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I'm having a look at a friends website (a fairly old PHP based one) which they've been advised needs re-structuring. The key points being:

  1. URLs should be lower case and more "friendly".
  2. The root of the domain should be not be re-directed.

The first point I'm happy with (and the URLs needed tidying up anyway) and have a draft plan of action, however the second is baffling me as to not only the best way to do it, but also whether it should be done.

Currently http://www.example.com/ is redirected to http://www.example.com/some-link-with-keywords/ using the follow index.php in the root of the Apache2 instance.

<?php
$nextpage = "some-link-with-keywords/";
header( "HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently" );
header( "Status: 301 Moved Permanently" );
header("Location: $nextpage");
exit(0); // This is Optional but suggested, to avoid any accidental output
?>

As far as I'm aware, this has been the case for around three years -- and I'm sorely tempted to advise to not worry about it. It would appear taking off the 301 could:

  • Potentially affect page ranking (as the 'homepage' would disappear - although it couldn't disappear because of the next point...)
  • Introduce maintainance issues as existing users would still have the re-directed page in their cache
  • Following the above, introduce duplicate content
  • Confuse Google/other SE's as to what the homepage actually is now

I may be over-analysing this but I have a feeling it's not as simple as removing the 301 from the root, and 301'ing the previous target to the root...

Any suggestions (including it's not worth it) are sincerely appreciated.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Redirecting the homepage is never best practice. A "proper" homepage with a link to the second page is a better structure and gives you two pages now for targeting to search engines for different terms. It also allows search engines to better understand what your site is about.

If you wanted to redirect the second page back to the homepage that is not an issue (I'd use htaccess and a 301 redirect) however two pages of different content might suit your purposes better depending on what you are trying to do.

Users who have visited the page before will be redirected as it is a server side redirect.

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