We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Are URL redirects the best way to deal with Google and moved pages?

We migrated our site from straight-up file-based system to Drupal.  Unfortunately, many links in Google point to our old site.  If I search for Murray Richtel, for example, I get a hit for this address (the old URL).

http://www.jaginc.com/pages/richtel.php

Murray now lives here:

http://jaginc.com/arbiters/mrichtel

This issue exists for many of the pages in the site.  Do we handle the issue with simple URL redirects?
Comment
Watch Question

IT Expert
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
I am not THE expert on this. I can however confirm that 301 from .htaccess worked well for me. If you have many pages, you may want to add a process that takes all /pages and looks up the new address and send back the 301 for you.
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Top Expert 2004

Commented:
I agree with mplungian.  Google needs to be told where those pages go, or you'll lose their rank altogether.  A 301 is the appropriate way to do this, and Google handles them internally.
Most Valuable Expert 2011
Top Expert 2016
Commented:
If your old site can access PHP you can build translation tables.  Just call this in a common page header algorithm right at the top of the script, before any browser output.  Obviously this is untested code, but hopefully it will demonstrate the idea.

Example:
<?php // TRANSLATE URLS

$urls = array
( '/pages/richtel.php'  => '/arbiters/mrichtel'
, '/pages/barr.php'     => '/arbiters/rbarr'
, '/pages/anderson.php' => '/arbiters/landerson'
)
;

// TEST FOR THE OLD URL
if (array_key_exists($_SERVER["PHP_SELF"], $urls))
{
    header("Location: $urls[{$_SERVER["PHP_SELF"]}", TRUE, 301);
    exit;
}

Open in new window

CERTIFIED EXPERT
Commented:
You can also use the Apache "Redirect" method. I'm mobile right now but I think the syntax is:
Redirect permanent http://url1.example.com http://url2.example.com

sorry for the horrendous formatting. my phone and i are having  a fight and it's winning

mike

Author

Commented:
Great suggestions.  Thanks!

Explore More ContentExplore courses, solutions, and other research materials related to this topic.