When you're ready to launch a new website, it is easy to forget the little things, like search engine rankings. Enamored by the glitz of a fresh looking website and new images, often redirects are overlooked and the old site is just forgotten.
However, Google does not forget so easily; unless properly told so.
Why Use Redirects
Your old website and Digital marketing efforts worked hard to climb up the rankings, slipping past competitors and nestling on the first page. Often the old site’s content was so amazing that outsiders would even link to it, creating valuable link juice. If the new site goes live without telling the server what to do with people following these inbound links, people will just get kicked to a 404 Error landing page. Sure they will eventually find the site, but what happens with those backlinks in the eyes of Google?
Google follows the keyword-laden “Best Pastry Puffs Ever” link to your Pasty Puffs page and receives a 404 Error. The page no longer exists, and therefore it is no longer important. However, when you use a 301 Redirect on the old page, Google sees the the old Pastry Puffs page, sees that it has permanently moved to the new Pastry Puffs page, and siphons all that “Best Pastry Puffs Ever” importance and keyword relevancy to that new page.
Choosing the Right Hosting
But what happens if your hosting company uses a Microsoft IIS server, without the capability to implement all these integral 301 Redirects? Well then you politely ask them to improve their services, download the necessary software, so you don’t drop off Google, let alone MSN, and ask for your httpd.ini access files. These files give you the ability to implement these necessary 301 Redirects, letting the web and search engines know that your page have moved to a new location. This type of file is standard on an Apache server, although it is a .htaccess file.
So when approaching a site launch, ask your hosting company if they provide this service. If not, it may be time to 301 your hosting to a company like Sales & Marketing Technologies, who knows the ins and outs of Digital marketing and web development to get your site performing like it needs to be. Contact us today for a free consultation.