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Here is my book on server sided redirects. It’s a longish draft intended to bore you to death with geeky language and dull quotes from protocol standards and similar technical documents. For entertainment purposes it comes with search engine bashing, and it’s sprinkled with tips and tricks. Enjoy.
Comments18 Comments  

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from Sebastian 3459 Days ago #
Votes: 2

In case you’re interested in a particular topic, here is the table of contents:The anatomy of a server sided redirectRedirects are defined in the HTTP protocol, not in search engine guidelinesWhat is a server sided redirect?Execution of server sided redirectsWhat is an HTTP redirect header?The redirect response code in a HTTP status lineThe redirect header’s "location" directiveHow to implement a server sided redirect?Redirects in server configuration filesRedirecting directories and files with .htaccessRedirects in server sided scriptsRedirects done by the Web server itselfRedirect or not? A few use cases...Choosing the best redirect response code (301, 302, or 307)301 - Moved PermanentlyMoving sites with 301 redirects302 - Found [Elsewhere]307 - Temporary RedirectRecap

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from HamletBatista 3459 Days ago #
Votes: 1

WOW! You put a massive amount of work to compile this. Great Job!

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from lucia 3459 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Oh oh... Thank you thank you thank you! I’m working on an ad plugin, and I need to know how to do things properly.

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from JohnWeb 3459 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Great article.  You’ve taught me one thing, I ain’t got what it takes to get articles to go Hot in Sphinn, you on the other hand, are the MASTER!

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from g1smd 3459 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Huge resource and well written!I am guilty of the "use only 301 redirects" mantra, because the vast majority of times that is the right one to use, and the vast majority of people running sites haven’t got much more expertise than being able to paste the right bit of code into their .htaccess file.  Of course, should they take time out to try to understand what the code does and begin to develop their site some more, they will find there will be a few times when a 302 redirect is the right thing to do. I say that they’ll know that time when they see it.In recent years the 302 redirect hijack was a real problem.In your text, one extra clarification on the wording would be useful for those that weren’t quite following the plot:  explain that the "moving to a new host" stuff was "moving to a new domain name".  If the domain name isn’t changing then none of the redirect stuff is necessary. I understand it, but I’ll bet that point in the article will be the one where those that almost understood it, tripped up.  You can move to a new server without changing the domain, and you can move to a new server with a new domain name.  A little tweaking of words there would really clarify things.

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from toddmintz 3459 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Looks like the Sphinn audience crashed your site...I can’t get on to see what you wrote.

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from g1smd 3459 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Heh.  Sphinn-dotted.HOT Topic in under 75 minutes methinks... (already 19 votes after 65 minutes).

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from Sebastian 3459 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Thanks folks! I’ve added a few old.com/new.coms in the "move sites" section to make clear that each Web server responds to another domain. In my book (Web) server does not mean hosting service or IP address, not even the box where the Web server runs itself, sorry for the confusion, I didn’t think of that. As for the traffic, that’s not enough to bring the site’s Web server down. Probably WordPress is too slow with this huge post so that you get a timeout. It renders fine from here and the JS on the page keeps counting visitors uninterrupted. So please try it again.ThanksSebastian

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from g1smd 3459 Days ago #
Votes: 1

***  For example Yahoo is a big fan of truncated URLs. They might save a few terabytes in their indexes by storing URLs without the trailing slash, but they send every user’s browser twice to those locations.  ***Yahoo shows URLs on the page without a trailing slash, but if you mouseover the link in the SERPs you will see that the trailing slash is usually included there.  Even so, I always link to domain and folder URLs with the trailing slash included. That is always a good idea.

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from lucia 3459 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Boy, that went hot fast!   I suspect it wasnt just Sphinn traffic that made it hard to visit. I got to "discover" Sebastian’s post at Stumble. (Unless someone slipped in while I was entering my text!)

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from Sebastian 3459 Days ago #
Votes: 1

g1smd, that happens when Yahoo runs into canonicalization redirects, or the page in question has strong inbound links. When you check enough SERPs (or better server logs) you’ll find tons of URLs which Yahoo has sneakily truncated. That’s because I’ve provided the example. When you check well ranking URLs with trailing slash, most probably you see the trailing slash on mouseover, but there are 99 other SERPs which provide you with examples of URLs screwed by Yahoo.

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from NickWilsdon 3459 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Very well researched post Sebastian. I’ve learnt a few things there, the proper way to do a canonicalization redirect for one. Thanks for sharing.  

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from robwatts 3459 Days ago #
Votes: 1

bookmarked!

Avatar Moderator
from Sebastian 3459 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Thanks again! I wrote this post out of frustration from the top of my head, adding the creditable sources afterwards. I’m glad it went popular because it carries an important message or two. Fucking up redirects is such a common mistake ...

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from g1smd 3459 Days ago #
Votes: 1

It is the best write up about redirects that I have seen in a long while.

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from mphung 3456 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Bravo. This is awesome. I’m going to take a look at our fubar mess of redirects right now to see if we can clean them up. Thanks. 

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from yetanotherben 3057 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Utterly, utterly bookmarked!!!!!  Awesome resource, thanks for this...just returned back to it in my hour of need, thanks a bundle...Ben

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from JohnHGohde 3057 Days ago #
Votes: 0

As a side note, social media marketing sometimes doesn’t matter at all.  This old sphinn discusses a perfect example of invisible technical HTML coding making a major difference in Google.Google does in fact split hairs over the differences between a 302 and a 301 redirect.  Google loves those who do 301 redirects, while crapping on those doing default 302 redirects.  This is a perfect example of how Google can be a real S-O-B on what most SEMs would consider to be a totally trivial matter.

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