries. To ensure that they’ve a better user experience, they’ve hired translators to re-write their content for each individual country in their native language.

But this has created a complexity for SEO on the website as they’ve multiple URLs, with varying languages, for the same product.

So the amount of SEO that needs to be done has been multiplied.

I was looking at what could be done in a case like this, and thought that redesigning the website would be the best way to go. And redesigning it, and at the same time, doing a 301 redirect to a single page, from all the separate country/language pages.

However, it is a compromise from providing a better UX, because of the local language factor – especially in places like Russia and Japan (as told by the client).

Virginia Nussey

Hi Apurv. Multi-language sites do have many levels of complexity! I’m pretty sure redirection is NOT what you need, however. Look into hreflang. Here’s where you can start: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/189077?hl=en

I don’t use 301 redirects but after reading this article I already have a plan.This is a great article. As always, chock full of great info and visuals. Thanks!

Good and easy to use, but the modern site owners choose a CMS that makes easier the 301 redirect, like WordPress with many plugins.

Great article I’ve always struggled with the proper way to do a 301 redirect, nice to have this resource hand thanks!

Easy-to-implement feature which is a blessing for your seo!

Great guide. I have to implement 301 on my site which too many 404 pages. I hosted on a windows server and now I want to do 301 HTML meta redirect. What is the best method to redirect 900+ pages using HTML redirect? And How to implement the same? Thank you.

Hi Great Post. I´ve made a huge analysis of my website and decided to start a 301 redirect project. I´ve catalogue all pages that need to change permalinks , for SEO strategy,and implemented the redirects.
In fact i´ve used a wordpress plugin called “Redirection” that manages modification pages and 404 erros too. After the whole redirection work , i sent a new sitemap to Google, and excluded the old one from Google webmaster tool.
Now, after 20 days i can see that my new pages are indexed but the old ones are still there too, resulting in a lot of duplicate titles and contents in Google Webmaster Tool HTML Improvement report
How to prevent that? or fix it?

Virginia Nussey

Hi Leo, thanks for your question. Our recommendation (hat tip BCI Director of Software Development, Aaron Landerkin) is to follow these steps:

1. Verify that those redirects from the old URLs are actually 301s using a server header checker. (Here’s our free tool that does this http://www.seotoolset.com/tools/free-tools/#check-server-page.) 302s and other methods of redirection won’t remove the old URLs. The plugin you mentioned allows you to do multiple types of redirects, so we want to make sure they are correct. If they aren’t 301s, fix the redirects so that they are 301s.

2. If the redirects are all 301 redirects, you can try submitting the old URLs back into Google so that they’ll crawl the 301. It could be that the crawl budget for the site is low, and Google may be taking its sweet time getting to all the old and the new pages – it has to crawl both, not just the new ones. Eventually, the old pages will drop out; resubmitting the old URLs may just help that process go faster.

If you give this a try, let us know how it goes!

With WordPress, YOAST which is the most popularly used SEO plugin now includes redirect functionality that makes it super easy. You can also do this through your cPanel but hats off to anyone that can do complex redirects using regex.

Thanks so much for detailed article on redirects.

“As long as everything is done correctly, a 301 redirect will ensure that you keep the rankings earned by the old page and prevent duplicate content that could arise if the engines were to index both versions of your site.” This is so true.

Having applied it to a few sites it has helped to flow over all the benefits from previous sites no longer live.

This is absolutely priceless info. Thank You So Much!!!

Wonderful explanations. Possibly another point to cover here would have been doing redirects in WordPress … Mainly because it is one of the most used today. For any that are seeking info on that … Most seo plugins do allow for this in WP. If the one you use does not just look for a redirect plugin and be sure to use 301 redirects for permanent redirects (they are the kind that matter for seo).

Problem solved. Thxs to https://gist.github.com/HechtMediaArts/cbea1b62d4f7b8b0f337.

You have to do a rewrite:

RewriteEngine on
Redirect 301 /xyz.com/blog/ http://xyz.com/blog.html

Simple htaccess redirect is not sufficient.

Thank you Christi,

to put it into more detail: let´s say example.com, points a link to your site xyz.com. That is a backlink that xyz.com get from example.com.

xyc.com used to use worpress, or php but decided implement a design change and go with html. so what would be the redirect code from the xyc.com/page1/ to xyc.com/page1.html.

Note that the redirect should be working from xyc.com/page1/ (this exact path).

Sandra

There is plenty of information 301 redirects and on how to set them up for your website.

