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I disagree with the 302 redirect
Posted 20 December 2006 - 06:05 PM
Personally if I had a domain named cats.com, and shifted the emphasis to dogs I would still use cats.com if it were established. The domain name has little if anything to do with ranking.
Google does appear to have a aging delay. Even though the site is not ranking well it is 9 months old. Changing the domain name may well mean you are starting over again.
A 302 or even a 301 may or may not work. Personally I would not take that gamble just for a domain name.
Posted 20 December 2006 - 07:21 PM
Fool them? Into not losing the rankings you rightfully earned because they have a bug in their system so they can't figure it out themselves?
I think not.
Definitely use the 302 if you don't want to lose all your hard-earned rankings. If you don't mind losing them, go straight to the 301.
Posted 21 December 2006 - 06:50 PM
Why change domain names in the first place? I agree there is a bug in the system. That bug relates to 302 redirects as well as 301 redirects.
Whether the SEs handle either properly is up to the SE. Google has a record of mis-handling both.
A 302 is a temporary redirect. You are telling the SE that the site will be back at that address at some point.
A 301 Tells the SE that the site has moved to the new address. If the domain name has changed that is what the redirect should tell the SE.
When you use a 302 where a 301 should be used you are trying to deceive the SE IMHO.
Posted 21 December 2006 - 07:19 PM
There are zillions of business reasons to change a domain, and a bug in a search engine shouldn't stop someone from running their business the way they should. Nor should it stop the traffic that they've built up through years of hard work.
Posted 23 December 2006 - 06:55 PM
Be interested in hearing your view on a zilloin reasons. I can think of a couple, and if I really reason it out they can be avoided.
Lets assume the change is necessary. Then a 301 would be the proper redirect. A 301 should do the same thing as a 302, which is not the proper response to serve when a permanent change has been made.
In this case using a 302 redirect is nothing more than an attempt to fool the SEs IMHO. It might work, it might not. A 301 might work, it might not.
However if a zealous webmaster picked up on this change, he would have no complaint if the redirect was a 301. He has a legitimate complaint if a 302 redirect is being used.
I have been aware of Scottie's article for a long time. I have also been aware in your change of position on this issue.
To be clear the issue is using a 302 redirect when a 301 redirect should be used.
Posted 23 December 2006 - 07:39 PM
Complaint about what? Redirects for legitimate purposes aren't anything to complain about whether they're 301 or 302, and I believe with 100% certainty that no search engineer would care since 302s are a very common redirection method.
Posted 24 December 2006 - 04:08 AM
Unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect world.
Google has their reasons for their aging delay, which are completely legitimate in their eyes. Regardless of the legitimacy of their reasons, they still end up throwing out a lot of babies with the bath water.
Status responses have never and probably never will be handled correctly by all involved. If they had been handled correct the Page Hijacking problems many have seen in the past would have never happened. Heck, for that matter many (most?) servers will incorrectly deliver a 302 Found or 302 Moved Temporary status code as a default, even though most redirects should be 301 Moved Permanently. So unless the webmaster or sysadmin understands what's happening and makes it a point to expressly declare a 301 most servers are going to send a (faulty) 302 response.
These sort of misconfigurations and default status code handling problems muddy the waters considerably. Effectively making the sought after perfect world an unattainable goal at this time.
Posted 24 December 2006 - 12:04 PM
And that raises a problem -- how long is "temporary"? And who makes the decision as to what is "temporary" and what is "permanent"?
My company's site has been using a 302 to redirect the home page for nearly two years now. (It was originally returning a 200-found even though it was actually redirecting, which was completely wrong and was hurting us.) I already knew when I fixed the code originally that I wanted to re-do the site. I was unsure whether I was going to retain the redirect when I recoded the site, so I used a 302 temporary. However, with corporate policies being what they are, it's taken me nearly three years to get authorization for the update.
So, is my redirect temporary, because I knew that I planned to change things someday? By that thinking, nearly all redirects would be 302s, as almost everything on the web could potentially change at some point. Even things that we like to think are "permanent" online generally seem to turn out to be only "long term" or "no plans to change at this point in time." (BTW, I still haven't decided whether to retain the redirect on the home page or not, even though I do now have authorization for a recode.)
Give that, then, should the redirect on my company's site have been "permanent", because I had reason to believe it would take a long time to get management to approve a recoding? And if that's the case, what is the time frame? A year? Two years? Would the answer change if I had thought I was going to be able to get approval more quickly? At what point should I have decided it was taking "too long" and gone in and changed the code from a 302 to a 301? Or should everyone simply take my word for it that I intend to recode the site and let me run a 302 for as long as I want?
IMO, in Scottie's technique a 302 is not deceptive at all, because you know going into it that you only plan to use that redirect code on your old site temporarily. You're already planning to switch your code on the old site to deliver to another response code as soon as your new site emerges from the aging delay. What response code you plan to use when you stop using the 302 is irrelevant.
Posted 24 December 2006 - 07:34 PM
A 301 Tells the SE that the site has moved to the new address.
If you read the response code deifiniotions, it says:
There is no mention of how long permanent is, and realistically, permanent probably meant a single session rather than years.
