I've searched this site and plenty other sites, but nobody seems to be able to answer my question entirely (not even Google), so here goes...
What would be the proper procedure to change the url of one of my pages (not my website, just a single page) from an "somesite.com/unnecessarily-long-and-SEO-unfriendly-url-that-drags-on-longer-than-mondays" to a "somesite.com/short-and-sweet-url"?
Ok, so I switch the url for my page to a short URL and create a 301 redirect from the long url - but what do I do next?
If I change the old url in the sitemap and upload it to GWT - that could just send a signal to Google that one of my old articles is gone and that a new one emerged.
I could also submit the old url for deletion from index and submit my new article for indexing, but that could still cause my "old" article to disappear from search results (at least until the "new" article emerges).
So my question is, what is the correct procedure for an url change that will let google know that I'm changing an URL for an EXISTING article - that doesn't lead to a rankings drop or even a temporary disappearance from the SERPs?