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I was wondering If I change all my links names which is about 2000 links will it effect my seo score and search engine rankings? And how should I warn search engines?

I want to change my links from.

http://www.example.com/categories/name/sub-name/sub-name2

To

http://www.example.com/category/name/sub-name/sub-name2
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

That will absolutely have a huge effect on your rankings. By changing your URLs you are essentially deleting your old pages and creating news ones. That means any rankings and links you have to the old URLs will be thrown away.

If you do this you must do a 301 redirect from the old URLs to the new URLs. That way all links and other good stuff associated with the old URLs will be passed on to the new URLs. A small amount of it is lost but it is far better then losing everything.

The code below should work for you (you will need to make the necessary changes for your specific needs). But I am not a .htacess guru so someone may need to correct this for me.

RedirectMatch 301 /categories/(.*)/(.*)/(.*) http://www.example.com/category/$1/$2/$3
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will I ever regain my rankings if I do this? –  KOOOK Jul 20 '11 at 2:27
    
If you do the 301 redirect you will regain your rankings before long. That seems to be the common result reported around the Web. –  John Conde Jul 20 '11 at 2:30
    
Considering that the only difference between both URLs is categories => category, this rule should be sufficient: Redirect 301 /categories/ http://www.example.com/category/ (or, if you prefer RedirectMatch, this one: RedirectMatch 301 ^/categories/(.*) http://www.example.com/category/$1). –  LazyOne Jul 20 '11 at 19:25
1  
@Marco, Matt Cutts says that some PR is not transferred, or lost, when doing a 301 redirect. –  John Conde Jul 20 '11 at 19:49
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@Marco, my guess is to prevent abuse. I can see scenarios where website owners buy expired domains with PR and forward them on to their sites for the PR and traffic. This would counter that to a degree. –  John Conde Jul 20 '11 at 20:18
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