352 Inc. / Digital Marketing / September 17th, 2008

301 redirects

I am working on a solution at the moment for a potential client which involves 352 media collaborating with our search engine marketing partner Submitawebsite. 352 are been considered for a design and programming and SAW are been considered for a SEO/SEM campaign.

SAW and I got chatting about our proposed solution yesterday and the Dave (SAW account manager) noted that this specific client has 2 other domain names, and they are creating a duplicate content issue, and potentially holding the clients site back in rankings, However this can be solved by putting 301 redirects in place.

I was aware of 301 redirects, and have used them before, but I did not know that having a permanently redirect helps with search engine optimization.

So what does this mean to you and your site?

A user user might mis-type a URL — for example, “www.353meida.com” and “www.532media.com”. Companies often register these “misspelled” domains and re-direct them to the “correct” location: www.352inc.com.

But some companies may have 3 domain names such as www.352inc.com, www.353meida.com, and www.532media.com and all 3 websites have the exact same content uploaded and live on the server, Google deems this bad, and can punish you by lowering your ranking, or by removing you totally from their search engine.

The solution is a 301 Redirect (The code “301” is interpreted as “moved permanently) – you direct the other domains to your main site.

I have more than one domain, how do I set up a re-direct to avoid been penalized?

Below are a Couple of methods to implement URL Redirection

I plagiarized the following content from http://www.webconfs.com/how-to-redirect-a-webpage.php

IIS Redirect

In Internet services manager, right click on the file or folder you wish to redirect
Select the radio titled “a redirection to a URL”.
Enter the redirection page
Check “The exact url entered above” and the “A permanent redirection for this resource”
Click on ‘Apply’

ColdFusion Redirect

<.cfheader statuscode=”301″ statustext=”Moved permanently”>
<.cfheader name=”Location” value=”http://www.new-url.com”>

PHP Redirect

<?
Header( “HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently” );
Header( “Location: http://www.new-url.com” );
?>

ASP Redirect

<%@ Language=VBScript %>
<%
Response.Status=”301 Moved Permanently”
Response.AddHeader “Location”,”http://www.new-url.com/”
%>

ASP .NET Redirect

<script runat=”server”>
private void Page_Load(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
{
Response.Status = “301 Moved Permanently”;
Response.AddHeader(“Location”,”http://www.new-url.com”);
}
</script>

JSP (Java) Redirect

<%
response.setStatus(301);
response.setHeader( “Location”, “http://www.new-url.com/” );
response.setHeader( “Connection”, “close” );
%>

CGI PERL Redirect

$q = new CGI;
print $q->redirect(“http://www.new-url.com/”);

Ruby on Rails Redirect

def old_action
headers[“Status”] = “301 Moved Permanently”
redirect_to “http://www.new-url.com/”
end

Redirect Old domain to New domain (htaccess redirect)

Create a .htaccess file with the below code, it will ensure that all your directories and pages of your old domain will get correctly redirected to your new domain.
The .htaccess file needs to be placed in the root directory of your old website (i.e the same directory where your index file is placed)

Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule (.*) http://www.newdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L]

Please REPLACE www.newdomain.com in the above code with your actual domain name.

In addition to the redirect I would suggest that you contact every back linking site to modify their back link to point to your new website.

Note* This .htaccess method of redirection works ONLY on Linux servers having the Apache Mod-Rewrite moduled enabled.

Redirect to www (htaccess redirect)

Create a .htaccess file with the below code, it will ensure that all requests coming in to domain.com will get redirected to www.domain.com
The .htaccess file needs to be placed in the root directory of your old website (i.e the same directory where your index file is placed)

Options +FollowSymlinks
RewriteEngine on
rewritecond %{http_host} ^domain.com [nc]
rewriterule ^(.*)$ http://www.domain.com/$1 [r=301,nc]

Please REPLACE domain.com and www.newdomain.com with your actual domain name.

Note* This .htaccess method of redirection works ONLY on Linux servers having the Apache Mod-Rewrite moduled enabled.

How to Redirect HTML

Please refer to section titled ‘How to Redirect with htaccess’, if your site is hosted on a Linux Server and ‘IIS Redirect’, if your site is hosted on a Windows Server.

Speak to an expert.

I am not expert in this area, SEO/SEM (search engine optimization / search engine marketing) are beasts in their own right, so I highly recommend contacting a consultant if you are having search engine issues. I personally recommend www.submitawebsite.com (for bigger budgets) and for companies with more modest budgets I am a big fan of www.yoursearchadvisor.com (SEO) and www.ingenexdigital.com (SEM).