I want to direct all of the pages (around 700) from my old website, to the homepage of my new website.

I found this method to be used in .htaccess:

redirectMatch 301 ^/ http://www.newwebsite.co.uk

Is this an effective method for redirecting all traffic to the new websites' homepage? I found this solution on a page dating back to 2011, so I wanted to check if this is still effective solution. I was concerned that Google might not like re-directing so many pages to a single page.

  • Redirecting everything to the home page of the new site is an SEO disaster. Google considers redirect to the home page to be a "soft 404" error. That is it treats them the same as if the page were removed. If you want to preserve search engine rankings you need to redirect each URL from the old site to the URL on the new site that has the same content. Jan 21 at 19:45

I have done it using this many times, It works.

RedirectMatch permanent .* http://www.mynewsite.in

I was concerned that Google might not like re-directing so many pages to a single page.

Yes, I think so. But If your website is well branded website, should not be a problem.

  • 1
    RewriteEngine On (mod_rewrite) is not required here. RedirectMatch is a mod_alias directive.
    – MrWhite
    Mar 9 '16 at 15:14

Because you raised Google being an issue, there are two SEO issues here:

  1. Older domains have much more weight in the Google algorithm. Although you've got a new shiny domain, don't be quick to abandon a domain that could just be spruced up. Especially if it's 10+ years old and you've owned it the entire time. Honestly, you can have the worst SEO and rate top with a well trusted domain.
  2. Google will dislike it if you don't mirror and preserve content you've been rated for. You're losing all those backlinks if the content doesn't appear to match the original. For the main page, it's a given they'll be entirely different. For articles or whatever content you have on other pages - you may want to preserve any that are still relevant, including having their specific links 301 to the new site.

If you're interested in only making sure customers can find your new site - that's a legitimate reason to scrap the old one with a 301 redirect. Otherwise, you might be throwing the baby out with the bath water. You're going to retain very little of worth from the old site in terms of SEO.

  • 1
    Thank you for the honest feedback. The old website was created only a few months before the new one, and definitely ranks a lot worse than the new website. As long as re-directing the old website's traffic doesn't negatively effect the new websites Google positioning, I'm happy to sacrifice the benefits of having all my pages re-directed to the new website's homepage. Thanks again, by the way. Mar 9 '16 at 13:32

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