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?