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Doing A Double 301?


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8 replies to this topic

#1 Trilitech

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 01:28 PM

I have a site at myblog.blogspot.com/ that I need to move to www.myexistingsite.com/blog/ . The blog has thousands of posts and thousands of inbound links that I can't possibly update. This would normally be pretty easy, just put up a 301, but Blogger complicates things a lot.

I'm trying to find a way to get this done and the best plan I have so far involves redirecting the user twice which I'm not real comfortable with. Do you feel like this plan will work and is there a better way of accomplishing things? Here's my plan:

1. Log into Blogger control panel and update the blogs url to blog.myexistingsite.com/ but set the dns so that we leave that sub domain hosted at blogger for the time. Blogger will put up a 301 on all the old pages to point to the new domain as long as they still host the blog. I let this sit for about a month while the search engines update the url.

2. Once all the rankings have updated (30 days ish), I pick a night, import all the posts into wordpress at www.myexistingsite.com/blog/ and set the url syntax to match blogger's format.

3. Change blog.myexistingsite.com/ so that the dns is no longer pointed to blogger but to a local ip that contains 301 redirects to the matching pages at www.myexistingsite.com/blog/ . Blogger will yank down their 301s and replace it with a page telling the visitor their leaving the site instead, but hopefully it won't matter much since all engines have indexed the 301s already.

I've tested the first part of pointing a blogspot blog to a new domain and then swapping it out to wordpress a month later so I'm pretty comfortable with that half. The part I'm not real comfortable with is putting up a second 301 to the wordpress blog instead of having it at that new url. I don't see any other way to get it done though. Any thoughts?

#2 Randy

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 02:04 PM

The double redirect isn't a problem if that's what you're asking. You don't want to go much more than 2 redirects though. Not only the search engines but browsers can get pretty interesting if you try to string together too many redirects in a row.

I do have one question for you though. Are you certain that the first part (going from myblog.blogspot.com to blog.myexistingsite.com) actually has a 301 in the mix? Have you looked at the server response to make sure it delivers a 301 status code? If it's now a 301 this is a change from the last time I checked. Granted it's been awhile, but back then at least there was no 301 redirect on this front end.

If it's now a 301 you've got a pretty good plan from the sound of it. What happens though when you change the DNS? Isn't blogspot then going to remove their 301 redirects? If so, you're going to create a break in the link juice pass through the moment you change the DNS, because all former links are still going to be pointing to blogspot urls. In any case you'd want to have as part of your plan to contact folks linking to pages of the blogspot post and see if they'll update their links. But in this case it'll be doubly important since those links will become effectively dead links when the first 301 redirect disappears.

#3 Ron Carnell

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 02:25 PM

Randy is right. A permanent redirect isn't really permanent. smile.gif

Even though the search engines have indexed the 301 destination, removing the 301 will also remove all link credits being transferred to the destination. Yea, Google will still find the content at the destination -- but all those old links to the old content will be sacrificed.

#4 Trilitech

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 04:59 PM

Yeah, I'm sure it's really a 301 on step 1. I have a test blog currently in this state and can PM you the url if you'd like to see. As soon as you move on to step 3 though, that 301 will get replaced by the typical blogger.com warning and link. On the last test I did, so far the rankings have held up on the wordpress blog on the new domain, but it's only been about 2 weeks so far since I did the step that removed the 301s from Blogger.com.

Glad to hear the double 301 isn't likely to be a problem. If any visitors happen upon the old site they can follow the link on the blogger warning page to get to the site, so that's not too much of a concern. The part about 301s not really being permanent is big concern though.

So you're saying once that 301 goes away on myblog.blospot.com url, all that link love is going to transition back to myblog.blogspot.com instead of staying at myexistingsite.com/blog/ ? If so is there any way you know of to transition off Blogger and still keep the link love? I'll move over as many links as I can, but I can't contact thousands of sites and expect them all to update their links.



#5 Randy

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 08:29 AM

QUOTE
If so is there any way you know of to transition off Blogger and still keep the link love?


Not really, or not anything I've tested.

I'll just throw this out there though because it may work even though technically it shouldn't. It's basically a DNS kludge.

What would happen if you didn't disable the blog.myexistingsite.com tweak on Blogspot, but set up the DNS on your real server so that requests for those subdomain pages went to your server and didn't get sent to blogspot? In other words, do everything except disable things on the free blogger app?

Technically speaking I would expect blogspot to then leave their 301 redirects in place, but the 301 redirects would then go to your actual domain and not to the blogspot servers because the DNS is pointing to your server. Thus keeping the link love alive, and pointing to the right place.

If this craziness worked you'd probably be better off leaving the moved blog installed at blog.myexistingsite.com instead of www.myexistingsite.com/blog. Though in truth you wouldn't have to. You could still redirect a second time from your own server (with a subdomain set up there) to the final destination.

The thing I don't know is if blogspot disables accounts when there's not been any new posts after X number of days. If it does, it would still eventually disable the 301 here.

If you don't mind, I'd love to see your test domain of all of this. Because if blogspot is now issuing a proper 301 it might finally give people a way to move their blog to a real domain, even if the process ends up being a bit convoluted.

#6 Trilitech

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 11:05 AM

K. I PM'ed you the test site. Swapping out the DNS to the new host is how I was doing step 3 of the process already. There's no place to tell blogger than the blog is no longer hosted with them (that I'm aware of). They check the dns periodically and throw up that warning page if its not pointed to their servers, so I'm afraid the DNS work around isn't going to work.

#7 Randy

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 11:07 AM

A pity that. It would be nice if there were a real way to move a blog off of their platform and keep everything else it has going for it intact.

#8 MaKa

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 11:38 AM

QUOTE(Trilitech @ Sep 3 2009, 05:05 PM) View Post
K. I PM'ed you the test site. Swapping out the DNS to the new host is how I was doing step 3 of the process already. There's no place to tell blogger than the blog is no longer hosted with them (that I'm aware of). They check the dns periodically and throw up that warning page if its not pointed to their servers, so I'm afraid the DNS work around isn't going to work.


What happens if you have the primary and secondary DNS entries point to your DNS server and a 3rd and 4th to blogger? Don't know whether it's possible, but may be worth a try on one of your test accounts...

#9 Trilitech

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 05:13 PM

Maka, I gave you idea a try but no luck. I'm guessing the primary server is responding to blogger's check and they don't bother looking at the others. One idea that probably would work is set my primary dns to point to blogger, but block access to it so that no one else but blogger can contact it. They'd see it pointed to their IP and everyone else would fall back to the secondary dns server which would have my server's IP.

Although that should work, it seems to have bad idea written all over it to me. Technically I'd be showing Google the same page/site as everyone else, just not to Blogger, so I don't think it'd be considered cloaking, but I don't think they'd take to kindly to it if I was caught some day. I don't want to chance that route.




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