404 page not found – you may have seen this message several times while online. On seeing this message, you suddenly leave the page. Sometimes on typing the URL of an already existed site, you find it is no longer there. These are potential problems that one should consider with moving a website, or changing the URL address of a page on website. This in turn often leads to decreased search engine rankings, less traffic, less enquiries and less business. This is bad for customers, bad for search engines, and bad for business! But have you ever spend a little time in knowing the reason for such a message. Or how to avoid the problem?
In such situations, 301 redirect is the most efficient and search engine friendly method for web page redirection. In Order to setup a 301 redirect use it within the .htaccess file on your web server, which redirects customers and the
the Google bot to the new website or page address on your new site. Having a 301 redirect doesn’t slow down the time it takes for the page to load, because before a page is served to your web browser, the server first checks for an .htaccess file, and if it finds one, the old page never loads and the visitors are instead directed directly through to the new page. With a properly setup 301 redirect, customers usually won’t even notice the change in URL, because they are seamlessly and instantly redirected through to the new page or website.
If you are using a Linux server and follow these steps in setting up a 301 redirect
1) Go to the web site that you want to redirect from. For example, if you want to redirect www.Site 1.com to www. Site 2.com then put the following information in the root directory of the www.site1.com.
2) Create an file using the following code:
Redirect 301 /the-directory-on-site1/the-page-on-site 1.htm http://www.site2.com/
3) Save the file as simply .htaccess
4) Be sure you save the file in the root directory of your web site.
5) Upload the file to your web server
6) Test the file by going to your old web site address and be sure it redirects to your new web site
Please note however that the update will take about 24 hours to work.
A 301 redirect will safely tell the search engines that your site site1.com and site2.com are the same as site1.com without wasting the search engines time and you can be sure that if someone accidentally enters in the wrong domain name, they will still end up at your web site.