The first question my URLs will they change?
During an overhaul, the first question to ask in terms of SEO is that of the URL: will they change? If not, you can blow (remaining vigilant to be sure that nothing will change, it is rare), if so, then we must get to work. Just imagine that you are moving to town. You would have to inform the public services, your surroundings, all commercial services that regularly send you mail, so that everything is now at the right place and do not end up coming back to the sender.
On the web, it's strictly the same, we will have to inform the search engines and users that your site moves and your URLs change, or they may find themselves in a bind. An impasse that will not only frustrate your readers, but will especially annoy Google, which will not do automatic link between the old and the new pages. So you may start from 0, with new URLs, flights positions, and new pages that take months to regain the positions of the old (and again, I'm nice, it's not even on you all regagniez your positions). Here is a simple method to avoid major mistakes and make changes URL does not mean decrease in traffic.
First step: list the old URLs
Start by listing all your URL, and the different structures of the URL. Products (or products), categories, specific pages, ... list them all on an old Excel and first set of URL schemes (for products, for example, you know the category and subcategory are called in the URL, all your products are built the same way, giving www.domainname.com/category/subcategory/ Name-of-product.html.
For this step, you can use a scraper, and tools like Screaming Frog Xenu or for a list of all your URLs.
Second step: define the new URL
Please list then the new URL. For this you have two options: either your site is preprod, and you can crawl the new site and extract the URL, or you can build these URLs from 0, setting the URL scheme. In the above example, you now know that your URL will resume more product category, only the subcategory, and therefore will be of this type: www.domainname .com/sub-category/name-of-product .html. The change may simply involve the extension of the page, which will go from .html to .php.
Knowing that this rule applies to all of your products, it redirects already facilitates future and how we will organize it.
Third step: build the file redirects
Once you know how to be built all your URLs, you must take the step of creating 301 redirects (so-called permanent). This is done via the .htaccess, respecting a specific syntax (read this article very well documented on this, to deepen your knowledge or simply understand the role and use of htaccess). In our case, we have identified a redirection model, in that it is always the same element that disappears in the URL, in this case the subcategory. It will be easy to create one or more rules that will redirect pages without adding as many lines as you have pages.
So, knowing that this is the path to the folder that changes for us here is the rule that we could use:
RedirectPermanent / category / sub-category http://www.Domainname.com/Sub-category
And we will redirect all Internet users arriving on a URL type / category / sub-category (regardless of what happens next) to a URL like / sub-category. The operation is repeated as many times as you have sub-categories, and they will allow you to redirect a few dozen lines, thousands of products that are in these folders.
This is just an example here, but you will probably also redirect a page a page (if no common element to create a dynamic rule as here), the whole being 100% your old pages have an equivalent page on the new site (or be redirected to the most relevant page if the old page disappears).
Fourth step: testing redirects
Once your redirects are in place, it's time to test them. In general, I opt for the solution of real-time test at late hours or days little traffic, in order to see for about ten minutes if all pages are redirected and if we do not land on 404 pages This allows even before setting prod, whether a rule is problematic (it can happen to you cause an error called server 500 and better correct it before the big day) and avoid crash the day of the exit site.
It was also at this time that you can make corrections and updates in your redirects, etc.
Step Five: prod implementation and monitoring of 404
Last step, the start of production of the new site, and follow redirects / positions / 404 and traffic. Many are monitoring these indicators because it is crucial and will help you identify the mistakes you have committed, and / or referrals that you forgot. I like generally run a crawl tool on the new site to identify error pages and follow daily the Google Webmaster Tools to see the 404 back. It's rare that there is no, as it will be your regular fix these pages by adding the necessary .htaccess redirects on.
If all goes well and that everything is set, you should not feel anything in terms of positions in Google or traffic (unless your new site is less optimized than the old, but that's another topic ... ) and Google should transmit all the juice, the popularity and positioning of the old URL to the new, allowing you to continue to work quietly.
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The Importance Of Redirection In The Redesign Of A Site Reviewed by Blogging Chimp on March 26, 2015 Rating: