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I'm launching version 2 of my site. It has a new url structure, but largely the same contents. I have around 500+ content pages that gets affected.

This is a custom build and I have no technical limitations.

I have two choices:

a) 301 redirect all the pages to the new url format

b) Render the page from the legacy url and create a rel=canonical tag pointing to the same contents, but in the the url format.

Matt Cutts says that there is no limit to the number of 301 redirects: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/matt-cutts-discusses-301-permanent-redirects-limits-on-websites/46611/

Still I fear that Google will penalize the ranking of the 301 redirected pages. I'm afraid that Google will see it as "black hat" methods.

In that light is the second method not the better option?

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Do a 301 redirect.

In your case Google won't see it as Black Hat.

The only way to get a "Black Hat" mark with a 301 is when you're doing "chain redirection" (i.e. you're redirecting from a first to a second to a third domain etc.).

In the situation you've described, there won't be any penalty for this redirection.

  • Okay, thanks for your input. Can I use the second option as well? What are the pros and cons? – ChrisRich May 31 '16 at 23:53
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301 redirect from the same domain is not blackhat SEO at all. because you are redirecting form the same domain even if there are many pages, also the page rank will flow from the old pages to new ones.

This is the best way for your case.

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