Most of the answers deal with the redirects between the same files paths.

There is less information on how to redirect backlinks properly that point to your domain, but to a different url structure and different file paths, file extensions.

Please share your experience.

One frequent question was: How do I redirect backlinks that from a WordPress or php site to an HTML site (same domain !!). This issues occurs when you change design on a website.

Thanking you in advance for your contributions.

Hi Sandra,

Well, you can’t redirect backlinks, since they are controlled by external domains that you don’t control. A 301 redirect from “Page A” to “Page B” instructs search engines take the known backlinks to “Page A” and reattribute them to “Page B.”

Hope that helps!
Kristi

Hi Bruce,

Thank you for the wonderful article.

How to fix .htm 404 errors? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

That’s a pretty broad question — can you tell us more about what’s broken?

301 and 302 always confuse me when implementing.

These are different status codes. Each one has a different meaning. 301 means a permanent redirect, while a 302 means that the document for the requested URL was found at another URL. Hope that helps!

Kristi

Great insight about 301 redirection. You have nicely explained about implementation of 301 redirect.

Keep Posting.

Great read! Very informative and detailed article. Very useful when having some site revamps.

Nice post. When implementing 301’s, canonical tags should be considered too!

Hi,

I am bringing in in a new website and plan on setting up 301 redirects in the .htaccess file.

Do I need to keep the OLD .html pages on the server?

Susan Esparza

@Chris – There’s no reason to keep the pages on the server once you’ve put in a redirect. However, it’s always smart to keep a backup of your pages somewhere. You never know when you’ll need that information again.

the .htaccess file always gives me fits. This helps. Although I usually have help with stuff like this. But I think with this guide I can now do it myself!

It’s fantastic that have referred to a topic that rarely discusses. 404 errors are one of the worst obstacles to their search engine rankings and are not taken well by the SE. You need to have a proper 301 redirect procedure in place, especially if you constantly add and remove pages from your website.

Great guide, really good described. I have just implemented it on my site which runs on apache box and it worked. better safe than sorry and not get kicked out because of dublicate content :)

Awesome easy guide ! A newbie can understand that very well .Thanks for the post !

Thanks for the clarification on this issue. It seems to be something that isn’t going to go away and we need to make sure we address it.

If you ever have trouble trying to do a redirect and set a cookie as part of the same response, if your using IIS 5.0, the problem might be caused by an IIS bug.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;en-us;q176113

It seems as if IIS filters out the cookies. If you are trying to redirect to an application server, you might try redirecting directly instead of going through the web server.

It’s great that you have touched upon a subject that is rarely discussed about. 404 errors are one of the worst impediments to your search engine rankings and are not taken well by SEs. You need to have a proper 301 redirect procedure in place, especially if you constantly add and remove pages to your website.

Greyer

I have some problems with the 301 redirect. I need to redirect /index.php?/archives/old-url.html to /archives/new-url.html. I tried with Redirect 301 /index.php?/archives/old-url.html /archives/new-url.html but for soem reason it didn’t work :( any suggestions?

If I want to redirect a one domain to another, is there a difference between a 301 redirect and a permanent redirect? or are they the same thing?

Starr McCaffery

Wow, this is the most informative article and string of comments I’ve found in about 3 weeks of searching. I have an old site created by someone else that I am taking down but want to do a basic/minimal hosting to redirect the domain (which I own) and pages to the new site. Old site has .asp pages. New site used a site builder that won’t allow me the various folders, sub-folders and long page name structure of old site. I understand how to redirect the old pages to the new corresponding but slightly mis-matched page names with an asp redirect. My problem is I don’t have IIS access and don’t know how to redirect the domain itself (there are links out there that I’m trying to change over but that takes time) without IIS access. My instruction on asp redirect says insert code and save as oldpagename.asp. But my domain isn’t a page name. Any advice? First I tried to set up hosing for the old domain on Linux and do .htaccess and that works for the domain, but with the asp pages it doesn’t so I need to switch it to Windows. Is there a Windows-compatible file, like an .htaccess, that I can use for the domain? Thank you.

Dream

I wanna know if you had an opinion on what I should do about the permanent redirect for an ASP Site . I cannot do it with my index page having an html extension. Should I change my homepage to extension .asp? That’s the only way I think I can do it.

Great article! What if i don’t have IIS admin access and only using .htm pages?

what should i do?

