Redirects

One problem with changing web sites like I am doing is to make sure the search engines can still find you. The best way to do this is apparently to use an .htaccess file that will automatically re-route people (and search engine crawlers) to the new site. Another way (that apparently search engines don’t deal very well with) is to use redirect pages. I tried doing an .htaccess file at speedfactory, but it would just give me an error message. So instead I have installed a couple of redirects (with a one-second delay), but not on my main battery and dejumbler pages since those bring in the most revenue. I figure I can watch and see how long it takes Google to start referring to those files in their new location.

Also I did a global find and replace on the blog to at least get all of my past links to point to the new site. On my web pages that I am leaving at Speedfactory for now, the links to other pages point to iGirder pages instead of local versions. Maybe that way Google will see the links to iGirder and start to rank those pages.

13 thoughts on “Redirects

  1. Well, it has been two days and Google and the others have not figured out that those two pages have moved. If you do a Google image search, my iPod to Sony page pictures will show up though.

    I’m thinking I should go ahead and put forwarding pages on the whole site now and get it over with all at once. I don’t think people are backing off because of the redirect (one second doesn’t really give them a chance to), so my traffic should stay pretty good in the short term.

  2. A couple of days ago I asked dmoz.org to update their directory of web pages to point to the new home of the iPod Battery Pack page. That change went into effect today. I took that as a sign that it was safe to move the website. I deleted everything on Speedfactory and put forwarding pages on about 10 of the most frequently visited pages.

    Also yesterday I asked Speedfactory support if their was a way to do a 301 redirect. I didn’t hear from them, but that would still be the way to go since it is something a search engine easily understands as a permanent move.

  3. You’re right! I think this must be pretty recent though. I searched “ipod battery pack” which usually puts my site at the top (without restricting the domain) and iGirder came up 4th and Speedfactory did not appear. So they must have at least partly figured it out. Still, other than me I am not seeing referrals from Google, but it can’t be too much longer.

  4. A component of PageRank is having other sites link to your site. You may need to look for sites currently linking to your speedfactory site and ask them to update the link. Or will Google just follow the redirects and re-rank you?

  5. I think the idea is if you use 301 redirects that Google will figure out the connection and you maintain your ranking. Given that iGirder is ranking pretty high maybe they transferred the ranking via the Meta redirects.

    Getting listed by dmoz is a big help. I asked hackaday to update their listing, but I don’t know if they will. I looked at Make magazine’s site which set off so much traffic to the site, but they are blogging 10-20 things a day, so I doubt anyone is really finding much from them anymore.

    A lot of any other links are discussion pages, so people aren’t going to go back and change their posts. It will just take time.

    Also I plan on submitting my site to Google, Yahoo, Live, and Ask directly as soon as I have a sitemap to post (more on that later).

  6. I’m getting a decent amount of referrals for the battery pack and car stereo pages from search engines, but still nothing for the dejumbler page. So less than half of the visitors are coming to the site via a search engine. Most are still hitting the old site and getting forwarded. In the meantime, traffic is down to about 200 visits per day from 300. I still think it will work out eventually, but it is taking longer than I hoped.

  7. This week I started picking up a lot of dejumbler referrals from Yahoo. Google still isn’t sending anything, but this is a good start. Probably about half of the visitors to my site now are coming from search engine searches and the other half are referred by the old site. However traffic is still down to about 200 per day rather than the usual 300 per day before the move. The iPod pages are ranking really well with all the search engines.

  8. A big step backwards this week. Google dropped the iPod battery page altogether. For a typical search where I was coming up 4th, now my page isn’t even on the top 4 pages of results. I hope that I get worked back in, but right now nothing.

    Also Google still isn’t making referrals to the dejumbler, instead it still has the old site, but ranked pretty low. Yahoo has the dejumbler ranked pretty high though.

  9. When I type “ipod battery pack” (no quotes) in Google, you get first page above MacWorld and Belkin. That’s amazing! I agree there is a relationship between Google Ads and getting rediscovered.

  10. Yesterday it was coming in tops for “usb battery charger” which isn’t even iPod-related. Today it isn’t. I think Google randomizes to some extent in order to figure out what people are likely to click on.

    Today Google started sending me dejumbler traffic. My traffic is still down (240 hits per day vs. my 2007 average of 375), but now 80-90% of the traffic is coming from search engines instead of redirects from the old site.

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