One of the biggest mistakes website companies and businesses make when they launch a new website is ignoring the previous site links, pages and content from the old website. If Google has Site Links indexed and listed for a website and the navigation menu that changes then it considers those broken links. A broken link and bad code within a website will cause Google to remove the links and lower the overall ranking of the website on the Search Engines.
This is also important since many other websites, Blogs or directories may have listed links to your website or specific pages within the website. If you are the customer, not the website developer, then make sure to ask whomever is building the website how they handle links and content from the old website that are being indexed and marketed online. If you are the website developer then be VERY sure to use 301 Redirects to inform search engines and directories of changes the the navigation menu, pages or content so the customer does not lose business because of a new website.
A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect which passes between 90-99% of link ranking value to the redirected new page. 301 refers to the HTTP status code for this type of redirect. In most instances, the 301 redirect is the best method for implementing redirects on a website.
The value to doing this extra work is that you will retain 90% of your past marketing efforts for the old website and old website links (URL’s). A 301 redirect is the best way to retain online marketing efforts from old websites while a Custom 404 Page is a catch all for users.
If you had a significant redesign of content, added or removed content or changed the navigation menu then add a Custom 404 Page. This basically creates an area for users to view content for the new website when they may be looking for old content on the old site. An example of a Custom 404 Page is located HERE with a list of the main content areas within the website. Instead of just letting users view a ‘Page Not Found’ error it’s best to spend a little extra time and money creating a Custom 404 Page. Consider adding some humor or a random quote to the 404 Page to help the visitor smile when they find out the page they were looking for no longer exists.
Building a BETTER website with good code, SEO and Social Marketing is the best way to reach more buyers and sell more on the Internet. Adding 301 Redirects and a 404 Page ensures your past marketing will not be lost with the new online marketing upgrade.
Robert Dotcom Jackson
913-963-6792 Cell or text
www.InternetBuildersConsulting.com – Building BETTER Websites, SEO and online marketing solutions since 1995 – over 20 years expertise as the leading online marketing company!