Jim Glockner

We are incorporating a 301 redirect in our dev/uat environment before we move this to production as a proof of concept. This environment is not accessible via the DMZ therefore I cannot test accuracy to ensure the 301 header is displaying correctly via the many tests that are offered out there by inserting the domain into a textbox and returning a "http / https Header Check". Are there any ways I can test this internally?
Can you pls respond.
Thank you
Jim Glockner
Webmaster Deluxe Corporation
webmaster@deluxe.com
jim.glockner@deluxe.com

I am not aware of an .htaccess file for use on an IIS server but there are native functions in IIS to do everything you need to do.

The limitations are scalability for a large site but if you cannot manage it at the server level you may have to consider doing it at the file level.

I am trying to get a nonwww to www redirect when people come to my site. How do I correctly get the ISS redirect to work. I went into ISS, followed ALL instructions and it still wont redirect my site to www if someone enters it without www. ANy ideas?

Hi maybe you can help
About 3 days ago i done a 301 direct from my old domain to new domain.
Both sites are now indexed with google for the same key phrases, how long before the old domain goes from index. or will they punish me for dup content.
Thanks

John Sisler

Hi Allison, I am not aware of an .htaccess file for use on an IIS server but there are native functions in IIS to do everything you need to do.

If you are running an apache server and you do not have access to the .htaccess file there is another method to redirect which is to code the redirect in the pages. The limitations are scalability for a large site but if you cannot manage it at the server level you may have to consider doing it at the file level.

There is a pretty compreshensive page on doing this with different scripts (java, vb, php) at http://www.somacon.com/p145.php

Allison

A couple questions:
1) I’ve heard about software that is coming out that allows you to implement an .htaccess file on an IIS server. Does anyone have more info on this or know where I could learn more about this?
2) You mention the following, “The ability to use .htaccess files will reside in a command called “Allow Override” in the Apache Configuration file.” How do I find the Apache Configuration file? Is it typically named the same thing and found in the root, or elsewhere? Can I find it if I have FTP access? And if I have my FTP client setup to view hidden files and I don’t see an .htaccess, is it always safe to upload one? I have a client who is on an Apache server, but I don’t see an .htaccess file. However, the site redirects to the home page if there is a 404 error. I thought the only way to do this on Apache was in the .htaccess but I can’t find the file. Is there something I’m missing?
Thanks!

Bruce clay: I did a 301 redirect, but I’m having some major issues. I was in the top 5 for website design and great traffic, I did the 301 about 1 week ago and now our traffic has dropped and no calls from google for like 1 week now. which I just did the 301 redirect 1 week ago

now my keyword is in positions 500-600 was number 4, how long does it take things to level out and get my traffic and rankings back? My headers tags are reading 301 and I implemented it correctly?

Hi,
It counts as a 302 redirect.
With a 200 OK on both the start and target page, the search engine index both the start page and the target page.
Since this method is a known spam method, it is best to avoid it.
Regards
Ranjana

James

Samantha, if you can’t use htaccess and do a 301 redirect, then you could do a meta-refresh as long as the time period is under 1 second. However, can someone please verify that the meta-refresh counts as 301 and not a 302 redirect.

Thanks
James

Thx Bruce,
For last couple of days I was having difficulty for 301 Redirect code.
You gave many examples and thx to all those made comments.
Vijay

Sandip

Thanks for the post. Is there any suggestion on how to handle a situation where a URL needs to be redirected to an “SEO friendly” one. TLD remains the same.

e.g:
Old URL: http://www.site.com/20/30/1123.html
corresponding new URL: http://www.site.com/coats/furcoats/longfurcoat.html

I would assume in the absence of 301 redirects, there will be 2 differently formatted URLs indexed and it’s unclear what the impact on the page rankings will be

Thanks.

ok, so let’s say you’re in the unfortunate situation where you’re unable to do either. you’re unable do htaccess or a 301 through windows server and you have to edit each page by hand.
what would you do to change the response code and then add it to the header? what would that code look like? is there an example for that?
i know i could google it, but i have done that before and the results that i found didn’t work correctly.
-thanks!

Erik

Nevermind, I’ve figured it out. I wrote a series of four conditionals in the .htaccess file that redirect appropriately based on what URL is requested.

Basically it just redirects all pages on the old domain to the new one AND redirects ‘non-www’ URLs to their ‘www’ counterparts.

I’ll put up my code for anyone to be able to dissect and use based on their requirements.

