topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • October 16, 2019, 02:43 AM
  • Proudly celebrating 13 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: forum migration redirections cause google search snafu- custom landing page need  (Read 211 times)

Steven Avery

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 994
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Redirection problems often occur after migrations.
My forum was migrated from vBulletin to Xenforo.
The vBulletin redirection add-on is no longer supported, and did not work for me.
 
My forum is like a research blog.
www.purebibleforum.com

Current Google searches are generally based on the old urls, and give:

==============

Not Found
The requested URL /showthread.php was not found on this server.
Apache/2.4.25 (Debian) Server at www.purebibleforum.com Port 443

==============

Over time, Google would likely catch up to the current forum, but it is unclear how long it would take, and when they would drop the invalid links. In the meantime, this makes Google and other search engines unusable, and this is very frustrating to those trying to use the forum material. Same with links that were placed on other groups and forums. (We are trying a special attempt to handle the internal links within the forum.

So the need, if it is possible, is for someone skilled with Apache with PHP and whatever is the skill-set to go in there and intercept those misses, and put up either the Xenforo front page, or, better yet, a special landing page that explains that we have redirected from the Google search. And inviting the user to search using the internal forum search (which might be enhanced by an add-on.)

In the best world, the parameters of the search would be passed, more or less, to the internal search, that is getting a bit more sophisticated, and may not be possible.

Please contact me if you think this is the type of (paid) project you could do and would like to do!

And feel free to discuss, improve and troubleshoot this idea on this thread as well. Also the whole world of forums and migrations.

As an aside, I remember we had someone do something on my WordPress business site where they bypassed the normal processes and put up a landing page, specialty, explaining that we were down for the day. (Sometimes there might even be a plug-in for that in WordPress.)

If you are involved in the Xenforo world, clearly that is a big plus, and could lead to more action. Or you might like understanding why it has become the go-to forum of choice for many.

The site is on Linode, on a VPS unmanaged server. Access will be fully available.

Your thoughts welcome! 
And if you have a special spot where you think this might get a good response, share away.

Steven

Shades

  • Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 2,584
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
You can ask Google to crawl through your site again. Normally sites are being re-indexed every few weeks (for low traffic ones) automatically.

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6065812?visit_id=637064818723088413-1250453188&rd=1 - this link provides some info about re-crawling.


Landing pages are good, sitemaps are better. Having a web site structure that Google expects you to have, will increase your ranking. Having other sites refer to your content will get you much bigger jump in ranking though. But only if those pages have a good ranking too. Highly ranked sites are re-crawled more often than low ranked ones.

While it is good that you moved away from the vBulletin forum software on your site, you can expect some issues by changing the forum software that you run as your back-end. 

Steven Avery

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 994
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Thanks!  We are now working that angle.

Google wants to verify the domain, they gave me a .txt string and I put that into the hosts TXT DNS section, and it was verified.

More to do, but that seems to be a primary need. 
Now we figure out if the site map will be automatic or not.

There are really 3 types of redirects:
   1) Google (and other search engines)
   2) from previous forum posts
   3) internal, within the forum

It is still an interesting question whether we could easily catch invalid tries and put up a special search page of our own.

Shades

  • Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 2,584
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
I'm not familiar with the forum software you use on the back-end of your site, but most (if not all) have a 404-page (or landing page as you call it) built in. It is on you how to dress that page up, as some only display one simple line of text. You can "dress" that page up in whatever way you want, using a (WYSIWYG?) HTML editor. Of those there are enough free ones around.

Personally, I would spend the time to make a rather nice looking (yet simple) 404-page with a link to the home page of your forum, a (funny) message regarding the 404 error and the overall theme of your forum, plus a message about being automatically re-directed to the home page and use the HTML feature called: re-direct.

That make users getting the 404 message automatically be redirected to the forum home page (or any other page you like). You can specify how much time such a redirect should take place. 30 Seconds, maybe a minute or something like this.

While it doesn't do much for search engine rankings, your users and search engine bots do appreciate a proper 404 page.

How easy or difficult all of the above is, that depends on the design of the forum software. And the willingness/time to learn a bit about the underlying system of the forum software you use and a bit of basic HTML.

For your reference: examples of 404-pages from established websites.

Steven Avery

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 994
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Thanks!

This plug-in looks good.

Xenforo Community
Custom 404 Page by Siropu 1.1.4
https://xenforo.com/...page-by-siropu.7188/