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I changed the structure of my URLs.

The pages are already indexed by Google and have the following structure:

http://mypage.com/myfolder/page.apsx

The new structure is:

http://mypage.com/page.aspx

Now all URLs that Google knows are wrong. How can I tell Google to re-index and that the structure has changed? Internally I redirect in ASP.NET when the URL contains myfolder by I want Google to update the URLs.


Thanks for the answers - I use IIS 6 and I do not know how to configure a redirect of all pages that contains the folder to page one folder below.

So I did the trick in the Begin_Request method and did a Context.Response.Redirect. This is no 301 redirect, only a redirect done with ASP.NET via code. Will this also do the trick so that Google notices that the URL /folder/page1.aspx now is redirected to /page1.aspx?

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As a general rule, you can't force Google to do anything. –  msanford Sep 22 '12 at 21:10
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migrated from serverfault.com Sep 22 '12 at 15:06

This question came from our site for professional system and network administrators.

5 Answers

I'll answer the question you're really asking: you can't.

It is possible to increase Google's crawl rate in Webmaster Tools, but no-one can tell you how quickly all the Google sites around the world would reflect those new changes.

Either way, you aren't going to get an instant update.

The best method is to take all of your old structure URLs, and make them redirect with a 301 to your new URLs.

For example: http://mypage.com/myfolder/page.apsx would result in a HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently with a Location: http://mypage.com/page.aspx.

This way, Google hits would still come through, and Google will update the URLs in good time with no loss of traffic.

Additionally, have you considered other websites that might been linking to you? You'll now have broken their links, costing you potentially valuble traffic. You need those redirects.

Edit: Be careful with 301 redirects, they are cached in the browser and set to never expire. If you could ever even remotely possibly use http://mypage.com/myfolder/page.apsx again for any purpose I'd avoid a 301 because anyone who had been passed that redirect in the past will have no way to access that page short of clearing their entire browser cache. If you do use them, use them as granularly as possible and avoid just redirecting the entire /myfolder/ directory.

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Just create a sitemap with the new style of URLs. Be sure that old URLs give 301 redirect when crawler reaches old style pages. Then all you can do is to wait. It will be well in 1-2 weeks. And remaining old ones will be removed in time.

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There is no guarantee, but this should help to reindex your site...

In Google Webmaster Tools under "Health > Fetch as Google", fetch the homepage of your site. Once this is complete there will be a Submit to index button next to the URL. Click the button and select "URL and all linked pages".

Internally I redirect in ASP.NET

If this is an external 301 (moved permanently) redirect then there is nothing more you need to do. All links will work correctly and Google will eventually get the message and correct its indexed URLs.

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Until your site gets re-indexed by Google, you can re-direct users to the correct page by re-writing URLs. This way if a user navigated to http://mypage.com/myfolder/page1.apsx they will be re directed to http://mypage.com/page1.apsx. I'm assuming that you're using IIS since your files end in .aspx - follow this link - It should explain and give some examples for URL re-writing in IIS. The biggest advantage of using this method is that visitors being linked from sites other than yours will be re-directed to the correct URL.

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Several notes on this topic can be found in How can I get Googlebot to notice a 301 redirect? and Is there a limit to how many 301 (Permanent) redirects I can do on a site? from Google Webmaster Help channel at YouTube.

You should redirect your old URLs to the new ones using 301 HTTP status code and patiently wait. Nothing is really broken, traffic from search engines and old links is redirected.

Quote from the video: If you really want to de-index an old page, you can always just remove it with the URL removal tool. And I believe we just not too long ago launched something we can fetch something as Googlebot, and so if you want to refresh a page that's in the index, after you fetched it as Googlebot, I think you might have the ability to submit that to the index. So that's a pretty nice amount of functionality. You can't just say, hey refresh everything. I think fetch as Googlebot is limited to something like 50 fetches per week or something along those lines. But if there's one important page that's changed, then it might make sense to do it for that page. Now I'm not 100% sure whether that will work with 301 redirects, or just if you've updated the text on the page. So you might want to do a little bit of a test along those lines.

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