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I appreciate that we very probably won't be able to get any advice or support today but here goes!

We have taken the decision this morning after reading up about H1 tags to change the name of a category on our own website I have yet to formally launch. So I have changed "Cycling & Sports" to "Cycling" and "Outdoors" to "Sports & Outdoors".

This creates an issue in my mind now. I noted that there were 150 page views yesterday so perhaps Google has done an initial crawl of the IP address we have been allocated as I transferred the sandbox site to live on Thursday evening.

Currently, I have not pointed the A record of our domain name to the IP address and was hoping to do that today or tomorrow at the very latest after adding some written Category content as advised by others.

The backend of our webhost obviously recognised the change to the categories and made 301 redirect changes. One of which I edited.

So replicating what I had and considering what I now wish to change the "Outdoors" one to leads to worry about the bifurcation of the one category that currently sits on our not yet transferred hosts system and our current website that I am now wanting to split into two.

We sort of made this decision after reading and looking at MOZ and doing a few keyword searches. Who types in Cycling & Sports? No-one it seems. We have other categories for bike parts, protection, tools and the like. I assume they are categories and not sub-categories because we have used a mega menu.

So here is what I assume the rules possibly were this morning (NOTE: I added all the category redirects manually so have no record of what they were to double check):-

RewriteRule ^cycling-sports--outdoors-221-c.asp$ 
https://www.mywebsitename.co.uk/cycling-sports [R=301,L]

RewriteRule ^cycling-sports--outdoors-221-c.asp$ 
https://www.mywebsitename.co.uk/outdoors [R=301,L]

And this is what I expect to have after changing "Cycling & Sports" to "Cycling" and changing "Outdoors" to "Sports & Outdoors" on new site (Cycling, Sports & Outdoors on old site) :-

RewriteRule ^cycling-sports--outdoors-221-c.asp$ https://www.mywebsitename.co.uk/cycling [R=301,L]

RewriteRule ^cycling-sports--outdoors-221-c.asp$ https://www.mywebsitename.co.uk/sports-outdoors [R=301,L]

So now I have actually typed that it gives me the clarity to see that this bifurcation already existed, as of yesterday, so my question is this will surely cause confusion to any system as Cycling, Sports & Outdoors was one category on old website but either way I am looking to split it into two!!!

Or because I suspect Google has done a crawl of our allocated IP address should I actually use the following rules:-

RewriteRule ^cycling-sports$ https://www.mywebsitename.co.uk/cycling [R=301,L]

RewriteRule ^outdoors$ https://www.mywebsitename.co.uk/sports-outdoors [R=301,L]

Hoping there is an expert out there to guide me gently on what to do.

I may well just have to change the category names back to "Cycling & Sports" and "Outdoors" ie what they were yesterday.

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    I dont think anyone types in Sports & Outdoors either. It would be more obvious to type in Outdoor Sports, or Outdoor or Sports Mar 2 at 12:03
  • Thank you. Just making sure I wasn't missing anything obvious.
    – Rhothgar
    Mar 5 at 8:32

1 Answer 1

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As I understand, you have the following scenario:

  1. Page A redirects to Page B
  2. Now you want Page B to redirect to Page C

The correct way is to redirect both A and B to your new page C.

Using your example,

  1. /cycling-sports--outdoors-221-c.asp redirect it to /cycling
  2. /cycling-sports redirect it to /cycling
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  • Many thanks for your answer. I am going to say "Not quite". I guess my biggest concern is whether or not Google could have crawled an IP address with no domain name currently pointing to it. As new site is "technically" live but has no domain currently associated with it, do I actually need to redirect both A and B. At what point does HTACCESS file become live? I could of course redirect "mywebsitename" to "mytemporaryIPaddress" and then double up on redirect from "mytemporaryIPaddress" to "mywebsitename" once I enter the IP address into the A record. This is why I am confused!
    – Rhothgar
    Mar 3 at 14:14
  • 1. Page A "/cycling-sports--outdoors-221-c.asp" did redirect to Page B"/cycling-sports" before I made the site live (but only with IP address. 2. Page A "/cycling-sports--outdoors-221-c.asp" possibly also pointed to Page B "/outdoors". Again before I made the site live (only with IP address). I suppose I want:- 3. Page A "/cycling-sports--outdoors-221-c.asp" to redirect to Page B"/cycling" once the domain name is pointing to the new IP address. 4. Page A "/cycling-sports--outdoors-221-c.asp" to point to Page B "/sport-outdoors" once the domain name points to new IP address.
    – Rhothgar
    Mar 3 at 14:19
  • Yes, it is possible for Google (or any other search engine) to index a site based solely on IP. I would recommend you to employ a technique called canonical tags. Basically, you tell search engines, you have a page called 1.2.3.4/cycling (using IP) and another called example.com/cycling (using a domain name) - by using canonical tags on both, you tell them to not consider them as duplicates, but to view example.com as the authoritative domain. Mar 3 at 23:26
  • As for the redirects, every time you change a destination to replace it by another, the best course of action is to deploy a redirect. Try not to think of it for a search engine, but as a user. If I get a link to your previous site, and a year passes by, and I want to use that link again, if there's no redirection, it no longer works (bad user experience). However, if it redirects me automatically to wherever the new and updated context is, I will be a happy user (good user experience). Mar 3 at 23:31
  • Thanks Luis. You've been an immense help. Cycling, Sports & Outdoors now points to Cycling. And canonical link tags exist on all pages.
    – Rhothgar
    Mar 5 at 8:33

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