Help with Google!!

I need a bit of advice regarding a sites listing in google. My clients have an existing site on a domain they have had for some time and it is now first page on google for the most appropriate searches for their company - yipee! Then it goes wrong. Due to some in house politics, one director has left who happens to own the domain. I still have ftp access to the site but they will not allow me to do anything with the domain. The company has now changed it’s name slightly and purchased new .com and .co.uk domains and i have uploaded the site to this domain (.com as the .co.uk is mapped to the new .com site). I have created a site map and submitted the site to google via my webmaster account. Unfortunately, google says it has indexed the site and pages are included but doing the site: domain… search yields no results. I have been reading the google help section and it suggests that this could be caused by duplicate content. How do i give the new domain the preference without losing the ranking we have gained… Should i some how redirect the old site to the new one?

Help… If you can

Alan…


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You could try doing a full 301 redirect (using an .htaccess file) from
one domain to the other, but you will probably lose major search
engine mojo for a while. If you do it cleanly and completely, then
your mojo will likely return. Sounds like an awful mess, though.

Make a plain text file using TextWrangler or TextMate or BBEdit or
some other “programmer’s” text editor. Put the following line of code
in it, and edit to match your new domain:

redirect 301  /  http:/your.new.domain.com

Save the file as any name you like, and use an FTP application like
Transmit to connect to your old server and move into your Web root
folder (i.e.: next to the index.html file for the entire site). Change
the view preferences in your FTP application to “Show hidden files” or
whatever the local equivalent is.

If you see a file appear in your web root called .htaccess, Control-
click it and choose Edit with… and select your text editor. Paste
this code (corrected to point to your domain) in as the first line and
save.

If you don’t see an existing .htaccess file (leading dot is critical)
then upload your file into the folder and rename it to .htaccess. (You
have to do this two-step because Mac OS X will not allow you to save a
file locally with a leading dot in the filename, since these files are
invisible to normal users.

Finally, test by visiting the old domain. You should be immediately
redirected to the new server. If you see a Server Error page instead,
then you will need to delete the .htaccess file (or edit it, if it was
already there) to get your server working again. Then ask the hosting
provider to make this change for you, if they will. Do not try to use
a meta-refresh to get people to the new site, that will sink your
listings faster than anything.

Walter

On Jan 12, 2009, at 10:12 AM, Alan Herbert wrote:

I still have ftp access to the site but they will not allow me to do
anything with the domain. [snip] Should i some how redirect the old
site to the new one?


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Hi Walter and thanks for your comprehensive reply. I have been ‘faffing’ with it for hours now so i’m giving up for the night. I created the .htaccess file as you suggested and put in in the root folder of the old domain. I pasted in your code and no redirection just an error page 500 saying that there was an iispassword error. I have been searching on google since and found several different 301 codes some of which suggest the need for www. and some that require the double slash // and various other more long winded codes but they all give the same error. Deleting the file restores the site. I have tried to log into the control panel but the codes have been changed. Is there anything else i can do as all i have read suggests the need to access the control panel for this iis type server to initiate a 301 redirection. Any further suggestions would be appreciated. Alan…


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no redirection just an error page 500 saying that there was an
iispassword error

Oooh yuk! Sounds like your old site is on a Microsoft IIS web server…
Worst. Server. Ever. Just ask Walter!

k


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Beat me to it. To paraphrase DNA (and the Vogons), IIS should be sent
in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost
again, and finally buried in soft peat and recycled as firelighters…

Walter

On Jan 12, 2009, at 6:20 PM, Keith Martin wrote:

no redirection just an error page 500 saying that there was an
iispassword error

Oooh yuk! Sounds like your old site is on a Microsoft IIS web
server…
Worst. Server. Ever. Just ask Walter!

k


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Well all i can say is Thanks Guys! (meant with a humorous tone). So i am left standing in the deep do do with some naf server adding to my woes.
Do i presume from your school boy sniggers that there is now no way out other than some counseling and arbitration for the company directors who quite frankly would rather holiday in the Gaza Strip than speak to each other at the moment.
Do you think that if i try and blag my way through the hosting company to the control panel i might be able to initiate a redirect there?
Why is life some complex. I’d much rather be ridiculed for driving an MX5 any day. You can’t knock the Japanese for their engineering. Maybe the Hairdresser market is bigger than we think!

Alan…


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Do you think that if i try and blag my way through the hosting
company to the control panel i might be able to initiate a redirect
there?

Yep. Although I mean ‘yep’ from the technical angle, not necessarily
the blagging angle.

It sounds like a difficult situation. The good Google performance may
have to be a casualty of the falling-out of the partners.

I’d much rather be ridiculed for driving an MX5 any day.

It was only for a weekend! Sheesh… :slight_smile:

k


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Well i’m in to the control panel. Blagging complete but it was not what i had hoped for. There is no redirection action from within the control panel and unhelpful help desk say they only support redirection via php or asp and i have to write the scripts as they don’t do anything like that. I have googled php redirection and found scripts but what do i do with them and where do they go? There is no nice little php file in the directory for me to open up and pop the code in. i tried to add it via markup but that had no effect. Please help me to stuff this code somewhere…
I promise not to mention the MX5 again.

Alan…


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Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeees!!

More reading and i just uploaded an empty textedit file. Put the php code in and changed the url inside. Renamed the file index.php as my ‘research’ showed that the server will not understand php if it is not in a php type file and hey presto. I’m redirecting…
The problem for a novice like me is when someone says it has to be in a php file, it’s not obvious to me that it is just a text file with a .php extension.
Well i’m happy for the moment. Next question is… Is this type of 301 redirect as google friendly as the.htaccess one. This is the code i found.

<? Header( "HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently" ); Header( "Location: http://www.newlocation.com" ); ?>

Thanks for your help and comments so far.

Alan…


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As the Bard would say, “when candles are out, all 301s are fair”.

Glad you found a way out of this morass. As to your vacationing directors, I hope they work things out.

Walter

PS: Who’s the naf host, so we can avoid them?


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