Can I add 301 redirects to a Yola website?

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  • Updated 7 years ago
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I have a few pages that preserve the former structure, but needed to be replaced with more SEO friendly pages - can you help me out?
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John-Scott Dixon

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  • hoping it can be done!

Posted 10 years ago

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Emmy

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Hello,

We are not able to do a 301 redirect for various pages, but you can implement a redirect using javascript. Here is a link to a tutorial that explains how to do this Javascript Redirect.

When adding javascript code to your site please try it out on a test site first to make sure it is valid and won't negatively affect the page. Bad code can cause your site to break, so best to give it a test first.

Kind Regards,
Emmy
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UK Duke, Champion

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also remember if you set it to redirect fast that will be the last time you can edit the page (although you probably wont want to)
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Emmy

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Thanks Duke, you are correct! It will also redirect in the site builder.
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John-Scott Dixon

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Is there a remedy that would enable editing of the redirected page (not that I would want to)? Also, (glad I tried on a test site first) the file never seems to save with that Javascript on it... any thoughts?
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UK Duke, Champion

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good question - maybe Yola staff will know
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John-Scott Dixon

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Also - how will Google feel about a non-301 Redirect - will there be a penalty?
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UK Duke, Champion

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googles forum will answer that best.
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John-Scott Dixon

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Does Yola offer 301 Redirects now - year later?
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Laura Thomas, Social Media Coordinator

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We still do not offer this feature within the Sitebuilder John-Scott, so javascript is still the way to go.
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John-Scott Dixon

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How does that impact Google - will they transfer the PageRank to the new page?
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Sanja, Official Rep

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Hello John-Scott

I'm going to ask our SEO Experts to hop on this thread. Please allow them 48 hours to respond.
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Gop

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If you go to Google Webmasters and to their "Change of Address" there's an outline of the process.

On the bottom Left Hand Side in the left column of that page, there's another heading
"Help with:
Moving Your site."

This has very good information and looks at the questions you have asked. It's good information. There's a specific tool to advise Google of a change of address as well.

The PR may not be carried over as the index can still take time and not all pages are indexed at once. It implies that full catch up may take 6 months.

They have strategies to keep an eye on the transition and fall back options.
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John-Scott Dixon

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Unfortunately, the bulk of the documentation you referenced gives preferential treatment to 301 redirects. Javascript is risky for Google PageRank. This is really bad guys. I told you that a year ago. What will it take to resolve on your end?
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John-Scott Dixon

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There is also no roll-back - once saved your javascript redirect is set forever - if the URL of the targeted page changes - the connection is broken forever. Correct me if I'm wrong.
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Nazlie

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Hi John-Scott

Yes, 301 redirects are not ideal on your site for several reasons, especially because you cannot edit your site once the redirect is set.

If you use the code below, your page will not automatically redirect and you will be able to edit it:
<script type='text/javascript'>

if(window.location.host.indexOf('sitebuilder.yola.com') == -1){
window.location = 'http://www.google.com';
}

</script>

<script type='text/javascript'>

if(window.location.host.indexOf('.yola.com') == -1){
window.location = 'http://www.google.com';
}

</script>

Please let us know if this works for you. We are still in the process of testing options and solutions.

Thank you
Nazlie
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John-Scott Dixon

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Okay - getting frustrated. Have you actually tried what you're recommending above? The net result is you cannot save or publish the site once you save this code. So, your only option is to refresh and wipe out the change. Any other thoughts?
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John-Scott Dixon

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Did you guys wipe out the comments that were provided yesterday?
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Emmy

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Hi John-Scott,

I'm sorry this is so frustrating, I'd like to help with at least explaining what is available. What I believe you were asking a year ago was to have some of the pages on your site automatically 301 redirect to some new pages so that if the old page URLs were used they would automatically go to the new pages. In this instance, yes, a permanent 301 redirect is the best way to go and is the most search engine friendly. However, because we do not offer the feature of 301 redirects for individual pages of a site, that is why I initially suggested the javascript redirect.

Creating a javascript redirect from one page to another is not the most SEO friendly option if what you are looking to do is have one page in essence "not exist" anymore and the new page be the page you want the search engine to index. A 301 redirect specifically says "mysite.com/page.php doesn't really exist anymore, please go to and index mysite.com/anotherpage.php in it's place". Also, the javascript option does not transfer the page rank from one page to the next, a 301 redirect is needed for this.

