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Q: Old URL is now displayed, with 4-year old, popular URL has now disappeared. ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Old URL is now displayed, with 4-year old, popular URL has now disappeared.
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: polbabe-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 07 May 2004 17:02 PDT
Expires: 06 Jun 2004 17:02 PDT
Question ID: 342978
In the mid-1990s, I had a URL.  When I went to my current URL in 2000,
I quit using the old URL, but redirected it to my current URL.  Now,
out of the blue, even though the redirect has been done *correctly*,
the old URL now appears prominently in Google, with my 4-year old URL no longer
existing ANYWHERE in Google.  However, the other search engines not
attached or related to Google, show my recent 2000 URL.  What is up
with this and, more importantly, how can I rectify it so my current
URL is prominent?

Request for Question Clarification by robertskelton-ga on 09 May 2004 15:24 PDT
Is it possible to provide the URLs? Such questions are virtually
impossible to answer without them.

Clarification of Question by polbabe-ga on 10 May 2004 07:34 PDT
No problem.  Old URL (since mid-1990s):  URL
that I've been using since 2000:  Really
appreciate your help.  Hope you can guide me through to a solution. 
By the way, I know I can just "take down" the old URL, and I may do
that once my new URL, which I've re-registered with Google (since it
disappeared), reappears again on Google.  This "disappearance" on
Google happened at the same time my newer URL "disappeared" from *all*
other search engines.  However, that seems to have been rectified,
*except* for Google & its partners.  Hope this info helps.  Thanks

Request for Question Clarification by serenata-ga on 10 May 2004 11:50 PDT
Hi Polbabe ~

A check in the "Way Back Machine", 

shows that from about June of last year, your domain pointed to, which is what would
make show up as the URL and would create no problems.

Now, I see that both sites exist on the Internet and have identical content.

It would appear that the permanent redirect from
to seems to have disappeared - and I am assuming that
the site you wanted to promote and wanted listed was the site, not the other.

Search engines and directories do not like to list sites with
duplicate content, and often drop one from it's listing in favor of
the other.

So if you have been actually populating both with content, instead of
redirecting to permanently point to, it would seem that the search engines have dropped
the in favor of the former.

Although "penalty" is a harsh word - if you have two active sites on
the web with the same content (as it appears to be the case here), it
looks as though the site was dropped in favor of the
older, "original" site.

The way to fix this is to:

1. Make sure the site is redirected to with a permanent redirect - which no longer seems to
be the case. If your host has done something recently, it appears that
the site no longer points to but is an independent

2. Then write to the directories, etc., explaining what happened and
ask for the site to be re-listed in the directories
and search engine indexes.

As it stands at this moment, both sites are accessible, and they both
have identical content. So long as this remains, the earlier original
site will be the one listed, and the site will be
ignored as it has duplicate content.

Check with your host, and even at your domain registration level to
see where the problem is ... and get that redirect to

If this answers your question, let me know and I'll post it as the answer.


Google Answers Researcher

Clarification of Question by polbabe-ga on 10 May 2004 14:24 PDT
I was informed that a permanent redirect from my old url to my new one
would cause a "penalty". So I had the old url point to the new url's
dedicated ip address so that it would be displaying the same content
as the new site while at the same time retaining the old url.  Now,
would the best solution be to create a permanent redirect from the old
url to the new one, or to put up a page at the old url stating the the
new website can be found at the new url?
Subject: Re: Old URL is now displayed, with 4-year old, popular URL has now disappeared.
Answered By: serenata-ga on 10 May 2004 15:19 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi again, Polebabe ~

Please remember that pointing domain name at the same content is not
the same issue as creating duplicate content on your two sites.

Search engines understand the need for having more than one domain
name for whatever reason - from preserving brand names to covering
common misspellings that your competition could exploit in their own

Whatever the reason, either parking the other domains to point to the
website with the content or a 301 redirect works just fine with all
the major search engines, duplicate content will get you in trouble -
as you have seen.

Here's an excellent article written by Ralph Wilson on redirects,

While the article is almost a year old, the same information is as
valid today as it was then.

Jill Whalen's High Rankings discussion board also discusses 301 redirects,

and you can do a search within the Google News discussion of Webmaster World,

The bottom line is that the duplicate content obviously hurt you,
especially since the search engines dropped the domain you wanted.

My advice is to use a 301 permanent redirect on the .htaccess of your site, redirecting it to the site
until such time as  you have the site independently
listed and indexed by your search engines.

This also means not to further refer others to the old site, but to
the new site; and do not try to continue listing the old site.

It may take a few months now for the new site to be indexed and listed
(and it may not, search engines can be so unpredictable), but hang in
there and it will eventually work out.

Search terms:

   * 301 redirect
   * site redirect

I know this will work, but please don't expect it to happen overnight,
this rarely does.

Once you have redirected the old site to the new site, do write to the
Google editors at and explain what happened. (See
"Other Reasons" your site might not be listed on Google),
   - ://

Please note they say, "We do not make any guarantees about if or when
we will re-include your site." On the other hand, Google and the other
search engines are not so unreasonable as to not recognize an honest
mistake and help you out. Remember, their goal is to serve the
searcher the most relevant information in response to their query.

Best of luck,

Google Answers Researcher
polbabe-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Helpful, detailed and gave me what I wanted to know in an ongoing
discussion that added value to what I got in information.  I would
recommend this service to anyone, as well as use it again.

Subject: Re: Old URL is now displayed, with 4-year old, popular URL has now disappeared.
From: serenata-ga on 25 May 2004 10:39 PDT
A belated hello again and thankyou, Polebabe ~

I was out of town and didn't see your rating nor your tip. Both are
generous and I wanted you to know I appreciate them.

Thank you again for your generosity,


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