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When performing a phased re-launch of a website what's the best practice for dealing with links to pages that haven't been included in the current phase of the site?

To clarify... all "old" pages will eventually have an equivalent "new" page, but how to deal with the link in the mean time?

  • Hi James, how did you go? – Raul Reyes Sep 30 '17 at 19:46
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To answer your question: create a temporary page in the new site (just one) with a message to the website users and webmasters saying that this linked page will be restored soon.

SEO technique: make a URL inventory with all the pages in your old website. Identify the ones that have links pointing to them and create a 302 Redirect to the page you just created. The purpose is not to return a 404 error back to your old website users and webmasters. Also, you will let the bots know that the page(s) has been temporary moved.

This is really important, assuming that all the old website URLs has been indexed and you don't want search engines to think that the page is gone or have been replaced by a lower quality non related page.

Follow google guidelines to move your website paying special attention to steps #2 and #5 in regards to the robots.txt file.

Of course, you will be replacing 302 Redirected URLs with 301 redirects as you move all the sections of the website.

Hope this helps. Cheers

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Very good question.

Let me explain by example. Let's say there is site A with 80 pages and you created a new version, site B and it has got only 40 pages. And you need to make new version B live.

Best Option: See if you can only launch partial site, meaning load new pages and leave old pages which you didn't create. This can be a tough one if you haven't planned well.

2nd Best Load new pages and for those pages which you haven't created, just create a basic content page with minimum info. It will ensure it doesn't go to a 404 in Google's eye.

3rd Best Identify pages with higher authority/ranking which you didn't create and see if you can create important ones with basic info and then load and remaining redirect to home page temporarily and do remaining sooner.

4th Best Redirect remaining to the home page and create sooner so that Google will understand it was only a temporary redirect.

Note: If you redirect to home page make sure it's not permanent 301 redirects.

Hope this helps.

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    The thing with your 2nd best idea is that your idea is somewhat better than 404. Google expects quality content. minimalist content might not pull off so well. I'd recommend that new pages never get published on the net until they are 100% complete or at least just about complete to the point where google is happy with them. – Mike May 4 '17 at 17:14
  • The best option is not easy to plan but it works beautifully in custom designed products. If this can't be done then good to follow 2nd best onwards. – TopQnA May 5 '17 at 0:43

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