Setting Up a 301 Redirect With Redirect Script Software
[This article is a follow up to last month's
Harmful 404 Error Pages Into Helpful 301
By Tony Simpson
You can use a software redirect script to set up
redirects the easy way. I use Master
404-Terminator on my website and others.
The Master 404 redirect script is simple to
install on a web server, provides password
protected access and a control panel in which
you set up and maintain all your redirects.
The software handles not only 301 redirects, but
also 307 and 410 status codes as well as the
"403 Forbidden" code. The latter can be sent to
browsers and search engine robots to pretend the
file requested exists but requires a password or
other permission for access.
The software detects and records all 404 error
's before they're allowed to present a page not
found to a visitors browser or a search engine.
By logging in to the control panel you can view
all captured 404 error 's and see exactly what
URL was being requested and not found.
You then simply type in the new URL you want any
future request to go to. Any new 404 error for
which you have not yet specified a redirect is
sent to a default page you specify. This could
be a custom 404 page or to your home page.
Make redirects permanent with a 301 redirect
(moved permanently) , temporary with a 307
redirect or send a 302 code ( Found ), a 403 (
Forbidden ) or a 410 ( File Gone ).
The redirect script accepts "wild card
statements" which means you can redirect entire
directories with one entry.
For example if you decided to use server side
includes on your web site you would have to
change the file extension on every webpage to
.shtml. You can use this redirect script simply
to redirect every request for the former *.html
page to the same page name but now as .shtml,
it's that quick and easy and it's search engine
The redirect script is search engine friendly
which means you'll not be penalized for using a
301 redirect. It's the one search engines prefer.
If you redirect using other forms of redirect
like the meta tag redirect or java script
redirect, search engines become suspicious that
you're using cloaking techniques and those can
get your website banned.
This redirect script can also replace a file
instead of redirecting to a new one. This is
ideal when you want to replace missing images or
other files. How often have you been to a
website to find that images are missing, leaving
that tell tale hole with X marks the spot.
With this redirect script you can see at a
glance all the requests that have been made for
images which can't be found.
It means you can monitor and correct problems on
your site that could otherwise go unnoticed for
Don't wait for your visitors to tell you an
image is missing or worse still an entire page,
with this redirect script you can keep your
website 404 error free.
Take charge of broken links from other people's
web sites by automatically redirecting them to
the correct pages and you site visitors will
never know you did it.
No temporary pages presented to visitors like
you see on most websites. They say something
like 'please wait while we redirect you to
the new page' or 'If this page does not
redirect in 10 seconds please click here.'
With this redirect script the transfer is
instant, no temporary flash pages, the visitor
gets presented exactly with the page you intended.
You have complete control over every 404 error
and can see at a glance how many times the same
missing file was requested. The redirect script
also records every individual IP address that
tried to access each missing file.
A fringe benefit of this redirect script is that
it also enables you to easily monitor potential
hacker activity on your website.
Hackers or people up to no good will type URL
requests for particular files, script names or
directories to see if they exist on your site.
They'll also try to issue commands to your
scripts to hijack site functions for their own
use, or test weaknesses in your site security.
On one of my sites this redirect script detected
over 27 attempts in one month to access a
commonly used free mailing script used by many
websites. The particular mailing script has
security vulnerabilities that enable it to be
hijacked and used by a hacker to send bulk mailings.
This means a hacker could be using your mailing
script to send SPAM mail in bulk and that can
get you banned by your host. In my case it was
not a problem because I don't use the free
mailing script all the hackers were looking for.
If a hacker is probing your site every request
they make, with what they typed as well as how
often they tried is logged against their IP
address. All this hacker activity shows up when
you log in to your redirect script control panel.
If someone using the same IP address becomes a
problem it is possible by using other means to
block that IP address from accessing your site.
The redirect script also maintains a non MySQL
database of all the redirects you setup which is
stored and available for editing or viewing at
anytime from your control panel.
To sum up here's a list of the benefits of using
the Master 404 redirect script:
*Stops visitors leaving your site because of
404 error pages.
*Visitors are unaware of a redirect, no
transition pages and no delays.
*Search Engine friendly with the use of a
*Maintain your Search Engine Ranking on
pages you need to rename.
*Control redirect 's or commands sent to
visitors browser or search engine.
*Easily discover and correct missing file
problems on your entire website.
*Replace and rename files without causing
*Reduce security breaches on your website by
detecting hacker activity.
*Use IP address records to ban trouble
makers from your website.
*Maintain records of your website redirects
in one central location.
*Redirect script guaranteed to work,
problems fixed or you get a refund.
*Pre-install tester checks host can run the
redirect script before you buy.
*Simple to install with your own easy to use
<> Copyright © 2005 by Tony Simpson. Tony
advises on the use of automation in website
design, promotion and optimization via his site Web Page Add
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Don't you love it when you find new software
that saves you time and money promoting your
Last month I found a ripper: 2ndSite.
