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I have a site that used to have all of its pages hosted on a single domain (e.g. mydomain.com). At some point, a portion of the site's content was moved to another domain and the folks who did the move handled it by creating URL rewrites and 301 redirects.

Here's an example from my .htaccess file:

RewriteRule ^go/start/page.html http://otherdomain.com/page.html

Redirect 301 /go/resource/guide.pdf http://otherdomain/resources/guide.pdf

I don't know why some URLs were re-written while others were redirected.

My problem now is that I have to move these same pages to yet another location. For instance, what is currently hosted at http://otherdomain.com will be moved to http://foo.mydomain.com.

What is the best way to handle this?

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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Just setting up another set of redirects from the current location to the new location will be sufficient.

Any visitors following an old link to the old location will first be redirected to the current location and then again to the new location, but this will all happen automatically and — assuming that the servers are reasonably responsive and that there are no major network delays — shouldn't take more than a small fraction of a second. Also, this will all typically only happen when they first come to the site; thereafter, any links they follow ought to point directly to the new location.

You can also edit the original redirects to point directly from the old location to the new, and should generally do so if it's practical. Doing so may make the user experience slightly smoother (faster initial page loading time), might give you a very tiny bit more PageRank from old links, and eliminates one possible point of failure from the system. But if updating the old redirects seems difficult for some reason, or if you're afraid of making mistakes while doing so, it's also OK to just let them stay as they are.

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From the look of the code, i'd simply update the appropriate rules and redirects - that would be the most valid approach I can think of.

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But what I'm concerned with is now there are direct URLs pointing not only to the original URLs but also the new ones. So, in effect, I think I'd have to have 2 directs for each URL, which is messy. –  Rob Sobers Feb 17 '12 at 20:41
    
It's messy to be sure but there really isn't much else to do unless the urls can be matched to a single pattern. The only other thing I can think is to redirect the older one of the sites to a single page and have the users search from there - less messy but you will lose pagerank. –  toomanyairmiles Feb 17 '12 at 21:15
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