I personally don't see a big deal in this myself. There isn't any deception (both ways state that the site has moved), and if you have to know how to 301 redirect not to spam, that would catch out many, many unsuspecting sites, and itself breaks most rules on spam (don't do anything for SEs, which choosing a 301 over a 302 redirect is). You also can't be sure that permanent really is permanent, so in the vast majority of cases, 302 is probably the correct response.
In all honest, the 301 vs 302 debate is purely an SEO debate, as there is really few, if any, occassions when the difference matters. IMHO, that makes it a silly argument about intent fullstop.
Posted 25 December 2006 - 04:25 PM
It appears my comments from another thread were split out to start a new thread for some reason.
It also seems logical to me that if a header response does not mean anything to a SE, it would make no difference if the page returned a 200, 301, 302, or 404 response.
If the header response is not important then just park the old domain on top of the new domain. Let the old domain point to the new domain with a 200 response.
However, if you know the meaning of a header response, and use for instance a 302 (to hopefully fool the SEs) when a 301 should have been used, then you are guilty of trying to fool the SEs.
At some point in time the SEs are going to catch up with the tricks. It may not be tomorrow. They may not catch all tricks at the same time. At some point they will catch them.
Why not do things right from the beginning?
Posted 26 December 2006 - 12:01 PM
Had I to do it all over again, I would have employed Scottie's method on using a 302 redirect until new site was established. Is this being sneaky? I don't think so.
First of all I have never seen in search engine guidelines where they have denounced this tactic as they have with other items such as cloaking, hidden text, etc. Secondly I'm going to do what is best for my client. Search engine guidelines are just that - guidelines. It is like coloring in the lines but there are situations in my opinion that call for coloring outside the lines. Because engines have not come out against using 302 redirects (at least as far as I have heard) then it is not something that puts the client's site at risk. Therefore it is a viable tactic to employ in situations where one is leveraging an established site to help establish a replacement.
Posted 26 December 2006 - 02:03 PM
Because you took yet another one of our threads and brought it off topic about this same subject that you've taken off topic before. There's only so many threads that we can allow you to do that with. We find it best to keep the off-topic stuff in a separate thread.
Yes, we know that and we tell that to people here every day. Thankfully, this particular method for redirecting a new domain name isn't a trick, so nobody needs to be concerned with being "caught." I would have no problem in the least teling any engineer from Google exactly what I was doing and why if I were to employ this type of redirect. And I'm 100% confident that when I did, they would simply say "good idea."
Posted 26 December 2006 - 05:50 PM
The thread which led to this discussion was here I believe http://www.highranki...mp;#entry234051 where a article by Scottie was referenced.
Irregardless we are going to disagree on this issue. So be it.
At this point we are like a dog chasing it's tail. You know going in circles.
I think people are capable of making their own decisions when presented with both sides of an issue. I'm simply trying to present a different side from what Scottie presented.
I think I have done that.
Posted 26 December 2006 - 09:15 PM
Anyone who has some reason to change their domain name and is essentially moving the same site from one domain to the other will want to find a way to make sure both visitors and the SE's arrive at the correct site and stop using the old domain.
If the site owners are worried about their PR, they should use a 301 permanent redirect to get credit for their incoming links right away. The domain will likely still be under the aging delay for probably 6-12 months no matter how strong those incoming links are, or how quickly you get those incoming links changed over to the new domain.
If the site owner wants to maintain their current rankings until the new domain has aged, they can use a 302 temporary redirect that will keep the old domain essentially as it is in the SERP's while delivering users to the correct domain. During that time, you need to be getting all those links moved so that the new domain will gain trust and graduate from the aging filter.
Unfortunately, some spammers can use a 302 redirect and some php code to steal a site's rankings and traffic. For this reason, some extremists have deemed the 302 redirect to be "spamming", ergo you hear arguments that using a 302 is in itself, a deceptive thing.
For anyone moving to a new domain, you now have a recap and and overview of the situation and can make your own decisions. You can redirect the old domain to the new using a permanent redirect, a temporary redirect, or simply a link from the old to the new site and an explanation that the site has moved or even park the old domain on top of the new one. Each has their own pros and cons, but you've got choices. We've had plenty of discussion and opinions on this topic and no one can make the decision but you.
Posted 27 December 2006 - 06:01 AM
I think this needs a response, and the answer is simple: as the key element here is a change of domain names, a 200 response is incorrect, because you want people to move over. Who one wants to have to worry about keeping a domain live, with all the issues and problems assocaited with it like bookmarks, multiple log files, complicated analytics and trillions of other minor annoyances. All because you are having religious issues with redirects.
IMHO, the key is people. If we take the "do nothing for SEs" theory of spam, a 302 is what everyone uses for pretty much every redirect, the de facto standard if you will. If there were no SEs, that is what people would use.
A redirect exists for a reasons, and a redirect should be used if you want to change domains. As to which redirect, I want to say again that a 301 vs 302 redirect is almost purely an SEO issue, and it is like choosing between 2.01% fat milk and 1.99% fat milk. Sure, they are different, but the differences are so marginal that it seriously does not matter except to search engines. I haven't tested for a few years, but I am not aware of any browser that rewrites bookmarked URLs when it encounters a 301, so to a real v1.0 person, it simply is a non-issue.
A big, fat non-issue. But I like having Connie around just the same.
Edited by projectphp, 27 December 2006 - 07:47 AM.
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