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301 Redirect and permalinks (11 posts)

  1. holdstrong
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    I have been at this one for awhile now and have been growing increasingly frustrated by the lack of clear and understandable information on it. Figured I would turn to the WP community since you have solved so many other issues through the years.

    I have a WP site that uses permalinks. http://www.townsandtrails.com/

    One of our popular articles is thus: http://www.townsandtrails.com/salomon-xa-pro-3d-ultra-gtx-trail-runner/

    However, Google, in their infinite wisdom, has decided to index this page as: http://www.townsandtrails.com/?p=803

    This is just one example of many.

    The search engines are using the "ugly" URL, not my "pretty" permalink. WP correctly redirects the "ugly" to the "pretty" when you go to the "ugly"... but it isn't telling google (and others) to update their links.

    This is causing us serious problems with SEO.

    From what I have read, in order to do this you need to set up 301 redirects. But that is where it gets fuzzy to me. I have found no concise, easy to understand, information about how to do that for a problem like this.

    BTW, I did not recently set up these permalinks. They have been in place for over a year, and were in place when this article was written. I do not know why search engines are picking up the 'ugly' links instead.

    Any thoughts?

  2. esmi
    Theme Diva & Forum Moderator
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Do you have a Google xml sitemap?

  3. holdstrong
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    I do yes, and it includes the correct permalinks.

    According to google webmaster tools, it is reading it just fine. I used the google xml plugin to generate it.

  4. holdstrong
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    I believe we found WHY google is indexing the 'ugly' links. Our footer is running a 'popular posts' script that is not using permalinks. We can fix this.

    But I am still looking for information about how you would 301 redirect 'ugly' links to 'pretty' permalinks.

  5. Mark / t31os
    Moderator
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Links should already be redirecting for you.

    Try querying a page/post with the default format, site.com/?cat=1 or site.com/?p=1 or whatever ... and see what happens ...

  6. holdstrong
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Yeah, they are forwarded properly. But they are not 301 redirected.

    As I understand it, 301 redirect is necessary because it tells search engines that the 'bad' URL is 'bad' and to not use it. Which ensures only the good URL is indexed. The benefit of indexing the permalinks, instead of the 'ugly' p= links are that it increases SEO via use of keywords in the URL

  7. Robert Chapin
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    "serious problems with SEO"? As in, cosmetic variation that nobody will notice? :P I've actually started encouraging the use of guid-style links where appropriate, and although I've considered the 302 vs 301 issue, I haven't had the slightest problem with it so far.

  8. holdstrong
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    I was under the impression that having people link back to URLs that include the title of the post and whatever keywords are in that title would qualify as an SEO issue, and not just cosmetic. No?

    Having this link out there: http://www.mysite.com/keyword-filled-title

    Sure seems a lot more SEO friendly than having this link out there: http://www.mysite.com/p=23

    Furthermore, it is also my understanding that the issue of duplicate content and splitting pagerank comes into play if you are not 301'ing the latter.

  9. Robert Chapin
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Well you've just asked several good questions.

    > having people link back to URLs that include the title of the post

    AFAIK, Google doesn't count terms in HREF values. It counts the linked text. Also I doubt anyone would link to your site by copying something from a Google page. When they click through to your site, they will get the permalink in the address bar.

    > would qualify as an SEO issue, and not just cosmetic. No?

    Since the "ugly urls" are all forwarded and have no content, I don't think this is a concern. Google is smart enough to figure out that 302 isn't necessarily different from 301.

    > Having this link out there: http://www.mysite.com/keyword-filled-title Sure seems a lot more SEO

    Believe it or not, Google strongly favors shorter URLs. I've noticed you have some unnecessarily long slugs like "my-search-for-the-perfect-daypack-osprey-react-review". In the Google algorithm, there's a tipping point between the usefulness of keywords in URLs and the usefulness of URLs that don't run off the end of the screen. They are putting a lot of weight on ease of memorization, ease of typing, readability, etc, so in these cases Google could rank your redirect address higher than the permalink. The classic example is if http://www.mysite.com always forwards to http://www.mysite.com/blahblahblahblahblah then Google will always rank the shorter address higher.

    > Furthermore, it is also my understanding that the issue of duplicate content and splitting pagerank comes into play

    Nothing has been duplicated.

    Splitting pagerank might come into play when you are using different links interchangeably on your own site, simply because Google never indexes all of the URLs on a blog. I think it's a good idea to have your "popular posts" show up as permalinks. Still, I think the impact is trivial if we're only talking about some extra links showing up in the footer.

  10. holdstrong
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Excellent info. Thank you!!

    Especially about the length of the URLs. Something I was not aware of. I have been letting WP take care of it and it seems to just auto-generate that from the title. I'll be more careful.

    Now if I can figure out why my static pages are not being indexed ;-)

    http://wordpress.org/support/topic/352853?replies=1

  11. runsolo
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    I am having a similar problem and I'm extreeeemly frustrated.
    I have an existing blog that uses the default permalink structure, ?p=123
    and I'm trying to to migrate to a /%category%/%postname%/ structure.
    Setting the permalinks to the new structure isn't a problem for me, it's getting the old links to redirect properly.

    I've tried such plugins as "Redirection", "Advanced Permalinks", "Dean's Permalink Migration", and "Redirect Old Permalinks" without any success. I'm almost certain that I'm doing something wrong, but I sure could use a hand.

    During my latest attempt I used Advanced Permalinks to updated the PL structure. After that I rebuilt my XML sitemap, however my links still go to 404s.

    Ugh...Please help if you can.

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