Say I have a program for which I have written documentation. I then release a new version of that program, and want any documentation searches in bing/google/etc to favor the updated documentation pages.

I have to keep the old documentation pages for previous users who do not update to the new program, but I want to favor the new documentation so that this is where people go first.

On the old doc pages I want to mark it as "obsolete", with a link to the corresponding doc for the equivalent page for the new version.

On the new version, I want to include a disclaimer that only links to the main documentation page for the old version (in other words, the one-to-one mapping is only from the old to the new; the new only links back to the main page of the old).

Can this be done using any kind of meta tag or something that a search engine can understand so that it gives preference to the newer pages?


The best long term solution would be to create a "living URL" for the docs. Essentially you update the current page that is ranking with the current docs, then move the old docs to an archive, this way any links that are built to the page will stay current, and you don't have to worry about getting a new page to rank over an aged page every time you update.

Here's a good article on what a living URL is: http://searchengineland.com/of-living-urls-newspaper-rankings-california-fires-24908

Here's a how to on setting one up: http://www.wolf-howl.com/seo/wordpress-living-urls/

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