So unfortunately the feature you are looking for is not available, I'm sorry I don't have better news for you on that. Please let me know if you have any further questions and I would be more than happy to assist.

Kind Regards,
Emmy
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John-Scott Dixon

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What I am trying to do is move one of my Yola sites to a new site, hosted elsewhere with a new domain. Thus, the need for a 301 redirect. Without 301 redirects, it appears you've created a serious hook making it difficult to leave Yola. A hook that is not very client friendly.
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John-Scott Dixon

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Here is a Tweet I'm thinking about sending to my nearly 5,000 followers - I want you to have an opportunity to make sure it is accurate:

"Proceed w/ Caution on @Yola: PageRank on Yola Web pages cannot be transferred if you leave Yola - they don't support 301 redirects."
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Nazlie

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Hi John-Scott

I think there's been some confusion on this thread. Initially (a year ago) you asked about 301 redirects. However, now it seems that you would like to download your site to host it elsewhere. The 301 redirect will keep your site hosted with Yola.

We recently removed the the "Download site" feature because we cannot ensure that hosting the site elsewhere will work in other environments and we are not able to offer support to users who do this.

However, we have kept a way for people to download their sites if this is really what they would like to do. If you would like to do this, then please follow the steps below:


  1. Load the sitebuilder of the site you would like to download.

  2. Paste the following snippet into the URL bar (erasing what is already there)

    javascript:void((new ide.requests.actions.downloadSite()).send({site:ide.user.getSite()}))

    Once you hit "Enter" your site will start to download to your computer.



As I have mentioned, if you host your Yola site elsewhere, then we will not be able to offer you support on the new hosting environment.

Thank you
Nazlie
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John-Scott Dixon

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Nazlie - I am not trying to download my site. We have built another site using WordPress and have elected to use a new, more search engine friendly domain. What I am trying to do is preserve the PageRank that has been built over time on the current Yola site. This requires a 301 redirect. I asked about this a year ago with this in mind. It looks like we will have to sacrifice PR when we make the move.

I'll send the Tweet warning others now.
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Emmy

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Hi John,
I feel this thread is getting quite out of control, and threatening with a negative Tweet regarding Yola's services because we do not offer the feature you desire is your choice, however please note that we have done what we can to explain the situation.

I will try one more time to bring some clarity to this. We understand what you would like to do. You have a domain name purchased from Yola and you would like the URLs of this domain name to 301 redirect to new URLs of a different domain, for a site hosted elsewhere. We do not offer the feature of 301s away from Yola because our users do not want that, we create features for Yola users. We need to delegate engineering work towards features that are good for the whole of the Yola user base, and this was not a functionality that was implemented because it is not requested. This is the first time I have come across this request from a person using Yola.

However, if you have a domain purchased from Yola it is 100% yours and you can do what you would like with it. What you can do is transfer your domain to your new registrar where you also have your new domain registered and request that they perform the 301 redirect from your old domain's URLs to your new ones.

I hope the above information clears this up, or at least gives you a way to proceed with doing what you would like with your domain name.

Regards,
Emmy
Community Support Team Lead
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info

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"We do not offer the feature of 301s away from Yola because our users do not want that, we create features for Yola users."

Have you actually asked your users if they want this and had them tell you "no I don't want this feature?" Nah, you haven't.

Becareful when you make statements like that because it's tough to read the label whe you're on the inside of the jar.

I'm another Yola user who desperately needs this feature right now. In fact I also have needed it for over a year.

I have three sites on yola I've built for a client of mine who needs to move to a more robust hosting system and rebrand to a new domain name. Another two sites that are on yola that simply want to change their domain name to rebrand their business.

Simply put their business has exploded, much to the thanks of yola.

Unfortunately you're doing your customers a disservice by not having an option to do 301 redirects. Why? Because they start on your platform with a quick and easy site and suddenly experience major business growth. When this happens their web capabilities will need to scale along with them. Your customers need the ability to do a 301. If they decide they need to move part of their site to a new domain on yola or even another platform, for instance a shopping cart, without 301 redirect they will loose all of their google page rank, backlinks etc etc etc.

Ask yourself this in a simple way.

If you had to move the corporate offices of Yola tomorrow would you not go to the post office and permanently forward your mailing address to the new one? Putting a javascript redirect on your site is like putting a sign on your front door of your office saying you've moved rather than notifying the post office to redirect all of your mail elsewhere, automatically and transparently. The javascript is a hassle and not transparent and frankly just doesn't work the way it should and will damage your customers online businesses if used.

