Support » Plugin: Redirection » Redirection Plugin Tutorial Needed — Thousands of crawl errors

  • When I ran diagnositcs for crawl errors on my site using Google Webmaster Tools, I got the following information:

    Crawl Errors
    In Sitemaps (91)
    Not Followed (9,201)
    Not Found (1,786)
    Unreachable (96)

    When I looked at the 91 crawl errors in Sitemaps, I found that many were for posts where the original url was established using the WordPress default

    I changed the Permalink structure of my site sometime in late 2009 early 2010. Using Yoasts Definitive Guide to SEO, I followed his recommendation to change the structure to /%category%/%postname%/.

    After I did that I installed the Redirection plugin, and made sure that under Manage -> Redirection -> Options,both URL Monitoring select boxes were set to “Modified posts”. According to Yoast, after doing those things I should have been able to change permalinks to perfectly SEO’d permalinks without having to do anything else, or worry about the search engine consequences.

    Other than using the Redirection plugin to do what Yoast instructed users to do in the first part of his definitive guide to SEO, I pretty left the plugin untouched. I didn’t understand how to use it and didn’t understand the consequences of deactivating it.

    On February 15, 2011 I changed my WordPress theme. When I did that, I deactivated all of my plugins including the Redirection plugin and started my site using a new theme. This partly explains the thousands of crawl errors I found with Google Webmaster Tools.

    Now I understand how to redirect from a bad url to a good url using the Redirection plugin. But I only know how to do this one-at-a-time. Considering I have thousands of urls to fix, I was wondering if I’m doing the right thing. Can anyone shed light?

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  • You need to learn how to use regular expressions, “regex”, or hire someone who knows how to use it.

    Regex is a “math” for pattern matching and it works great in rewrite rules. There are lots of web pages that discuss it, show you how to use it, and so on. Nonetheless, the syntax is arcane and can intimidate even the most determined reader.

    The work to learn it is time well spent. Once mastered you will be able to set up a few rules that handle many, many cases.

    Good luck.

    @mophilly THANK YOU. I am absolutely willing to do the reading if the investment of time will benefit me. Thanks again.

    I posted this same plea for help on the Google Webmasters Forum. Here is the only response I’ve gotten in 24 hrs (from someone who is identified as “Level 9” —

    Did you reconstruct the sitemap?

    Frankly, these fake evergreen content tricks (removing dates from URLs) are not “optimal” in my opinion. They are deceptive and diminish the quality of the content on your site.

    Why do you not want dates in your URLs? They are extremely relevant to when the content was published.

    WordPress will, by default, redirect old URLs to new URLs when you change the URL structure. You don’t need any SEO plugins to accomplish that. It sounds to me like you’ve screwed things up enough that you just need to settle on a structure and leave it alone for a couple of months.
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