I've a very curious problem with the index-status of my webpage. It's a little difficult to explain.

I launched my webpage in summer 2008 with around 8K sub-pages. Until 2012 all of the 8K pages become indexed by Google and other searchengines, most of them get a Top 10 Rank in the Google-Serps - related to specific keywords.

In 2012 I relaunched my webpage and create new sub-pages with contents - similar to the old sub-pages. I never worked with 301-Redirects or Canonical-URLs to refer visitors from old to new pages. From 2012 until 2013 both variants of the pages were available, although I knew that this is against all "SEO laws". In fact: I produced a lot of "duplicate content". Ironically both variants become indexed, in some cases both variants ranked in the Top 10 on Google.

Since 2013 I want to bundle the power of both variants to a single page.

My first try: Using 301-Permanently Redirects from old to new page. Effect: Old pages become de-indexed very quickly, no effect on the new pages. Result: Decrease of visitors referred by Google.

After removing the 301-Redirect, the old pages come back to Google Index very quickly. Nice, but not my intention.

My second try: Including Canonical-URL to all old pages. Effect: Same as Try #1

My third Try (still active): Remove 90% of the content from the old-pages, just show a small info for visitors: "Content has moved to another page => click here to show new page". And now? All search engines seem to love also this stupid info.. the old pages still rank much better then the new pages.

Is there another way/try/option?

  • When you implemented 301 redirects to you make the redirects deep? IE each page redirected to the same exact page on the newer site as opposed to the home page of the newer site. Jan 30, 2017 at 20:30
  • How long did you wait after implementing redirects? It could take a few weeks to get sorted out. Jan 30, 2017 at 21:00
  • 1
    Yes, i redirected to deep targets. Each redirect referred to an unique page. The 301ers i had round about five weeks active.
    – Christoph
    Jan 30, 2017 at 21:16

3 Answers 3


There are other ways - repurpose your content into one. Your question is more related to your traffic decreasing. First, you need to track your keywords from your old pages. What keywords you are ranking, try to identify the keywords gap between the old pages and new pages - Does the content still serve the same purpose to capture the same keywords/intent from your old page.

The other reason is improve your site structure and make sure the new pages are link internally to improve the link signal, anything that point to the old pages should be changed to the new links, sitemap, main navigation, etc .

The old page seem to carry external links, however, this will be covered from redirect or canonical they both the same but 301 redirect is the preferred option because it's a stronger signal.


First ans second are the same, canonical act as a redirection. So that part is normal.

For the last try, maybe the original page receive lot's of backlink and that's why it doesn't lost ranking.

When you perform an seo migration you should avoid url changing. So my suggest is you move the new version content on the old url (if there are still ranking best) and you redirect this way, so you combine authority with age and backlinks and freshness of content


First you have to identify any security or manual actions in Google search console. If there is no issue listed there, that's OK.

Second, you have to ensure that a 301 redirect from old domain to new domain is in place. Use a redirect checker to look into it.

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