Jump to content

Cre8asiteforums Internet Marketing
and Conversion Web Design


Photo

Closing Part Of Your Site & Using The Redirect Power


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 EGOL

EGOL

    Professor

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 5186 posts

Posted 02 February 2009 - 04:32 PM

Imagine that you own a website that posts event announcements. These events might be meetings of professional societies, short courses for continuing education and other gatherings for workers in that niche.

You have been posting those announcements for a few years and now old event announcements are useless to most people. These posts are still an asset to your website. They still attract traffic and they still have some nice links. They might produce nice income because the people who visit them see the stale date and are easily distracted by ads.

At some point these old event announcements should be retired. You hate to throw away the income and content and labor but there might be a nice gain - redirect those pages to the homepage of your events section. The redirected links that hit those old pages might transfer a little power to your main events page. Perhaps that will get you higher rankings for a couple terms that you have not yet acquired #1 rankings.

It's possible that a smaller number of visitors into relevant pages will be better for the health of your business than a larger number of visitors into topic-defunct pages. I think that a smaller site will rank higher if the linkvalue transfers well.

Have you ever considered closing part of your site? Have you done this before and seen good results? Although my example applies to events this could also apply to retail, forums or other types of sites.

Edited by EGOL, 02 February 2009 - 04:34 PM.


#2 Pittbug

Pittbug

    Ready To Fly Member

  • Members
  • 46 posts

Posted 02 February 2009 - 04:47 PM

I've done something similar, but instead of redirecting, I messaged the users to let them know that the page they're on contains out of date/archived information, and provided really obvious links to the most up to date info. Of course the monetization of that site wasn't primarily ad driven.

I don't know your content set, but do you think the old data might be valuable to some users?

#3 EGOL

EGOL

    Professor

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 5186 posts

Posted 02 February 2009 - 05:37 PM

I doubt that the old data is valuable to very many people - but some people might search for something, find one of those pages and discover that my site tracks this type of content. It probably is spam to many other searchers. So, I like this content on my site but at the same time I don't.

... and, I have my eye on those redirected links because I am up to #3 for a KW that I have been chasing for a long time and am looking for something else to throw at the top site. :naughty:

#4 Pittbug

Pittbug

    Ready To Fly Member

  • Members
  • 46 posts

Posted 02 February 2009 - 06:25 PM

Well give it a go and if you get feedback from users wanting to see that content, you could always republish it under a different set of URLs which are blocked from SEs.

#5 DrPete

DrPete

    Mach 1 Member

  • Members
  • 327 posts

Posted 02 February 2009 - 06:53 PM

Is it possible to redirect folks to a generic page for that event, so that they can see current dates (assuming they're available)? That's what I do for one client. Otherwise, I redirect them to a search page that includes suggested content. I find it a bit friendlier than a generic redirect (or, worse yet, a 404).

When I redirect to the search page, I actually give it a 404 header for the search engines, so that Google et al. will gradually de-list the outdated events. It's transparent to the visitor.

#6 EGOL

EGOL

    Professor

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 5186 posts

Posted 02 February 2009 - 07:24 PM

Is it possible to redirect folks to a generic page for that event, so that they can see current dates (assuming they're available)?

This is where the redirect will go... and your search page idea is also a good one.

I wonder how many people use search pages as a standard error page?

#7 TheManBehindTheCurtain

TheManBehindTheCurtain

    Time Traveler Member

  • 1000 Post Club
  • 1035 posts

Posted 02 February 2009 - 08:06 PM

I wonder how many people use search pages as a standard error page?


Not many in my experience (not that I go around looking at 404 pages). I've often wondered, though, about never using a 404. Why not have the 404 page parse the incoming URL, then redirect to your site search with a parameter that indicates the source was the 404. When the search application detects that parameter, it inserts a custom message at the top of the search results explaining that we can't find the content you're looking for, but based on your URL here are some pages you might find interesting.

Alas, have never found the time to do this. In principle it should be "easy," yes?

What I can do today is script the 404 with some fuzzy logic. We parse the URL and look for instances of common terms we know people are interested in. Then we redirect to the page covering that topic. I think a lot of our users (who can be geeky types) will experiment with a URL like domain.com/licorice and we redirect them to domain.com/i-love-licorice.html. That goes for mispellings (domain.com/licorish) and even garbled urls (domain.com/akjtekjlicoricekaldj). This is time-consuming but covers a fairly well known universe of terms.

If the long-ago class was on investment banking, would the visitor be better off being redirected to a page with current events, and be required to find an instance of a new investment banking class? Or why not send them to a high-level content page about investment banking, where they'll no doubt find not only current classes listed but other information as well to keep them sticky on the site.

In other words, instead of thinking of a retired page as a one-for-one swap (new training for old training), why not try to land them on the same topic but with broader choices. I think that would increase your bets.

I guess what I'm suggesting here doesn't speak precisely to your question about retaining the monetization of the page. But it might be some worthwhile lateral thinking of turning interest in old content into interest in new content.

#8 DrPete

DrPete

    Mach 1 Member

  • Members
  • 327 posts

Posted 03 February 2009 - 05:48 PM

If you're curious, here's how the 2 layers of redirects look on one of my client's sites.

Edited by DrPete, 03 February 2009 - 05:48 PM.


#9 EGOL

EGOL

    Professor

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 5186 posts

Posted 03 February 2009 - 07:39 PM

Thanks DrPete! Those were interesting.

I like the last one with a search box and links of potential interest.

#10 Ron Carnell

Ron Carnell

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Invited Users For Labs
  • 2062 posts

Posted 03 February 2009 - 08:10 PM

This is close to ten years old, so it's not real fancy, but . . .

http://www.netpoets....ere/0001042.htm

http://www.netpoets..../nothereanymore

http://www.netpoets.com/life2

These are all bogus links that return a valid 404 status, but in each case, the script has tried to figure out what the visitor wanted. In the first instance, the key is the page name; you can put in any path you want and so long as it terminates at 0001042.htm you'll be directed to the right location. In the second and third instances above, the key element is the folder. One is a repository for temporary pages that come and go and the other is an obsolete folder that is no longer used.

I've always wanted to go back and try to increase the intelligence of my little 404 script, but the law of diminishing returns kicks in pretty quickly. What I've done is pretty easy. Going farther gets much, much tougher. A lot of functionality could still be added, though.



RSS Feed

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users