Monday, June 27, 2005

new domains: 302 or 301 redirect?

We're a little surprised that no one has brought up the most recent High Rankings Newsletter, in which Scottie Claiborne decides that when migrating to a new domain, a 302 followed by an eventual 301 redirect is the new way to go:
Conventional wisdom will tell you to redirect the old domain to the new domain using a 301 "permanently moved" response ...

However, if you follow this usually accurate advice, you'll find the new pages do not automatically assume the positions of the old ones in Google...they will remain off the chart. Even though you are telling Google that this site is exactly the same as the old one, the aging filter will still apply. This doesn't seem like the best strategy, as your site will remain in oblivion until it ages properly.

...By using a 302 "temporarily moved" response instead of a 301, the original URL will remain in Google's index, and maintain its position as if the page were still there.

...Once the new domain has properly aged, go back and change the 302-temporary redirect to a 301-permanent redirect.
We're not necessarily saying this is good or bad advice. But it does represent a tectonic shift in characterizing the sanctioned way that a domain rollover is supposed to take place, as noted in more than a few articles and threads - such as this, this, and this. Oh, and this. And from official engines' webmaster guidelines, such as Google's. And Yahoo's. And if all else fails, maybe even an issue of High Rankings Advisor from earlier this year.

If 302 is this season's 301, then by all means, let's hit the catwalk. But a lot of companies lose a lot of sleep making sure they do things like this the "right" way, and an article redefining "right" needs to have a bit more emphasis on evidence and validation from actual engine reps. Have any engines officially weighed in on this?


At 6/30/2005 7:51 PM, Blogger Jill said...

But did you read the reasoning why she says to use a 302?

If you want to stay in the aging delay sandbox when changing domains, then by all means, stick with your 301.

At 7/01/2005 12:22 PM, Blogger semanticist said...

Jill, thanks for stopping by.

Certainly I read Scottie's reasoning for the 302. The reasoning isn't the point. My concern is that your newsletter is widely read and highly regarded as promoting SEO according to engines' TOS, and I feel like I've made a fairly compelling case that the engines prefer a different method. If they've changed their stance, please 1) show me and 2) accept my apology for being uninformed. As I said in the original post, we don't contest the advice Scottie gave as effective or ineffective; only that it seems to vary from what the engines consider the "right" way to roll over to a new domain.

But your comments imply that if rankings or traffic is in jeopardy, then it's okay to diverge from the engines' stated preferences. Is that the case? Doesn't that justify a whole range of tactics that you generally speak against?

At 6/13/2009 2:00 AM, Anonymous yogesh said...

Good one really was very helpful to freshers like me

Also i use 301 redirect checker to confirm the same.


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