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I'm in the unfortunate situation of managing a very old website, that has been passed by the hands of at least 5 webmasters. Each has implemented new sections and other pages without regarding structure logic and SEO along with the rest of the site, creating multiple duplicated content pages. I have several cases of something like the following:

  • specific page of an article within a section (like site.com/section/article-title)
  • a generic link in the navigation linking to a "latest section article" wich is basically a duplicate of the previous page (the url is like site.com/section/latest-article)

Previous practice was to update periodically the "latest article" page copy/pasting what is the new content for the section, along with creating a proper article page in the section archive. This behaviour is replicated in several sections, updated with various ranges, usually few months or weeks.

Unfortunately this site is built in flat HTML, and rebuild a controller logic on it could be quite time taking and my client is not willing to pay for it.

As a quick and dirty fix to the duplicated content on search engines, I've placed some 301 simple redirect in the .htaccess file like this

Redirect 301 /section/last-article.html http://site.com/section/article-title.html

and so on for all the unnecessary navigation links in the menu.

What I'm in doubt now is if it's considerated a bad practice to keep updating the redirects periodically according to the new published content, or if it's irrelevant for SEO.

I guess it's a trivial question, but I haven't found anything like my situation in my researches.

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1 Answer 1

The only bad practice which I see is changing the 301 with this method which you are doing. My advice would be to use a 302 Redirect instead of a 301 Redirect.

The 301 Redirect means it is never going to change again, and that it is a permanent change to the old URL which you are using. You may get penalized for changing the URL with the latest blog article which you want people to see.

The 302 Redirect is a temporary redirect. This means you can change it as you please as often as you please, which I strongly think would work better for you.

To fix this, all you need to do is change the 301 to 302.

Redirect 302 /section/last-article.html http://site.com/section/article-title.html
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A 302 redirect was my first idea, but I found a couple of topics on 302 that discouraged me from doing that. Still "as per logic" that would be the most sensed thing to do indeed, but "as SEO logic" it seems not unfortunately. moz.com/learn/seo/redirection and moz.com/community/q/how-long-is-it-safe-to-use-a-302-redirect –  Gruber May 6 at 15:14

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