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I disagree with the 302 redirect
Posted 27 December 2006 - 01:21 PM
Posted 10 January 2007 - 07:30 PM
About 3 weeks ago we moved content from our old URL to a new URL because of a corporate restructure etc.
As per Scotty's advice, I set up a 302 redirect exactly as described and all went well until about a week ago. Google saw fit to remove all of the pages that were 302'd from the search results. The pages are still indexed, but they aren't even on page 10,000 of results that we used to rank #1 for.
My competition is having a heyday because of this and I'm wondering if I should update up my resume...
I don't understand how this happened? I understand Google went though an update recently; has Google finally caught on to the 302 redirect trick?
I have always disagreed with Scottie in regard to using a 302 redirect for SEO purposes. Simply because it is nothing more than a trick. Rob I think it is a trick because you are telling the SE something that is not true in the header response. If the move is not temporary but permanent the header response should reflect that IMHO.
Laying aside our different opinions on the issue. Anytime you do massive changes there is the possibility of experiencing some difficulties. Personally I do not trust 301 or 302 redirects in regard to SEs. I do believe in sending the correct header response though.
Posted 10 January 2007 - 07:39 PM
Which would be...? A redirect, no?
Posted 10 January 2007 - 09:08 PM
Posted 10 January 2007 - 09:08 PM
I am sure that Connie, the self appointed HTTP Response Header Guru, can tell us all, without looking, what each code means and the exact time that the semantically different codes should be used (Hint: they aren't all redirects, and one doesn't exist yet).
IMHO, there are two possible reasons Connie thinks 302 redirects are a trick:
1. He is stupid beyond all comprehension.
2. He is just short of being stupid beyond any and all comprehension, but supremely stupid all the same.
If one honestly thinks that a 302 redirect is an SEO trick, I am sorry, but that proves one is stupid. Really stupid. Village idiot stupid. Because HTTP responses are not designed for SEs, not at all, not one bit. They were designed to convey information to a browser (remember them?) about what to do in specific situations. Example: send a POST request to a file and receieved a 301 Moved Permanently reponse; what should the browser do? (I got this wrong, and if you read the definitions, you too will learn the correct answer).
The real goal of a 301 was to enable rewriting of URLs, like bookmarks, when things had definitely moved forever:
Unfortuantely, none of FireFox, Opera or IE does that, so the difference between 302 and 301 to 99.9% of users is semantically negligible, if it exist at all.
Smart developers usually choose the least severe, as it is the easiest to fix later if issues arise, i.e. a 302 redirect, and because bug checking is easiest when teh URL is accessed, rather than skipped. As an analogy, there are many ways to say "Go away", some nice, some nasty,a nd some permanently offensive. "Go away Connie" is fairly nice. "Get lost Connie" a bit nastier, and the 301 permanent directive of "fuck off and die Connie" the most likely to be irreparable. Which to use is up to personal preference, but issuing the least permanenent command is probably best, as telling someone to "fuck off and die" is not likely to open much of a dialogue
Lastly, I cannot think of any example of a redirect other than a 302 being regularly recommended before SEOs started on about 301s. 301s are actually built for software with rewriting ability, i.e. bookmarks should be automatically changed in response As Rob points out, it is the Default for most every programming language unless another response is programmed. But I do dream of the day when I get to see an example of a 303, 305 or 307 in the wild, 'cause I bet they are as rare as lips on chickens. Actually, make that lipstick on the lips of a chicken. Black, gothic, chicken lip lipstick. Black, gothic, blueberry flavoured chicken lip lipstick (available now at the Chicken Lipstick Emporium - for all you chicken makeup needs).
But enough of my ranting, allow me instead to set the HTTP Header Response Guru a challenge: if he can find me one article on the use of redirects, anywhere on the web, that mentions when to use each of the 3XX response codes that is not SEO related, I'll retract the above tirade, and apologise.
Disagreement is fine, but when it stems from the ignorance of someone I doubt has read the definitions (two links, just to be sure), who instead uses someone else's hearsay to go around enforcing their own bizarre agenda, then I am sorry, but I really can't put a lot of faith in the validity of that disagreement.
Edited by projectphp, 10 January 2007 - 09:49 PM.
Posted 11 January 2007 - 12:57 PM
At a little past the one year mark of delivering a 302, we started getting those special Google SiteLinks listings for most of our brand-related terms, for which we were already ranking #1, and for which we continue to get SiteLinks listings and rank #1 today. So we know for a fact that one year isn't "too long."
So looks to me as though the answer would have to be either:
(1) At least 2.5 years (and counting, with no end in sight), which, BTW, is more than twice as long as you'd have to keep a 302 in place if you're following Scottie's domain migration recommendations... OR...
(2) They don't give a rat's patootie how long you have it in place since they know there are situations like the registrar GoDaddy using 302s for all domain forwarding (meaning that any domain registered and forwarded through GoDaddy is going to be sending a 302 redirect from now until the cows come home, or the webmaster moves the registration or stops the forwarding, whichever comes first), and GoDaddy's not the only example, so taking any sort of action against a "too long" 302 would involve penalizing potentially hundreds of thousands of completely innocent pages for no good reason whatsoever.
Personally, I'm voting for (3) All of the above.
Posted 14 January 2007 - 04:50 PM
Use the 302 the way it should be used. Use a 301 the way it should be used. If you change your domain "permanently", then use the 301. What is hard to understand about this?
My 2 cents.
Posted 14 January 2007 - 06:44 PM
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