My old URL structure was


But almost three days back, I picked the other style that's more descriptive:


Now I have category slugs in my post URLs. When I searched for "Some Mind Blowing Japanese Songs", the third result was my website's, but with the old URL.

How do I somehow tell Google to refresh the listings of my website's posts? My website is only 24 days old, so I think it has to be pretty easy to refresh it completely? I have XML sitemaps enabled.

Please note that I am not willing to do redirects. That'll be another problem, let's keep this problem specific.

(As a further request, I would like you to open the former link and tell me whether it shows a 404 error or not, as in my case, it doesn't open anything but a blank page.)

  • Your "former links" are returning a 404 HTTP status code, however, this is indeed a blank page.
    – MrWhite
    Commented May 25, 2014 at 9:59
  • @w3d Can you tell me why does this happen (I totally understand it's not part of the main question, sorry for that).
    – Abhimanyu
    Commented May 25, 2014 at 13:29

3 Answers 3


You have to wait until Google re-indexes your website. This can usually take a few weeks to complete. Once that happens, you will see the updated URLs on Google.

  • 3
    +1 Just to emphasise... without a 301 redirect from the old to the new URL, you are effectively starting from scratch with the Google index. It could take weeks, or even months, for your new URLs to get indexed! When changing the URL structure, a 301 redirect is mandatory if you want to preserve your existing index status.
    – MrWhite
    Commented May 25, 2014 at 10:03
  • Hmm thanks. I was pretty confused you see, I thought my own website would kill my well... own website. I thought just because the older link structure is more established, newer ones will never come up...
    – Abhimanyu
    Commented May 25, 2014 at 13:30

You say that redirects are a separate problem but they are they really are the same problem. Redirects are the official, fastest, and most effective way to tell Google that your URL structure has changed and that they should show the new URLs rather than the old URLs.

Your site may be new, but Googlebot never forgets you old URL structure. I worked with a site that when it was new used URLs like: /content?id=10 but changed them in the first year to /content-10-title-of-the-page. 10 years in, Googlebot would still occasionally crawl a batch of the old style URLs. Even the ones that had no links to them. Once Googlebot finds a page with content on it, you are stuck having to answer for that URL for all time.

  • Hmm I didn't know their importance... Thanks a lot, I will look for ways to redirect my older URLs to my newer ones so that Google doesn't have much bulk on its servers.
    – Abhimanyu
    Commented May 25, 2014 at 13:31

The best way for this is 301 redirections. you should save older links and changed links. when the older link requested then redirect to changed links

  • This sounds like a good answer but it could use more detail. Can you give example code for doing so, or link to resources that say how? Commented Oct 3, 2016 at 15:10

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