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Redirect

P: n/a
I am not sure if this is the proper forum, but I always found very
helpful information here and I would like to have the advice of experts.

Just before new year (end Dec 2006), my internet provided (noos.fr) had
trouble with ftp, so that access to my web pages became very
problematic, mostly impossible. After 2 months and many unanswered
complaints, I decided to buy my own domain, subscribe with a different
host and transfer all my files to the new domain. I did this, leaving
the old site behind. Whenever access to my old site was possible, I
hastily added to the header of several of my old pages the META tag:
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Refresh" CONTENT="3; URL=http://dardel.info/newpage.html">
I checked that this had the desired redirection effect and was happy.

I have counters on some of my pages. Two months later, I realised that
the traffic of several pages was drastically reduced. As an example,
the traffic on my "virtual museum" pages that had between 300 and 600
hits per day between September 2006 and February 2007 dropped to 200,
then 100, and now I record only 10 to 20 hits per day. Needless to say
that the counter is on the pages in the new domain.

A few days ago, someone told me that Google hated this META "refresh"
instruction and was actually banning entire sites using this tag. Panic
on board. I try to find information on the internet and read several
articles on the subject, but couldn't get a definitive conclusion or
recommendation. Most articles gave alternative redirection methods, the
most popular one being the creation of an .htaccess text file with the
instruction:
Redirect 301 / http://www.mynewsite.com/
I followed the advice and created the corresponding:
Redirect 301 / http://dardel.info/

The problem is that my old site had a split structure, with independent
subdomains, as my provided noos.fr was giving to their subscribers only
20 MB of space per user (defined as e-mail addresses), with up to 10
such users per subscription. So my old site was divided into several
URLs:
http://mapage.noos.fr/dardelf/ (main pages, including main index and sitemap)
http://mapage.noos.fr/dardelf2/ (photos)
http://mapage.noos.fr/dardelf3/ (more photos)
and so on
I have tried to put an .htaccess file in each of those, but it does not
seem to work.

Can anybody give recommendations on this subject:
1) Is this Goggle ban of the sites with META "refresh" real?
2) Is the "redirect 301" method with .htaccess reliable?
3) Are there other methods?

Many thanks in advance for your hints
--
a desperate
François de Dardel
http://dardel.info/
Faber est suae quisque fortunae
Enlever le quatorze pour m'écrire
Remove fourteen in the address to send mail

May 28 '07 #1
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2 Replies


P: n/a
Scripsit François de Dardel:
I am not sure if this is the proper forum,
It certainly isn't. Redirection is not a CSS issue. I sending this reply to
c.i.w.a.misc too and setting followups there; hence the extensive quotin.
Just before new year (end Dec 2006), my internet provided (noos.fr)
had trouble with ftp, so that access to my web pages became very
problematic, mostly impossible. After 2 months and many unanswered
complaints, I decided to buy my own domain, subscribe with a different
host and transfer all my files to the new domain. I did this, leaving
the old site behind. Whenever access to my old site was possible, I
hastily added to the header of several of my old pages the META tag:
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Refresh" CONTENT="3;
URL=http://dardel.info/newpage.html"I checked that this had the
desired redirection effect and was happy.
You should have included a link to the new site as well. Moreover, you
should have checked whether you could have used .htaccess for redirection.
Naturally, all these arrangements can last only as long as your old ISP
still keeps your files, which normally means: as long as you pay something
for this.
I have counters on some of my pages. Two months later, I realised that
the traffic of several pages was drastically reduced. As an example,
the traffic on my "virtual museum" pages that had between 300 and 600
hits per day between September 2006 and February 2007 dropped to 200,
then 100, and now I record only 10 to 20 hits per day. Needless to say
that the counter is on the pages in the new domain.
Counters are inherently unreliable, but the observations are consistent with
general considerations. A mere meta redirect will often fail to help robots
and users find the new site.
A few days ago, someone told me that Google hated this META "refresh"
instruction and was actually banning entire sites using this tag.
I doubt that. More probably, it simply ignores it.
Panic on board. I try to find information on the internet and read several
articles on the subject, but couldn't get a definitive conclusion or
recommendation. Most articles gave alternative redirection methods,
the most popular one being the creation of an .htaccess text file with the
instruction:
Redirect 301 / http://www.mynewsite.com/
I followed the advice and created the corresponding:
Redirect 301 / http://dardel.info/
That's the way, if the (old) server runs Apache or compatibile server
software and the server admin lets you do such redirects.
The problem is that my old site had a split structure, with
independent subdomains, as my provided noos.fr was giving to their
subscribers only 20 MB of space per user (defined as e-mail
addresses), with up to 10 such users per subscription. So my old site was
divided into several
URLs:
http://mapage.noos.fr/dardelf/ (main pages, including main index and
sitemap) http://mapage.noos.fr/dardelf2/ (photos)
http://mapage.noos.fr/dardelf3/ (more photos)
and so on
I have tried to put an .htaccess file in each of those, but it does
not seem to work.
I can't tell what really happens, since I have no access to the eventual
..htaccess files, but the response headers from e.g.
http://mapage.noos.fr/dardelf/ are:

