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Retired web pages

Posted by admin (Graham Ellis), 29 August 2004
How do you replace a URL on your website and keep your search engine placement intact, and maintain continuity for anyone who's bookmarked the page and / or arrived via a search?

When we replace a page, we don't simply scrap the old one - we also provide an onward reference in the old location for a year or so.   Here's the script that generates the onward reference:

Code:
sub makereplaced {
       @gone = @_;
       print "making replaced pages\n";
       open (FHI,"alternative");

       while (($_=pop(@gone)) or ($_=<FHI>)) {
               ($was,$becomes) = split;
               $becomes ||= "resources/replaced.html";
               open (OUT,">$t2/$was");

# refresh = needs to be added to following ...

$html = <<"SIMPLE";
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Refresh" content="7; URL=/$becomes">
<title>Replaced Page</title></head>
<body bgcolor=white>
<H2>Replaced Page</H2>
This page has been retired. Your browser should call up the replacement
in a few seconds, but if it doesn't please select one of the links below
yourself. Thank you.<BR><BR>
Please follow <a href="/$becomes">this link</a> for the alternative page.<P>
Please follow <a href="/index.html">this link</a> for our home page.<P>
<HR>
2004, Well House Consultants
</body>
SIMPLE

               print OUT $html;

               }

       }


Note:

1) that we can specify replacements in a file and / or as a list of parameters to this script.

2) the replaced page automatically refreshes forward to the new page via a meta tag, but there's a link too from crawlers and other browsers to follow

3) This page inlcudes NO CLUE AT ALL as to what was on the replaced page.  This is intentional as we don't want it re-indexed and re-bookmarked - we want that for the NEW page!



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