My parents have an e-commerce website and they're pretty high in Google results. If you Google one of their products, their store is showing up on the first page but links to an old URL https://www.example.com/truck-wash.html, which is opening up to a 404. The actual store has a URL of https://www.example.com/Store/Index.

I think this is called indexing (correct me if I'm wrong). My mom has called their web developer but for some reason he won't fix it or can't fix it. So, my question is, how difficult would it be to switch those two links out and what is the process to do so? My mom wants me to call him and it seems like this would be a pretty easy thing to do, but I'd like to know for sure before speaking with him.

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    Links redirections is a trivial thing to do, in many ways and environments. It is one of the basic skill of any webmaster/webadmin. The complexity then depends on the structure of the website. Please have a look at this non technical description of the isssue: w3.org/Provider/Style/URI Oct 3, 2018 at 15:21

2 Answers 2


The best way to signal to Google that a page has moved (which is what has happened here) is to implement a 301 redirect from the old page to the new page.

SEO and redirects

Your developer should be able to assist with this. Otherwise, here is a handy tool for creating and implementing 301 redirects using the .htaccess file.

It's also worth signing up for a Search Console account which will allow you to submit URLs for crawling which often speeds up Google's indexing (although not always).

Depending on your traffic, after implementing the above I would expect to see the correct pages ranking in 1-2 weeks (provided the content on the pages hasn't changed much from the old URL).


Google will eventually stop indexing the old URL. It will also eventually start indexing the new URL. Other than having your developer implement the redirect, there is nothing that you can do.

As others have said, implementing a redirect is usually trivial. If your developer can't do it, I would start asking if they are competent and whether you should be paying them.

With a redirect, Google usually does just swap out the URLs. There may be minor fluctuations in rankings and traffic.

Without a redirect Google may not choose to index either URL for a while. Eventually your new URL will get indexed, but it may take weeks or months. Even when it does get indexed, it won't rank as well as it used to. Re-gaining rankings can take months or years.

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