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301 Redirect Permanence Vs Doing The Right Seo Thing

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2 replies to this topic

#1 jigou


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Posted 17 May 2012 - 01:57 PM

I've done a fair amount of lurking and reading here over the years, but have just recently come upon something that I've hit....well, a bit of a collision in my mind over.

The situation: We've just launched a website for domainA.com. All is good. We have a few other domain names - domainA.net and .org, plus oldBrandDomainA.com - that we want to redirect to this new site, mainly to help past customers reach us if they happen to remember the old brand name....but also because, in my eyes, it's better to point the domain SOMEWHERE than to just leave it parked with the registrar's spam page showing.

Having the site show under multiple domain names is NOT the goal - in fact, quite the opposite - we'd prefer the "other" domains end up as domainA.com.

What concerns me is that I've recently been bitten by the permanence of 301 redirects, which is fairly well-described here: http://getluky.net/2...annot-be-undon/

The summary of that: Many browsers are PERMANENTLY caching 301 redirects. Yeah, I understand that 301 = permanent vs 302 = temporary....but 302 isn't appropriate here. 301 redirect is acknowledged as the "correct" way to do this, but I don't want to lock up the domain names in a permanent black hole.

This comment best summarizes my biggest concern: http://getluky.net/2...#comment-311814

Having had a 301-redirected domain "come back from the dead" as is described in that comment, I'm now wondering.....what's the best way to handle multiple domain names pointing to a single website, when at some point in the future we MAY want the secondary domain names to point elsewhere?

Right now the site knows to respond to the various domain names because they're listed as ServerAlias entries in my httpd.conf file. Is pushing a mod_rewrite rule to rewrite the domains to domainA.com the solution here? Is there something else I should be looking at? Am I over-analyzing the "issue" with a 301 redirect?

Thank you!


#2 Jill


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Posted 17 May 2012 - 03:38 PM

Yes, you're over-analyzing the situation. Permanent really doesn't mean permanent in this case. It's fine if you change your mind later with a 301.

#3 Ron Carnell

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 10:43 AM

You have to wait for a browser user to clear the cache, or have to wait for it to expire.

Which typically takes 86400 seconds, i.e., one day, for most named servers. Even this is under your control, though. You can set TTL (Time To Live) to anything you want if you're running your own named servers.

Caching is a GOOD thing. It means our servers, both web and named, don't have to work any harder than necessary. The specs give us a lot of control over what is cached and for how long if we're willing to take the time to learn it. It's not perfect, of course, and sooner or later it causes all of us a few headaches. But those headaches are always temporary, usually lasting just a day. I've never seen a cache maintained for more than a month (and that was a now defunct search engine more than ten years ago).

Jill is right, as usual. The writer of that blog post simply didn't understand the process.

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