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We are relaunching a large Website, mainly a redesign, but also changing the URL-Structure for SEO- and Structure-Reasons.

Now we have a strongly ranking page, say with the URL: https://example.com/book-name/. This page will be moved to https://example.com/books/book-name/. So far so good, 301 Redirect and we should be done.

Sadly, it's more complicated: We will have a new page (A Blog-Category-Page) with the same title as the Book, that will have the URL of: https://example.com/book-name/. So we actually can't use a 301 redirect for obvious reasons.

How would you go about this change, and making it as good as possible to transfer the SEO-Rank of the former https://example.com/book-name/ to the new page?

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    Do you have to reuse the old URL? Could you avoid the problem by putting the blog in a subdirectory (/blog/book-name/)? – Stephen Ostermiller Jan 7 at 11:56
  • @StephenOstermiller Here I see the Problem of URL-Length. I think it would be smarter in general to keep the URL's shorter and not use the prefix (It will not be called blog, rather some longer German word). What do you think? – Christoph Gerl Jan 7 at 12:39
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Obviously, the first thing that comes to my mind is: do you really need to reuse the old high rank URL for a different page? If you can avoid it, it seems that you already know what to do.

But one alternative I've thought of would be:

  • Re-launch your website and hold on for a while before reusing the old URL.
  • Set the 301 redirect (maybe try to force a re-crawl/index on the old URL on Search Console). To make sure that Googlebot gets 301 redirect as soon as possible.
  • Give it a few weeks or a couple of months.
  • Check that your old URL is not showing on searches anymore.
  • Finally, add the new page and remove the 301.

I think it might do the trick.

If you can monitor Googlebot behavior during that time, would be even better. This way you can be sure that it's no longer visiting your old URL after it sees the 301 for the first time.

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  • Thanks for the response! Not adding the New Page before launching is sadly not an option (We need that category for the launch). What I thought of: Giving the new page a URL of "/book-name-blog/" and then relaunching, and after a couple of weeks/months changing it to "/book-name/". Problem is that all Articles in that Category also include that page/category name in their url... I will ask the client if he's okay with changing the url of the new page to "/book-name-category/" or something like that permanently – Christoph Gerl Jan 7 at 12:44
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    I've seen Google recommend keeping redirects in place for at least a year. – Stephen Ostermiller Jan 7 at 12:44
  • The best option is definitely not reusing it and keeping the 301 redirect indefinitely. But that might give you a chance, if it's really necessary. Note @StephenOstermiller comment. He is right. But I know a year is a long time to wait. That's why I said that maybe you can monitor Googlebot behavior to see if it's still visiting your old URL, to give you more confidence to reuse the old URL sooner. – cbdeveloper Jan 7 at 12:49

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