Date: Tue, 29 May 2007 08:08:39 GMT
Server: Apache/1.3.37 (Unix)
Last-Modified: Fri, 25 May 2007 10:15:13 GMT
Etag: "5ebf54-7af-4656b731"
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Content-Length: 1967
Content-Type: text/html

200 OK
So there is no HTTP redirection. Perhaps the server settings make the server
ignore your .htaccess.

Bu the way, using a large background image, some animation, and background
music on a page that is supposed to be a simple redirection, is a _bad_
idea. Put some short explanatory note, the link, and perhaps a meta tag -
not much more. It's supposed to be a doormat, not an artistic experience.
Actually, _any_ content there implies the risk that Google treats it as a
real page, but this risk has to be taken - the doormat page should say
_something_ about the content of the site.

For example, if I Google for "francois de dardel", the first hit is:

"François de Dardel
A broad review of my interests for arts, music, literature, languages and
the Earth where we live.
mapage.noos.fr/dardelf/index.html - 3k - Välimuistissa - Samankaltaisia
sivuja"

This is fine, but if I follow the link, I'd prefer seeing something else
than

"François de Dardel's
Homepage
This site has moved to its own domain:
dardel.info
Click the link and make sure to change your bookmarks. "

.... if I'm uncertain of whether I'm really interested, or whether this is
_the_ François de Dardel that I know from some context, etc. I don't mean a
novel or an autobiography, just a few words about the site. Remember that
the visitor does not necessarily arrive via Google where the extract can be
seen.
Can anybody give recommendations on this subject:
1) Is this Goggle ban of the sites with META "refresh" real?
Without any evidence, I would not take the claim seriously enough even to
try to find what Google itself says about it.
2) Is the "redirect 301" method with .htaccess reliable?
No, because the server admin may disable it.
3) Are there other methods?
No.

--
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

May 29 '07 #2

P: n/a
On 2007-05-29 10:23:50 +0200, "Jukka K. Korpela" <jk******@cs.tut.fisaid:
Scripsit François de Dardel:
>A few days ago, someone told me that Google hated this META "refresh"
instruction and was actually banning entire sites using this tag.
>Can anybody give recommendations on this subject:
1) Is this Goggle ban of the sites with META "refresh" real?

Without any evidence, I would not take the claim seriously enough even
to try to find what Google itself says about it.
>2) Is the "redirect 301" method with .htaccess reliable?

No, because the server admin may disable it.
>3) Are there other methods?

No.
Thanks, Jukka, as usual your comments are enlightening and useful. I
will make some changes in the redirecting pages.
Sorry for posting on the wong forum: I meant CIWA and used the CSS
forum by mistake.

I am still worried about this possible "refresh" ban by Google. And I
am quite puzzled to see the hits to my pages (except the "Tintin"
section) divided by a factor of 20 in just 3 months.

--
François de Dardel
http://dardel.info/
Faber est suae quisque fortunae
Enlever le quatorze pour m'écrire
Remove fourteen in the address to send mail

May 29 '07 #3

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