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301 Redirect to Old Manufacturer


Trentide

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It was suggested to me in another post that I not just delete old manufacturers pages because of their age, link juice, traffic, etc:

 

http://www.oscommerce.com/forums/topic/381200-what-do-i-do-with-the-manufacturers-that-i-dont-have-products-for-anymore-from-an-seo-perspective/page__fromsearch__1

 

Thanks for the advice, Toyicebear! So, keeping this in mind, I would like to create a 301 redirect to my index page. Now, I have two issues regarding this.

 

1) If I delete an old manufacturers page from my site and create a 301 redirect of that page, search bots won't find the page because there is no link to it, and SE's will delete it from the SERPS. Is this correct? Isn't it better to create a link somewhere on a page that is accessible to the bots to keep the page "alive" in the SERPS?

 

2) What is the actual procedure for creating the 301 redirect for old manufacturers? Does it matter if I delete first, then create 301 later, or vice versa? I guess, I really want to make sure I don't loose these manufacturers pages forever if I delete them in the admin.

 

Thanks so much for any and all advice,

 

Jason

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Just thinking out loud here...

 

OK, so you have a page for Buggy Whip Co, and they're gone now, or whatever. Customers still have bookmarked links to that page, and search engines still have it indexed. Regardless of whether you actually get rid of the page for Buggy Whip, you want inbound traffic to go to its live replacement (say, Cattle Prod Co). Is that what you want to do?

 

A 301 URL redirect can do the job, but it will make the Buggy Whip Co page inaccessible (it will still be in your database, until you delete it). Customers will see the Cattle Prod Co page come up (and it will show in the browser Address Bar), but I don't know of any browsers which will automatically update bookmarks/favorites to point to the new page (it could be done). Search engines will see the 301 code and update their entries to index Cattle Prod Co and forget about Buggy Whip Co.

 

301 redirects are done outside of osC, in the .htaccess file. Most hosts have a control panel where you can enter the redirection information, or you can directly edit .htaccess yourself. I believe that you will still be able to get to Buggy Whip Co through osC's admin section, so you can delete it at any time.

 

If you add a "keep alive" link to Buggy Whip Co, the .htaccess redirection should grab any attempt to use that link and send you to Cattle Prod Co, so Search Engines should lose track of your Buggy Whip Co page. Note that if you have SEO installed, and your .htaccess redirects only the SE Friendly version (ahead of the SEF-to-non-SEF conversion), I think you could keep a "non-SE Friendly" link (the changed URI output in .htaccess with all the ? and & stuff in it) that would still go to Buggy Whip Co. In that sense, the Buggy Whip Co page could be kept alive, as long as you don't mind having the non-SE Friendly link in use. Remember that the non-SEF link must be visible to a Search Engine spider somewhere, so it can index it (as a new link).

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