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"301 redirect - most SEO friendly? "

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Wed 30/11/11 at 18:50
Posts: 26
I have changed one of my top landing pages (no1 in google serps) to a php page within a folder (to run it's new scripts).

This is a "hot" landing page for a specific product (a sales page)

What would be the best way to operate a 301 redirect that would not get the page dropped in the serps.

Or would I be better off keeping it as a landing page and linking to the new page?

thanks in advance for any opinions.
Sun 04/12/11 at 17:35
Regular
"It goes so quickly"
Posts: 4,083
I shouldn't worry that a redirect would be seen as cloaking, as they are two separate things, and Google isn't likely to confuse the two.

A redirect is when one web address takes you to another web address, something that happens all over the place on the Internet, and there isn't anything wrong with that. Web sites change, web addresses change, and it's something Google won't shoot you for.

Cloaking, on the other hand, is a deliberate attempt to show Google one thing, while showing web site visitors another, with the aim of tricking Google to rack your pages higher than they deserve to be. This is of course not allowed by Google, Bing, or any other Search Engine.

But, you shouldn't worry that a perfectly legitimate redirect would be confused with cloaking.
Thu 01/12/11 at 20:09
Posts: 26
I think my safest bet would be to keep the existing page and link to the new page(s) from there, and let the new page get indexed and ranked in its own right. I hear that redirects can sometimes be seen as "cloaking" and you have to be mindful of future algorithm changes - eg. who would have guessed that google is now looking at javascript and making, "guesses" about what it does. I think this applies to external scripts too now.

Popup - yea, I was always in two minds about that. It was a toss of a coin whether to make a popup, include the info in the page, or have a "help" button to summon the popup.
Personally I prefer the last popup option, ask for help, or ideally make the inputs required self explanatory. Time to read "Dont Make Me Think" again.....
Thu 01/12/11 at 18:52
Regular
"It goes so quickly"
Posts: 4,083
Have you thought about "mapping" the current URL to your new PHP page??

This basically means that your current URL will stay the same, no need for any HTTP redirects. Instead, you do the redirecting internally on the server, telling it to serve any request for:

frames.uk.com/personalised_photo_mounts.htm

... with the actual page:

www.frames.uk.com/nameframe/framequote.php


You can do this using URL rewriting via the .htaccess file. I assume you're familiar with this as you were already talking about setting up a 301 redirect. You can simply add a "RewriteRule" to map the current URL to load the new PHP script, like so:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule personalised_photo_mounts.htm www.frames.uk.com/nameframe/framequote.php

To the outside world, the web address is the same, it's only the content that has been updated, whereas to your server, it's the new PHP script that is providing that content in place of the old HTML page.

Be careful when using .htaccess and URL rewrites, as it can get pretty complex, so you might want to practice with a couple of made up addresses to see if it works out for you first, such as using:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule testing.htm www.frames.uk.com/nameframe/framequote.php

... and then seeing if frames.uk.com/testing.htm shows up the content from your PHP script.
Thu 01/12/11 at 09:22
Moderator
"Are you sure?"
Posts: 5,000
That's an interesting product you've got there - looks good :)

FYI The 'popup' disappeared too quickly for me - it's ok for you as you are used to it, but first time visitors will have quite a lot to take in. So perhaps leave as a very long time-out or with the manual close options?

I can see why you are wondering about 301 or a link - it's always hard to make serious changes to pages/sites that 'work'!

I'm in that position myself. Where I've had to make the move, using a 301 it's all gone well. But for some of my popular content I've chickened out and decided to leave things be while they are doing so well and I'll make serious changes if my revenue drops off. But this does mean things stagnate a bit.

Where you are changing the content as well as the file type I guess it's possible it's popularity could change when it's re-indexed if you put a 301 in place. So perhaps the safer route is to link to your new page. Either way I'm sure it'll work out! :)

[s]Hmmm...[/s]
Wed 30/11/11 at 20:15
Posts: 26
hmmm thanks for your interest:

this is the original page
frames.uk.com/personalised_photo_mounts.htm

this is the (not yet finished, live but not public or indexed yet) replacement page for the same product www.frames.uk.com/nameframe/framequote.php

I have not optimised it yet. Its pretty raw, and the prices/options are to be set up, probably saturday when I get some time.

just background: the idea was just to lose all the straggly paypal buttons on the first page and use a simple php script to count the letters input by customers then calculate a price, and then generate an on-page cart in a session, in place of the basic "nothing in your cart yet -get started" passing the lot to a php script then to paypal using a paypal.class and a separate php paypal script.
That part is all working niceley now.

There is also an external JS script to fly a popup-blocker proof "popup" (actually part of the page, based on IM popup) once-a-ssession "popup" info window. Which only pops once per session.
The other content is generated from php includes for header and footer from html "pages" in the same folder as the scripts, and the style and price data is in simple confix txt file.

I'm half minded to leave the first page, just as you say, and direct customers to the new one via a link on that page, as you say, extra content if I write it properly and don't duplicate too much.

It does Ok in the top 40, doesn't it! I think thats just because we have a few niche products that SERP at the top.

i was always a bit dubious as to how google read the domain - effectively being a sub domain (uk.com).

Next step is a mobile site for the same and other products.
Oh joy :(
Wed 30/11/11 at 19:38
Moderator
"Are you sure?"
Posts: 5,000
A 301 should be safe for all (proper) Search Engines - from my experience the SERPS will get updated virtually immediately.

Or you could perhaps try to add value by building and linking to a new page and get more content indexed :)

Can you give us the URL of the page in question just in case it should change things?


I always see your site doing well in Freeola's Hot Sites!
[s]Hmmm...[/s]
Wed 30/11/11 at 18:50
Posts: 26
I have changed one of my top landing pages (no1 in google serps) to a php page within a folder (to run it's new scripts).

This is a "hot" landing page for a specific product (a sales page)

What would be the best way to operate a 301 redirect that would not get the page dropped in the serps.

Or would I be better off keeping it as a landing page and linking to the new page?

thanks in advance for any opinions.

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