Options +FollowSymlinks
RewriteEngine on
rewritecond %{http_host} ^newSite.com [nc]
rewriterule ^(.*)$ http://www.newSite.com/$1 [r=301,nc]

rewritecond %{http_host} ^oldSite.com [nc]
rewriterule ^(.*)$ http://www.newSite.com/$1 [r=301,nc]

rewritecond %{http_host} ^www.oldSite.com [nc]
rewriterule ^(.*)$ http://www.newSite.com/$1 [r=301,nc]

rewritecond %{http_host} ^oldSite.com/ [nc]
rewriterule ^(.*)$ http://www.newSite.com/$1 [r=301,nc]

rewritecond %{http_host} ^www.oldSite.com/ [nc]
rewriterule ^(.*)$ http://www.newSite.com/$1 [r=301,nc]

*Note: the “/” behind any domain name on a condition line takes whatever page off of the domain name in the URL was requested and sends it to the page of the same filename on the new domain (I the “$1” variable asks the server to retain the filename from the request).

Erik

Thanks for the great article.
What if you’ve got to two servers on the same shared hosting?
e.g.
http://www.oldSite.com
http://www.newSite.com
and you want to
a)redirect non-www domain of the new domain to its ‘www’ counterpart (e.g. newSite.com -> http://www.newSite.com)
b)and redirect any requests to the http://www.oldSite.com domain to http://www.newSite.com
???
Is this possible even though both sites are working off of the same .htaccess file (because of the shared hosting situation)?
Can I modify each “.htm” file of the old site to point to its new counterpart (e.g. http://www.oldSite.com/page.htm -> http://www.newSite.com/page.htm) even though they are HTML files and not in PHP, ASP or Java?

Thanks for the detailed & thoughtful answers.

Aloha,
Dave.

Woah, Dave. Easy with the geek speak! You’ll hurt a girl with all those slashes, brackets and fancy words! I’m not going to lie, most of these questions were completely over my pretty little head, so I trotted myself down to our IT department, locked my favorite geek in a room, and fired them at him. Here’s what he had to say:

1. My guess is that they don’t have a problem with both of them being indexed in Google, thus creating duplicate content. I think when you are the search engine, you probably aren’t violating any guidelines.

2. If you are using Apache, then you can modify the .htaccess file on the site with the OLD URL to say:

RedirectPermanent /oldpage.asp http://www.newurl.com/newpage.asp

If you are using Windows Server, then you can browse to the file in the IIS Panel, right-click and hit properties. Instead of looking for the “Home Directory” tab, look for the “File” tab, and you can select the permanent redirection there.

Or, if you don’t have access to these things, you can place this ASP code at the VERY TOP of oldpage.asp:

3. Yes…kind of. If they are all redirecting to the same place, then the redirects above should work. If you want to redirect each one to a different place, it would be best to do a Mod Rewrite in Apache in order to 301 redirect them.

In IIS, it is MUCH harder where you would need to have different sites defined for www. and non-www. in your panel and redirect those. For IIS, it would be much faster, simpler, easier, etc. to put ASP code on the pages or use an ISAPI Rewrite Module to redirect each different variation to a different location.

4. Don’t use a redirect.
Instead, make index-d.html your default page that loads when http://www.coca-cola.com is requested. To do this in Apache, add this line to your
.htaccess:

DirectoryIndex index-d.html index.html index.htm

This defines index-d.html as being the first page that the server looks for on a directory request. If it can’t find that page, then it will go to index.html and so on.

On a Windows Server, go to IIS, right-click on the web site or the directory and click Properties. Once there, click on the “Documents” tab. Then make sure that “Enable Default Document” is checked and add your new filename into the list. Then, move the new document name to the top of the list.

5. I’m not sure what you’re asking here. If you don’t want a file to be indexed, then yes, use the robots.txt file to exclude it.

Great post!

So… Why does Google use a 302 redirect to go from: google.com – to – http://www.google.com?
Why doesn’t Google use a 301?

What if you want to redirect internal pages with a 301?

http://www.oldurl[dot]com/oldpage.asp – to – http://www.newurl[dot]com/newpage.asp (Easy enough)

But… What if there are several variations of the old URL caused by the URL prefix?

www & http:// & http://www & https:// – https://www – Would that require more than one redirect?

What sort of redirect should you use if you have a new content management system and need to go from something like: http://www.coca-cola[dot]com – to – http://www.coca-cola[dot]com/index-d.html

Should you use the robots.txt file to Disallow the URL with the extra characters via? http://www.coca-cola[dot]com/robots.txt

Aloha,
Dave.

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