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Reminder To Not Forget The Simple Things

Just wanted to make sure and give a quick reminder for those trying to do everything they can to gain favor with Google when setting up a website. About 8 months ago I started optimizing a clients site and sent out the normal requests to designers and what not which included 301's and re-dir-ing the non www's to the www's. My oversight, but I never checked to make sure it was done, and for the last several months he has been dominating on the search engines for almost every word he wanted. A couple days ago he stopped ranking for his domain name, and a sub page was ranking about 6 spots down from the top with his homepage nowhere to be found. If you typed in other keywords though he would rank for his homepage.

After a little bit of research I figured out he was having a canonicol issues with his non www getting indexed (with no backlinks etc) ... got it all switched, and fixed and he is now ranking again for his domain name and no damage done to other keywords. Its just a good reminder to make sure and double check the simple steps.

If you are running an apache server and are looking for the 301 re-dir code check this out below: (this is taken from a post I did almost a year and a half ago)

Here's the code:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^yourdomain.com
RewriteRule (.*) http://www.yourdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L]

(Make sure your Apache installation has mod_rewrite enabled.)

As long as your Apache installation has mod_rewrite enabled then you should be able to use this fix on almost any host.

Second: If you have any old page urls that are being replaced by new search engine friendly ones, but do not want to lose your page rank then here's the code for that:

redirect 301 /old/oldurl.html http://www.newurl/new.html

MAKE SURE you DO NOT include the http://www.whatever.com ONLY USE whats after the .com starting with the / or it will not work! Also make sure to only put ONE space in between everything!

There you go! That is as simple as it gets, or at least as I can make it!

Mainly for Google. Google does not like a bunch of error pages and if you have a lot of 404 error pages that do not exist anymore (maybe after doing a redesign, or introducing new SEF naming conventions) then its harder for Google to crawl and you can lose the page rank the page has. With the 301 redirects you do not lose PR and you will not have to worry about duplicate content issues with your www and non www's. That alone is worth doing it!

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