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I have old URL structure pages indexed in Google that are ranked well against the keywords. Now I have cleaned the URL structures and the new URLs have more potential to get ranked higher. Both pages are currently live.

Old URL (Ranked higher): http://www.example.com/products.asp?category=42

New URL: http://www.example.com/products/new-category

Do I have to implement 301 redirects?
If I do, will my old URL rankings drop?
Will they be replaced with the new URLs in the search results?

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If you leave both on for the same page without redirection then the ranking will drop.

It is recommended that you should redirect your old URL to the new one.

Canonical: If you may have difficulty implementing redirection (301), you can place canonical in old URL or in both like:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.example.com/products/new-category" />

It means your clean URL will be the preferred URL.

Ranking: You may see a minor drop for a temporary period of time and then it will come back to new URL.

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    You should suggest canonicals too. Redirects aren't a "must" because of the alternatives. – Stephen Ostermiller Jul 10 '17 at 9:31
  • Agree. Missed on canonical part completely. Answer amended. – TopQnA Jul 10 '17 at 9:50
  • What TopQnA says is correct, but I would do both a 301 redirect and add a canonical tag. – Jason Jul 10 '17 at 14:13

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