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Should I 301 redirect URL's with variables?

Posted on 2009-12-18
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Last Modified: 2012-05-08
I am quickly approaching a task that will need doing at some point.  I will be redirecting users accessing all content from one website to another domain altogether and with a slightly different URL structure.  To be brief, here's the difference:

old url
http://mysite.RU/mycatalog/experts-exchange-free-hats-p-1234.html

new url
http://mysite.com/experts-exchange-free-hats-p-1234.html

Now my question is what happens when I have a variable URL like this?

http://mysite.RU/mycatalog/experts-exchange-free-hats-p-1234.html?page=2&sort_by=price

where page=2 is the second page (and not indexed by google) and sort_by=price is just that (again not indexed).  
Using canonical linking I have google only indexing the main page - please note I may haven't got the specifics right but that's not important for this Q.

Should I write the variables in htaccess?  I estimate each URL to have perhaps 4 possibilities in filtering the content plus how ever many pages it has.  If each page has 4 possibilities then that is a lot of redirecting!!

Do I really need to do this in your expert opinions?
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Question by:chriscounter07
6 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:chriscounter07
ID: 26081517
Not that i've had the opportunity or knowhow to look I could use modrewrite for variables if needed
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Expert Comment

by:codeQuantum
ID: 26081865
Yes this is a common problem. The following page has a nice summary of this issue and solutions to it :

http://searchengineland.com/google-lets-you-tell-them-which-url-parameters-to-ignore-25925

Let me know if you have any questions left after reading that page.
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Expert Comment

by:Geoff Kenyon
ID: 26081991
Even though you are using the canonical link tag, you are still going to want to do redirects.  The reason for this is link juice.  if there is any link value associated with a page, you really want to do a 301 to pass most of the value associated with the URL.

When you do this I would also change the canonical link tag to point to the new page on the new domain.
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LVL 31

Accepted Solution

by:
gwkg earned 2000 total points
ID: 26091955
I think all you need on the .ru site is

Redirect 301 /mycatalog http://mysite.com

That will replace http://mysite.ru/mycatalog with http://mysite.com for any URL accessed.

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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:gwkg
ID: 26091966
Whichever way you choose to do it, I definitely would not worry about redirecting sorting variables in the URL, nor would I worry about redirecting pages that are not indexed.
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Author Comment

by:chriscounter07
ID: 26200347
@gwkg
I've done this:

Redirect 301 /mycatalog http://mysite.com

But I might now look at dhwake's comment as it just seems to work TOO well right now.  Google isn't currently indexing any of my variables e.g. sort_by=price though
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