I caught a domain with some very good backlinks and I am now in the midst of implementing the forward. I am recreating all the content which had good backlinks, and I also know what pages had decent organic traffic.
So I will manually redirect all old pages with good backlinks and traffic to the new pages – that’s clear (no redirect chains, …) but what am I doing with the rest?
My plan was to 301 redirect the rest (as last line in htaccess) to a landing page on the new site, which should fit the content rather well.
I did read now multiple times that, if I do that so, I will get tons of Soft 404 and that is SEO suicide.
So, what should I do?
Only redirect the pages I recreated and forgo to rest? So if somewhere is a link to old-domain/page which I did not recreate, he will get a “server not found” error? I thought it would make more sense to show those people the best articles from the old site, but it it’s SEO suicide, I rather not do it.
Your answers are appreciated
February 12, 2020 at 9:12 am
The key is understanding status codes and page content.
I would advise, if the content of the URL from the expired domain does not exist on your new website, return a 410 GONE status code (not 404) and include in the page a list of related existing pages that the user might be interested in.