A Webmaster’s Guide to the Advanced Techniques of 301 Redirects
A Webmaster's Guide to the Advanced Techniques of 301 Redirects
This article is designed to dig deeper into the process of moving pages with 301 redirects and touch on the advanced, less common issues and strategies that arise when managing a website. If you're new to 301 redirects or are unfamiliar with an .htaccess file then you need to stop now and read Part One of this article series first. Only then will the following strategies make sense to you. And if all of that is old hat to you then let's get on with it shall we...
As you know, properly moving a page to a new location is a fairly painless process. By providing a clear path to the page's new location, you ensure that both your users and the search engines find what they are looking for—while you avoid losing your existing search rankings and/or inbound links.
There are also several more advanced uses of 301 redirects that can be used to eliminate duplicate content issues, such as the www vs. non-www canonical URL problem.
URL Using Query Strings? MOD_REWRITE to the Rescue
If the URL you are removing from the server utilized a query string, such as
http://domain.com/index.php?id=43 (the query string is highlighted in this example), you can't use the
redirect 301 method as it will ignore everything after the query string. In this situation we must step it up a notch and use the more powerful Apache MOD_REWRITE function to correctly redirect the URL.