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BJ Wright

Can Too Many 301 Redirects Hurt You?

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Over the last year I have been pretty scattered and tried to put up a number of different sites within the same niche. I have started 301 redirecting them to my main site where i have added all the previous features from the smaller sites.


Is it possible to get in trouble with this? Can I have too many sites being redirecting to my main site, even if they offer the same service?





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You have legitimately moved the content to a consolidated main site, so it really shouldn't be an issue. Of course, ideally all the deep-urls from the scattered old sites should be redirecting to the specific page where the rquivalent content now resides on he main domain. Deep URLs from the old domain should really not all be pointing at the homepage as it is just poor usability, and poor usability is something the engines don't mind devaluing.


If I were a search engineer, I wouldn't be worried about the number of sites redirecting to the new site, but I'd have built a lot of warn-levels into the algorithm for when all the deep-pages of many different domains were pointed solely at a homepage. That would look like any made-up url on the old domain would give a 301 redirect, and that is an issue my algorithm would have to discount completely.

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Thanks Ammon! I am greatful for the continuing education I learn from you and the team at Fresh Egg.

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Hey BJ,

I'm currently showing 77.6% of my traffic going through a re-direct either on entering or sometime before they leave. Along about February 1, of this year I completely restructured the site to take into account some changes we had made as a business and did a wholesale renaming, copy edit and directory change.


Search engine traffic dropped off some for about a month but has been slowly climbing back. It hit the former level about the middle of March and is now running nearly double what it was previously and climbing steadily. Since we haven't stood still with our overall promotional efforts I'd have to guesstimate a bit, but I'd say that aside from the initial drop of less than a month the re-directs haven't hurt a bit and now are beginning to show the benefits I designed them for in the first place.


Traffic on Yahoo! has nearly tripled in this time so, if anything, it was a good move all the way around.


I think Ammon makes a very good point with directing to specific pages instead of the index page though. The only re-direct to home-page on mine is the domain.com to www.domain.com. Everything else goes to a page of content closely related to the old page, only with a different url and, in most cases title.



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This thread couldn't have come at a more timely...um time. I just blogged about our experience with lots of 301's last night: http://www.flyteblog.com/flyte/2007/05/ouch_taking_a_b.html


We just relaunched our Web site and changed all the pages from .html to .php, as well as removing a couple of sections and adding a new one or two.


It's only been 11 days, but we've slipped in a number of keyword phrases we watch, as well as losing some search engine traffic.


I'll be more concerned if I don't see an uptick in the next month or so. Traffic is still steady enough and we're getting enough inquiries, but if this was an e-com site where a dip in traffic from the SE's could damage my ability to stay in business...well, I wouldn't be sleeping as well.


If I had to do it again, I probably would have gone with a mod_rewrite. In fact, next big revamp we have to do, I'll be giving that a whirl. We just ran out of time at the end.

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