Why Fear? Now Change Your Filenames Without Disturbing Search Engines/visitors And Rank Well
By now, you know that to rank well in the Search Engines,
you need to have the keyword in your URL's directory name
and filename, if not in the domain name as well.
So, if you want to target a keyword, say, 'Woolen Socks', the
best way to do it is (a) to have a domain name that contains
the word 'woolen socks' in it (like: BuyWoolenSocks.com),
(b) place the information page in the 'woolen-socks' directory and
(c) write the filename as 'woolen-socks.html'. So the URL
should look like :
This definitely gives you much better chance to rank well in
search engines with the keyword 'Woolen Socks'. There are
other aspects too which help you to rank well, but inserting
the keywords in domain name, directory and file name
definitely give you a boost.
It's not always possible to have a separate domain name
for each and every product. But, you can easily change the
directory name and filename to match with your keywords.
But you are afraid to change the alrealy popular URLs for three
reasons : (a) you have to manually insert the redirect code in
every page, (b) a standard 404 page may lead visitors nowhere
or disinterest them and (c) annoying search engines with the
constant 404 error page codes so much so that they might
ban the site.
But there is no need to worry. Internet has enough provisions
to meet every technical need. The only thing you have to know
where to look. You can change the filenames without
disturbing anything by simply changing one single file.
USE 301 REDIRECT
A 301 redirect is the most efficient and spider/visitor friendly
strategy around for web sites that are hosted on servers running
Apache (check with your hosting service if you aren't sure). It's
not that hard to implement and it should preserve your search
engine rankings for that particular page. If you HAVE to change
file names or move pages around, it's the safest option.
A 301 code inteprets 'moved permanently'.
HOW TO DO IT?
Locate a file named .htaccess in your public_html folder (home
page folder). If it's not there, just open Notepad (or any text editor:
which saves files in .txt mode) and write the following line for each
filename change :
redirect 301 /OldFolder/OldFilename.html http://www.you.com/NewFolder/NewFilename.html
Obviously you need to replace 'OldFolder', 'OldFilename.html',
'NewFolder', 'NewFilename' with your own old and new filenames.
For example : if you had a page whose URL is :
and the new page's URL is :
write the following code in your .htaccess file :
redirect 301 /wp-01.html http://www.YourDomain.com/Woolen-Socks/Woolen-Socks.html
If you had a page whose URL is :
and the new page's URL is :
just write the following code in your .htaccess file :
redirect 301 /wp/wp-01.html http://www.YourDomain.com/Woolen-Socks/Woolen-Socks.html
The line is written like this :
'redirect 301' + 'one spacebar space' + 'old file directory/filename' +
'one spacebar space' + 'new file URL' + '[Enter]'
You can write as many lines as you wish!
If you already have .htaccess file in your folder, write these lines
AFTER all other codes already existed there.
Save the file. Check that the filename has not become :
.htaccess.txt. If it's so, rename the file to .htaccess and upload
it to your public_html directory.
Now, open your browser (Aren't you using FireFox? Oh boy,
you're missing a lot!!) and browse to your old filename. You
got redirected to the new page location!!
Search engines read your old filenames as 301 code and not
a 404. Eventually they should drop the old filenames and
index new ones.
Your visitors seamlessly visit your new page following the
You save lots of time if you have really huge files to change.
Great. Isn't it?
About the Author: Subhendu Sen is the owner and webmaster of
http://www.IndHosts.Net/hosting.html ? A Low-Cost Web
Hosting Service Provider with Apache Server ? and is in the
business of web hosting since 1998. He also owns other
sites of interest : http://www.TheWebContent.com ? An
Article Directory and http://www.PopAccount.com ? A
Free Email Address directory.