If YOU had to move your hosting to another site or change your domain name because you rebranded your business to better serve your customers, would you want a 301 redirect in place for YOUR business?

I guarantee you would.

C'mon, this isn't something that's a major amount of engineering work.

Every modern host (your competitors) have this from day 1.

Now please stop making assumptions and get this in place already. John is not threatening to do harm to you. He is simply letting developers know that without a 301 redirect you are unable to scale and grow your sites and frankly that's not a good business model guys. If don't give yor customers the ability to scale you are actually damaging them long term. Right now my clients want to grow their business, even continue to use yola hosting with a different domain name but they cant without a 301 redirect. Please make this happen.
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John-Scott Dixon

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The issue is preservation of PageRank - which I feel you are not grasping - some of your Yola users won't grasp yet either. But when they do, you will have a tough time explaining why the feature isn't there. I have been a long-time supporter of Yola, and will continue to do so with a caveat. I, like a good friend, have been telling you to build the feature for your own good as well as that of your users. This is incredibly important if they plan to use Yola for business. If not, then those users will never need to worry about this.
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Pat

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John,

I am with you my friend. I am moving a clients 15 page .HTML website to Yola right now and working on the 301 redirect to preserve page rank and SERP's I was totally unaware that Yola will not do a 301 redirect.

My business website is not ranked yet “up and running in Nov 2010”, but I do have 1st page search engine placement for my keywords and indexed pages.

So if Yola will not do a 301 redirect and I move my websites I loose everything? If I move my domain names to a new registrar and they do a 301, do you know if will we will still keep the page rank and SERP's?

Pat
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Emmy

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Hi John,
Are you creating a new site on Yola (when you say moving the 15 page .html website) and creating the 301 redirects with your current web host? If you have a domain name elsewhere and create and publish a site on Yola (also purchasing a domain name from us), I would say that you could definitely ask the registrar of your current domain if they are able to do the 301 redirect to your new domain name with Yola, they may very well be able to, this would preserve things for you.

I am sorry we are not able to provide this functionality right now for sites moving away from Yola, possibly in the future it will be on the roadmap. I understand the desire to be able to preserve page rank and will make this known to our product team to be considered for future developments.

Emmy
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johnsiemcswain

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I have a related question. I purchased a second domain name from Yola recently. It is now my current site URL. This happens a bit behind the scenes with Yola. When I did it I had no idea I would lose my page rankings. Does Yola do anything within it's own domains if someone purchases a new domain name and points to it, to do a 301 redirect? To preserve rank? I have registered and verified my new name, it is indexed, but I have no ranking in google apparently. I showed up in the first or second page on SEO serach before. I stayed in Yola, and lost my ranking? Please help. I see all kinds of explanations above about moving from Yola to another service, but I don't see what you do if one stays in YOLA with a new domain name. Now, I have 2 domains that are essentially useless for a SEO??????
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Sanja, Official Rep

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Hello johnsiemcswain

This is not my area of expertise and I want to be sure that you have the correct support needed. I have asked our SEO Team to respond. Please allow them 48 hours to get back to you. Thanks for your patience!
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Emmy

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Hello johnsiemcswain,
When you purchase a second domain name and assign it to your site you can choose which one you would like to be the primary, and the other domain/s will 301 redirect to it, it sounds like this is what you have done. This is the most search engine friendly way to have more than one domain name assigned to a site so you are doing the right thing.

In terms of preserving rank when you switch domain names, this is something that would be out of our control. That said, if you have verified the new domain name, it is indexed, the site content has remained the same and it is still receiving traffic (ie, nothing has changed but the domain name), I could see a drop in rankings due to the domain name change, however I think it will be short lived.

It's the goal of the search engines to display the very best results in the SERPS, if your site was there at one time, and is not now but all has remained the same besides the domain name, I feel it will just be a matter of time until you have the same results again.

What I would suggest is that you continue to add fresh content to your site and employ off-page SEO techniques for promoting your site.

Here are two tutorials which will be helpful:

1. Promoting your site. This will give you ideas for off-page optimization techniques.

2. Optimizing your site for local search. If your site/business caters to a specific geographic location this will help with optimizing your site in this regard.

I hope this helps.

Emmy
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Sam

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I'd really want to know WHY you guys STILL haven't added such a feature. A 301 redirect is needed to direct one of my yolasites to another yolasite and I can't find how to do it. I've already forwarded my domain in Godaddy, but I don't know if that will 301 redirect my site!
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Gop

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