4

I have a scenario, where I am doing a site migration but the requirement is to show some message on the new site that "We have moved to a new site".

Here's 2 options I could think of:

  1. Add parameter to the new URL i.e. https://old.example/product1 -> 301 -> https://new.example/product1?migrated
     +--------------------------------+
     |                                |
     |  https://old.example/product1  |
     |                                |
     +--------------+-----------------+
                    |
              301 Redirect
                    |
+-------------------v---------------------+
|                                         |
|  https://new.example/product1?migrated  |
|                                         |
+-----------------------------------------+
  1. Add the parameter, then do another redirect to the actual page with two 301s i.e. https://old.example/product1 -> 301 -> https://new.example/product1?migrated -> 301 -> https://new.example/product1 and we will inject a cookie that the user is coming from an old domain.
     +--------------------------------+
     |                                |
     |  https://old.example/product1  |
     |                                |
     +--------------+-----------------+
                    |
              301 Redirect
                    |
+-------------------v---------------------+
|                                         |
|  https://new.example/product1?migrated  |
|                                         |
+-------------------+---------------------+
                    |
                    |
    +---------------v------------------+
    |                                  |
    |   Inject a cookie that the       |
    |   traffic is from old.example    |
    |   by understanding the           |
    |   parameter                      |
    |                                  |
    +----------------+-----------------+
                     |
               301 Redirect
                     |
     +---------------v-----------------+
     |                                 |
     |  https://new.example/product1   |
     |                                 |
     +---------------------------------+
  1. Take leverage of the referrer header. Unfortunately, browsers do not carry this header to the new site.

My questions are:

  1. How Google going to index new URL if we add ?migarted parameter to the URL? What is the impact SEO wise?
  2. If I go with option 2, where I will have 301s twice. How much the site will be penalised, SEO-wise?
  3. Any suggestions to handle such scenario?
2
  • Do you also have tracking requirements? If so, you might want to use Google Analytics utm_ parameters rather than ?migrated. See How can I find the number of users who visit my site via a redirect? Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 14:16
  • @StephenOstermiller - I do not have a tracking requirement. Only concern is that how Google is going to index the new URLs when 301s are in place with ?utm_ or ?migrated. Also what is the penalty if I have multiple 301 redirects from old to new. Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 22:10

2 Answers 2

3

Nothing is slowing down a google search link to https://new.example/product1 which is the one you want to promote in search engines.

The hard limit for browsers is 5 301s. Link shorteners, twitter, or google may use up one of them, and if going from twitter to a link shortener you may lose 2 of them. That gives a budget of three.

A lower number of 301s is better each one makes the browser request a page that does not arrive.

The benefit of option 1 is it is better for the user.

The benefit of option 2 is it does not create a duplicate URL.

A third option is https://new.example.com/product1#updated-url ... as the hash tag, "#" would not be considered a different URL by search engines.

0

Personally, I vote for option 1: "Add parameter to the new URL". Also, I would like to add some important tasks you need to take in addition, I believe you knew it, but take it as a friendly REMINDER:

  • add a canonical tag to each page's URL (on top of your option 1)
  • submit the change of address in Google Seach Console
  • Be certain that all of the URL from the OLD domain is 301 redirected to the NEW domain's similar/proper pages.

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