I have a popular history website that comes up in google's top 10, frequently number 1 to 3, for a lot of civil war related searches such as "thirteenth amendment" or "causes of the civil war." The site has been on the web for over 10 years as a free Tripod/Lycos site, and I've recently duplicated the content and put it in a more updated format on a new host's server. I currently just have a "we've moved" link on my old website pages but would like to do something to redirect traffic to the new site automatically, without losing my google rankings. What is the best way to do this? Thanks.

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You will need to create a 301 redirect. This can be done in an .htaccess file on the old server.

You will need to create a 301 redirect. This can be done in an .htaccess file on the old server.

Thanks but don't I need to know Tripod/Lycos's current server OS to write the correct file? Not sure how to determine this, if I do. (I'm not a programmer) For instance I found this regarding the 301 htaccess but it says it only works for Linux Apache:

Create a .htaccess file with the below code, it will ensure that all your directories and pages of your old domain will get correctly redirected to your new domain.
The .htaccess file needs to be placed in the root directory of your old website (i.e the same directory where your index file is placed)

Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule (.*) http://www.newdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L]

Please REPLACE www.newdomain.com in the above code with your actual domain name.

In addition to the redirect I would suggest that you contact every backlinking site to modify their backlink to point to your new website.

Note* This .htaccess method of redirection works ONLY on Linux servers having the Apache Mod-Rewrite moduled enabled.

Thanks, gleidner

Odds are that is what they are using (Apache / Linux).

My favorite resource for doing website/IP moves is Bruce Clay's "Tech Tips" page. Here's a snippet:

How to move a site to a new host

If you are moving your site to a new IP address or ISP this procedure will help minimize the downtime and confusion during DNS propagation.

  1. Set up the DNS on your new host to point to your existing (old host) site first. This is an important first step.
  2. Now change the TLD (top level domain) information at your domain registrar to point to this new site DNS. Your old site should still show by either by IP or domain name. This step results in "propagation" which commonly takes 72 hours to update servers world-wide, so do not proceed with step 3 for about four days.
  3. Copy your existing site to your new site and validate that all files have transferred and the links work.
  4. After allowing 4 days for the DNS to be fully propagated, point your new DNS to your new site. Make sure that your old site mailboxes have been emptied before you change any DNS info at this time. Once this DNS change occurs you cannot get to your old mail.
  5. If everything has been validated you should now also point the old DNS to your new site. This is a safety issue in case there is a lingering propagation error.
  6. Search Engine listings or bookmarked pages should transfer to your new site with a 301 redirect.

After everything has been checked you should be able to delete your old site after a sufficient amount of time has passed (not more than 3 months). Note that Google does cache the old DNS address information and until they verify that the site has moved and store the new DNS information they may not visit your new site. The 301 will assist in this area.

If you are moving from an IIS server to Linux (Apache) you should validate your formmail scripts, and any items that may not be cross platform compatible. If you are moving from Linux to IIS then your .htaccess file will not be compatible as well as the ability to CHMOD permissions. Validate all functions with your ISP Administrator (some of the following steps may need to be redone on your new server).

Here's the link: http://www.bruceclay.com/seo-tech-tips/techtips.htm

Hope this helps?

Thanks for this info. Unfortunately I had already created the new website and had the "we've moved" link on the old site for a couple of weeks before I tried to do a 301 redirect. I tried to do a 301 redirect for a single page of my old site to a single page of my new site first by putting the htaccess file in the root directory, but it didn't work. So I'm in limbo now, not sure what to do. Maybe the tripod/lycos server my old (free) website is on isn't apache?

It sounds like you're using a new domain name. I would login to your registrar and redirect the domain name from there. Worth a shot anyway. Wish I could be of more assistance.

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