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Thread: Problems with old pages.

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Problems with old pages.

    I run a new Joomla site and had added a SEF plugin to improve my pages in Google, however I found that it had a conflict with my main component and had to turn it off. Hence doing this the url of my pages changed, and whilst I have redirected many of them there are some that I just dont know what the pages were for. I know that I will just have to wait for Google to drop the pages but I am concerned that there are pages that are showing a 500 response and that will be damaging where I stand with Google.

    Does anyone have any ideas other than redirecting. The pages had been re-named by the SEF plugin and many of them are the pages for the main component and now that the pages have changed to the normal Joomla search engine friendly pages I or the component designer do not know what the pages were for so they could be redirected. Hope that made sense?

    Also does anyone know how long it will take for google to drop the old pages, and I get a better result on my webmaster tools pages not found.

    Thanks in anticipation.

  2. #2
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    I'd redirect to some high traffic landing pages. Google never drops old pages - we just found some 404 links that showed up last week - from 2003.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Keimos's Avatar
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    Hi There,

    A Rocketman says there are pages cached from the year dot in google's cache, they can be asked to be removed from the cache but it is a long and tedious job as you have to do it manually in webmaster tools.

    For the majority of 500 errors you will either need to have a htaccess redirect, but that will only be to home page for a simple file or for linux/apache servers you can get a rewrite script. Re-direct can be done for all pages but if you are not sure of what page was what page then a generic re-direct to your home page would be the only option.

    If the error is for a Joomla component the you will also need a redirect in the component, unfortunately there is no easy way around it.

    The most drastic method would be to get google to drop your site from there index and then re-submit your site once you knew that it had been done. Not a decision to take lightly if you are getting a good amount of traffic at the moment.

    Basically you will have to sort out some sort of redirect so that although the page may not be there at least the visitor is taken to a page that does exist.

    Regards
    Keith
    Keimos IT - Always learning something new each day
    Hidden Content , Hidden Content my hobby sites

  4. #4
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    With Joomla, I have found that the htaccess file from the latest version, will redirect the url to the base index.php of the url.
    Also by checking your log files, you can find the 404's and fix those.

  5. #5
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    Why a 500 response?

    If Google has indexed pages that now no longer exist as you've switched off the sef URLs, I would expect your server to return a 404 (not found) error for those pages, not error 500. Error 500 is typically what you get if the sef request is being mishandled by the sef component and your server.

    404 pages will eventually be dropped by Google and won't harm your rankings at all - 404s are routine for Google to handle. I wouldn't even worry too much about redirecting old pages to the Joomla native equivalent unless the old pages have direct inbound links - the new page urls will be indexed pretty quickly by Google anyway.

    Curious about which Joomla version and sef component you were using, and whether your main component was the Joomla core or a third party component? SEF re-writing can be a bit of a nightmare to implement for Joomla (and other) CMS systems, particularly where third party components are introduced.
    Clarrie
    Hidden Content - lose the camouflage and stand out...

  6. #6
    Senior Member NetProwler's Avatar
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    As Clarrie says - something triggers the internal server error (500) status. It is always a best practice to take a full backup of the database before you install a new plugin or a component with any CMS especially with Joomla. In joomla you need to set the order of precedence for all the components for the whole thing to work correctly.

    You can take a look at the jos_redirection table (if you have access to Phpmyadmin) and it can show you the redirections implemented. If all you need is to know about the pages triggering the 404 status, you can modify the error.php in /templates/system directory to invoke a script to write the referrer page.

  7. #7
    Senior Member dgswilson's Avatar
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    not found

    I'm a webmaster by default only (nobody else showed up on game day) so I'm always hesitant to say "Do this".

    When I get 404 errors for pages that are gone, I rewrite that page to a custom 410 error page. Because that's what it is "Gone". This will positively effect WMT's not found numbers - fairly quickly.

    I've seen no negatives in doing this so far - for my site.
    In search of the self determined path

  8. #8
    Senior Member Keimos's Avatar
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    Hi redsuzie,

    This may help, it is a free joomla redirect component that comes with v1.7 and 2.5 but has been written for 1.5x - http://www.theartofjoomla.com/extensions/redirect.html
    Simply install and then wait a couple of days, open the component in the control panel and you will have a list of pages, all you have to do is then put in a url that you would like the link to go to and activate and it is done. Just been trying it out and it works a treat.

    Please read installation and users instructions

    Regards
    Keith
    Keimos IT - Always learning something new each day
    Hidden Content , Hidden Content my hobby sites

  9. #9
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    Allstate

    You can redirect it to current page and have the benefit of search traffic.

  10. #10
    Senior Member dgswilson's Avatar
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    I suppose everyone noticed that WMT is now dumping 410 and 404 in the same pile. Good news is they provided us with an instant fix and remove method. Very nice. So the 410 helps visitors know what's up until redirect is made. I've also started redirecting a few 'not founds' each day since I guess they won't be indexed forever. Somebody mentioned "2003"... I hear ya.
    In search of the self determined path

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