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What happens to links if you change the URL?

bigarsenalbear
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Joined: 08 May 11
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What happens to links if you change the URL?

Hi everyone,

I've got a question about backlinks and URLs.

Suppose I create a page with the URL: 'http://www.mysite.com/first-post'

Now suppose I build links to that page (and others link to it as well). All these links have 'http://www.mysite.com/first-post' as the "target URL"

Now suppose that I decide to change the URL of that post (because I've come up with a better, more expressive URL, let's say)

What happens to all the backlinks?

Their target URL was the initial URL I created.

Do all of these backlinks lose their force?

Does my page cease to benefit from these backlinks (now that the URL is changed)?

And does that mean I can expect my page to slide down the rankings (since it's no longer propped up by the backlinks)?

I'd love to hear from anyone who knows this area well (Affilorama staff, experienced SEOs, anyone who knows this stuff!)

Thanks for your help. Hopefully this question will be of interest/use to other webmasters as well,

Best Wishes

Adam
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PremiumMember
newstart
Posts: 277
Joined: 01 Jan 10
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If you create a 301 redirect the backlinks that have been established at the original URL will follow. Altering your website without doing a 301 redirect will cause you to lose the backlinks that had been created.

Margene
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bigarsenalbear
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Joined: 08 May 11
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Thanks Margene. Is there somewhere where I can learn how to create a "301 redirect"? I have absolutely no idea how to do that or what it involves!

I suppose there are two issues:

(1) Whether people clicking those links will be taken to my page (now that the URL has changed)
(2) Whether Google will still count those links as links to my page (even though their target URL is no longer the URL of the page)

I imagine these are probably related (?)
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essexboyracer
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Whenever doing this I always end up googling and finding this page http://www.isitebuild.com/301-redirect.htm. If you are on Wordpress, you may be able to find a plugin to do this for you

1. If you follow some sage advice on redirects, your visitors should be ok

2. As you have followed Google's webmaster guidelines by doing a 301 redirect from an old page to a new page, in theory you should be ok
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bigarsenalbear
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Thanks Oliver.

The funny thing is that when I type in the old page address (the URL the page had originally), I get to taken to the page with the new address.

I guess you'd say that it "redirects."

But in that case it has happened automatically, because I certainly didn't set up any any "301 redirect"! (wouldn't have a clue how to do that!)

I wonder if my wordpress blog did the redirect automatically when I changed the URL...(?)
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essexboyracer
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I think it does. I have seen that also after I post then immediately change the post slug URL to something better,
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bigarsenalbear
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Thanks Oliver. I just hope the search engines will understand that links pointing to the old address should now count in favour of my new URL!
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jmpruitt
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Joined: 19 Jun 09
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some seo plugins, like Platinum SEO pack will automatically create these 301 redirects for you if you are using wordpress.

Google will still count the links, however, they don't pass the full link juice to your site. you might want to check out this video where Matt Cutts from Google talks about 301 redirects and how they work. http://youtu.be/70LR8H8pn1M
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Your Focus Determines Your Reality
 
bigarsenalbear
Posts: 65
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Thanks James. Yes, I read that the platinum seo plugin does it automatically.

The funny thing is that I only have the all in one seo pack installed and that seems to have done the redirect automatically.

Or maybe my version of wordpress did it, I don't know.

All I know is that if I type in the old URL it changes to the new URL and takes me to the right page. And I certainly didn't do any "301 redirect" manually (wouldn't have had a clue how to do it!)
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burkhardt5
Posts: 223
Joined: 26 Jun 09
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Hello all!
I am glad you asked this question Adam. It was sugested to me that I silo my site as it has over 50 pages. When I found out how to do it , I found that the url will change. I have the same concern as you about losing my backlinks and am not sure how to do a 301 redirect.

My question is, will the changed url when siloing a site lose the backlinks or any juice? Or will it cause a redirect just like a 301? I have far too many links out there to risk this change as my site now is over 2 years old and is getting 250-300 visits per day.

Never Give Up!!!
Paul
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Paul J. Burkhardt
 
essexboyracer
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Search google for "check 301 redirects", there are various tools out there that will examine the headers given off by your webhost server to see the response code it has for a given request. This would be in effect what googlebot sees when it crawls your site
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cecille.l
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My question is, will the changed url when siloing a site lose the backlinks or any juice? Or will it cause a redirect just like a 301? I have far too many links out there to risk this change as my site now is over 2 years old and is getting 250-300 visits per day.


Someone correct me if I'm wrong but changing the link of an article to another will cause you to lose any backlink/link juice you have for the old link/page. This is why 301 redirects are necessary when moving your site to a new domain or changing your page's URL. A 301 redirect permanently refers users who click on the old link to be taken to the new. Search engines are also referred to the new link/page so they start indexing that instead of the old.

Hope that helps. Have a good day!
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Cecille


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red_fox1313
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if u change your URL then u will do again SEO from start.
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cecille.l
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More or less, yes. If you change your URL for a page then you lose any backlinks you have on the old URL. You would then need to get backlinks to the new URL. That's why you need to do 301 redirects. Any backlinks pointing to the old URL will be redirected to the new one through a 301 redirect.

Hope that helps. Have a good day!
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Cecille


Step by step guide to "Penguin-proofed" sites : www.affilorama.com/affiloblueprint


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burkhardt5
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Hello all!

Real quick question here.
I did some 301 redirects and they work fine. The only concern is that the new url has no PR. I don't put alot of worth to PR but will they recover there PR and will there rankings stay the same?

Thanks!
Never Give Up!!!!
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Paul J. Burkhardt
 
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cecille.l
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Hi Paul,

Your new pages will soon rank and get their PR back but this would take time. I suggest you actively promote your new pages and get more traffic into them. This helps increase PR too.

Hope that helps. Have a good day!
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Cecille


Step by step guide to "Penguin-proofed" sites : www.affilorama.com/affiloblueprint


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jmpruitt
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yep, don't just rely on the redirect links. when you move a page or change it's url, you need to go back and build links to the new page as well as doing the redirect. Although google does pass PR through the redirect links, it takes time for them to work their magic and start pouring the link juice where it belongs.
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Your Focus Determines Your Reality
 

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