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I will be migrating my wordpress installation from my staging domain to the old live domain.
The live domain that I am moving to has a wordpress installation on there now. The URL's on the site are ranking well so I want to preserve the SEO juice, however the site is terribly organized and the URL's were never optimized to include keywords (for instance "/sample-page-2" is the slug of the top viewed page).
I have had to re-organize the site and move content around. "sample-page-2" will be changing to a different URL, but I want to preserve the SEO juice and comments. I plan on using a 301 redirect plugin to accomplish this on this page and others like it.
Naturally I have many questions. I want to make sure I do this the right way by preserving as much built up SEO while improving the user experience with a more "navigatable" site.
What are the best practices?
What should I look out for when migrating sites (SEO or otherwise)?
Is the 301 redirect approach the best?
What resources do you know of that I can reference?
Am I doing this all wrong?
Any information would be greatly appreciated.
301 redirects are the way to go for fixing weird slugs like that - just keep in mind that it will take search engines a few weeks to realize something changed and alter search results. For awhile, you'll see the old links in search (though they will direct to the new URLs like they should). Once you've made your changes, submit a new sitemap in Google Webmaster Tools to help speed the process along.
With 301 redirect plugins, the changes are written to the database, and even if you remove a redirect via the plugin, it will generally still be there. So be very careful - I actually don't recommend using a plugin because redirects are easy to do manually. You just need to add the following to your .htaccess (assuming you're on an Apache server):
Redirect 301 /sample-page-2/ http://domain.com/new-slug
and you can repeat that as many times as needed, each on a separate line.
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