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It even plugs into QuickBooks, PayPal and
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The client is automatically sent an email and
given a link to login, view and pay the invoice
on the spot via the method that best suits them.
If they don't pay, they are sent email
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Clients can login anytime to review their
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do yourself a favor, check it out!
Meanwhile, this month's feature article by Tony
Simpson is a continuation of last month's
tutorial about creating 301 redirects. This
month, Tony reviews the software he uses to
convert 404 Errors into traffic-saving 301
Enjoy this issue and remember to visit the
Search Engine Advice Column daily to check
out my answers to frequently asked questions about
search engines or submit one of your own.
Till next time - wishing you high rankings...
|FAQ1: How Can I Get My Site Recognized by Search Engines as Australian?|
I have launched a website for my father's
Australian-based architectural business but am
having a few problems getting it listed with
search engines as an 'Australian' site.
Although the site is a .COM (not .com.au), the
site is listed under Australia in DMOZ, and the
word Australia is mentioned quite frequently
throughout the META and home page.
Any tips on getting the site recognised as being
Australian without a .COM.AU domain name? (e.g.
on google.com.au or ninemsn.com.au)
Search engines use a few different methods to
determine country of origin, including:
1) IP address the site resides on (physical
location of host servers)
2) Domain extension
The physical location of the server that stores
your site can have an impact on how search
engines treat your site. Even if your site is
hosted by an Australian firm, if they use server
space located in another country, that is
usually the country search engines will
associate with your site. Check with your host
about server location if this is an issue for you.
Also, use of a .com domain can automatically put
your site at a disadvantage if a searcher
selects "sites from Australia" as their
search option in Google.com.au, because Google
naturally gives preference to sites with a
.com.au domain extension for regional searches.
Some Australian-based search engines won't even
include sites that don't have a .com.au domain
extension, so you might want to consider
purchasing the regional domain for submission to
such engines and have the regional domain point
to the IP address of your main site via domain
|FAQ2: How do I find out how many of my pages are listed in Ask and Lycos?|
Now this is a very dull question. I have the
'code', whatever we call it
(site:websitesname.com -jumbled text), for
finding out how many of my websites pages are
listed with the likes of: Google, Yahoo, but
when it comes to Ask, Lycos, this doesn't work
any more, can you help?
Not a dull question at all! To find out how many
of your pages are listed at Ask.com, you simply
go to their advanced
search link and enter your site URL into
both the "find" field and the "domain or site"
field, then click "ask".
To do the same for Lycos, go to their advanced
search link and enter your site URL into
their "URL/Site only include" field. (Actually,
this is meant to work but I just tried it and it
doesn't seem to be working for ANY domain. Seems
Lycos may have a few bugs at present?).
To check your site's link popularity (other
sites linking to yours), you can use a free tool
Link Popularity Check. It will tell you your
site's link popularity on the following search
* Google / AOL
* Yahoo / Fast / AltaVista
* Excite / Magellan
|FAQ 3: Should we include misspelled keywords in our tags?|
Could you answer a question for me - should we
include misspelled variations in our list of
keywords? And if so, should these be the last
items in the tag?
Regarding misspellings, that's a tricky issue.
You can of course include them in your META Tags
so that visitors don't see them, but for search
engines to consider your site relevant for those
misspellings, they really need to see them in
your visible page content as well.
Some webmasters get around this by deliberately
and consistently using a misspelling on one page
and using the correct spelling on all other
pages so it is less noticeable. What I do is
design a landing page incorporating the
misspelling and use my pay per click campaign to
target it, blocking it from being indexed by
regular search engines. That way, only persons
searching on the misspelt keyword are encouraged
to view the page where it features and other
visitors never see it.
Of course this means you pay per visitor, but
usually only a few cents as misspellings are
rarely popular with advertisers and you face
|FAQ 4: Will my site ever be back in Google?|
My site has been blocked by Google now for more
than a month, do I have any chance of coming back?
I took a look at your site and you're not
blocked or banned in Google. For starters, your
site has a healthy PageRank estimate of 6 out of
10 (not its true PageRank, but an indicator).
Sites that have been banned by Google generally
have a zero PageRank.
Also, Google cached your site as recently as
yesterday and it can easily be found if you
perform a URL search. In fact, if you perform a
site search using "site:www.yoursite.com",
you'll see that Google has stored over 500 pages
of your site in their database.
What makes you think your site is blocked? Have
a read of this
post and stop panicking.
|Send Kalena Your Search Engine Question!|
| ||Gobsmacked by Google? Mad at MSN? Got a
burning question about search engines in
me your question and it might feature in my Search
Engine Advice Column or the next issue of
The Search Light.
I regret I can't give personal replies, but
anonymous submissions are welcome.