Upgrading your website is natural in the progression of any business, but what happens to all the links you have built up over time and the authority you have secured in the eyes of Google?
We asked our SEO Specialist Adam Futer to explain….
Having a new website built is great, but it is imperative that you put in place 301 redirects to ensure that all the authority and links you have built up over time aren’t lost into the ether. If you are currently in the process of developing a new site then make sure your developer includes 301 redirects. If you have a new site and this hasn’t been done, don’t fret there is time.
My advice would be to get the 301 redirects implemented as soon as possible. Whilst technically it is never too late for 301 redirects to be beneficial, there does come a point when Google stops indexing 404 pages. If you reach this point, it isn’t worth redirecting anything as the pages won’t be showing up in the SERPS.
Google will have indexed the new pages, completely unaware that they are indexing a new page that was once an older page at a different URL. At this point you can wave goodbye to your already established links and the value that they once held for you.
I hear you asking, “How do you know you’re too late?” That’s simple, but more of a case of ‘how do I know I still have time to implement the redirect?’
Type the URL you are checking into Google. If you get faced with a 404 error page you still have time to redirect this page permanently before the authority and links are lost forever.
From an SEO point of view I can’t emphasise enough just how important redirects are. So if you are unsure, my advice is – get checking!
Also see: The 301 Redirect Guide