The Basics of Moving Content

Moving content refers to the situation when content used to live at one URL (e.g., http://www.yourdomain.com/pageA.html) and has now moved to another URL (e.g., http://www.yourdomain.com/products/pageA.html). One of your goals when you move content is to make sure users (and search engines) that attempt to visit the old URL (/pageA.html) are presented with the content from the new location (/products/pageA.html).

It turns out that there is an additional critical goal: namely, when you move content from one URL to another, the links to that content at the old URL will stop providing value to your rankings in the search engines for that content, unless you perform a 301 redirect.

In Duplicate Content Issues in Chapter 6, we covered the technical specifics of how to do this in detail, including the golden rule of moving content: the search engine needs to see a 301 HTTP status code whenever you redirect it (and users) to a new location.

The 301 HTTP status code causes the search engine to pass most of the value of any links the original page has over to the new page, and should result in the rapid de-indexation of the old URL. Since link juice is a previous asset, you want to make sure you use a 301 redirect every time!

Large-Scale Content Moves

The 301 process can become difficult when changes result in movement of large quantities of content. For example, when you change your domain name, every single piece of content on your site will move to a new URL, even ...

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