[ic] Search engines reindexing when moving to IC from another shopping cart

John1 list_subscriber at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Aug 30 09:52:03 EDT 2004

On Monday, August 30, 2004 11:35 AM, jonc at webmaint.com wrote:

>> So, I am thinking of changing the missing.html page to the following:
>> ########
>> [tag op=header interpolate=1]
>> Status: 301 moved
>> Location: [area href="index.html"]
>> [/tag]
>> ########
>> so that any missing page is redirected to the home page and returns a
>> "Status 301, moved (permanently)".
>> Is this a sensible approach, or should I be doing something
>> different?
> If you want to retain positioning and page rank for your existing
> indexed pages this is not the best method. As has already been
> mentioned, the best way would be to redirect each page to its new
> location.
> You could do this with apache redirects or through IC, as you describe
> above. 301 redirects are the best way of telling the search engines
> where your pages have moved to.
OK, but the pages that I would 301 are now orphaned.  i.e.  no live page
links to them any longer so it will never be revisited by any search bot.
So, doesn't this mean Google will drop these pages anyway as soon as its
cached copy of this page gets to a certain age?  So when Google drops the
page wont we lose its position and page rank anyway?

i.e.  How does 301ing a page help to tell a search engine anything, as
presumably it will never revisit one of these orphaned pages?

Or, are we saying that we reckon in addition to doing a crawl, Google also
revisits all the pages currently in its index, and if it gets a 301 it will
*immediately replace* the cached copy with a cached copy of the new page,
retaining page rank and position?  This would be great if this is how it
works, but isn't it more likely that Google will just drop any 301'd page
and wait for its bot to pick up the correct page during its next crawl?

So, in conclusion, does it really make any difference to a search engine or
human if I bounce a page with a 200 OK (as per the standard missing.html
page), as opposed to a 301?

> By redirecting every page back to the homepage you are making sure
> people don't see an error, but confusing them by not presentng the
> content they are expecting, or a page optimised for conversions
> relating to their search terms (assuming ecommerce).
> We have used both methods above for sites. We have also used
> appropriate redirects where a product range has changed, or skus have
> changed for existing products. You could do this, or at least send
> people to a category page instead of the homepage.
Yep, fair point.

>> Also, we have registered both the .co.uk and .com variants of the
>> domain name.  The .com is the main site, but we would like to forward
>> the .co.uk to
>> the .com.  What is the correct way to do this so that the search
>> engines recognise the .com as the main site and the .co.uk as just
>> an alias.
> You won't find a definitive answer because the people who write the
> search engine algos don't answer the questions ;-)
> I would use a 301 redirect here also. Assuming you have no pages
> indexed for the .co.uk then you just have to redirect the index page.
> If your target audience it primarily uk though it would be better to
> have the site on the .co.uk as this is likely to fair better in a uk
> specific search.
Yep, I have done some research on this and to be picked up in a UK only
search I believe that you either need a server with a UK issued IP address,
or a .co.uk domain.  So I am hoping that a .com on a UK issued IP will be
fine, but I can't yet confirm.  Please let me know if I am misinformed on
this one.

Anway, thank you very much Steve, Jonathan & Jon for all your tips.

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