Our website (approx. 3000 pages) contains multiple regional versions of the same page (eg. en-US and en-GB). Correct href lang tags are setup in the sitemap.xml to inform google which version to serve in which region. This has worked fine.
Two weeks ago, we restructured the URLs on our website. All old URLs have proper 301 redirects. Sitemap.xml only contains new URLs, again with proper href lang tags.
Currently, for some pages the google SERP currently shows multiple versions of the same page. This isn’t a big issue on itself, but old URLs for the wrong region are showing (higher) than the new, correct URL, which is a problem. For example, a search in UK is showing both of these results in the SERP:
- site.com/old-url (en-US version = WRONG)
- site.com/new-url (en-GB version = CORRECT)
It’s only 2 weeks, so I guess it will take some more time for the old URLs to disappear from the google index, but I’m not sure if time will fix this issue.
Search Console info for the old URL:
- Indexed, not submitted in sitemap
- User-declared canonical: site.com/new-url
- Google-selected canonical: Inspected URL
![Search Console status](https://i.imgur.com/R3soy6f.png "enter image title here")
I tried reindexing the old URL in Search Console. Google crawled the page again, but still chooses the Inspected URL (= the redirected URL) above the user-declared canonical (= current URL).
Investigating why Google doesn’t show the desired URL, I found the old URLs all seem to have backlinks. One example has only 3 backlinks, another has 136 (too much to request fixing them).
If this is indeed the reason why Google chooses to still show the old URLs, then maybe I should focus on giving google back the correct href lang signals for the old URLs. Would it be wise to re-add the old URL’s to the sitemap.xml so Google has correct href lang signals for these old URLs again? I’m not keen on serving outdated URL’s to Google. , but I don’t see any other way to give google correct signals.
That is, if there's really now way to get the old URL's out of the google SERP. Maybe, I should just be more patient...?
All help appreciated!
We had about 6 pages which contain similar systems:
I removed these pages and put the content on one big page:
The page contains a small section per system. Now I know this might sound as a bad seo practice, but we have our reasons. One of them being we don’t have the resources to maintain all pages (they exist in up to 6 languages and change regularly), which made the very outdated. Also, the old pages were very similar (I would say 50% duplicate content) and didn’t rank too well anyway.
There are a lot of internal links and some external backlinks to the old pages. From a UX point of view, it seems like a good idea to redirect the old pages to the correct section on the new page using anchor links (e.g. site.com/systems/system-a to site.com/systems#system-a). However, I’m not sure how google thinks about redirecting to anchor links.
What would be the best way form an SEO point of view: redirect the old pages with or without anchors?
Any advice is appreciated!
Hi, first time poster.
- 4000 page website
- 35.000 sessions per month
- Multiple regions with separate pages per region
We are doing a complete URL structure change to better separate the regions:
![URL structure change](https://i.imgur.com/pTd3zVo.png "enter image title here")
Note that I changed the regions to more known ones. Every page will be moved to a new URL.
What would be the best strategy to handle the change?
OPTION A: 301 Redirects Simply setup 301 redirects for every old URL. This is the easy option as we already have a script which handles this perfectly. It takes existing redirects in account while avoiding redirect chains.
OPTION B: Keep both URL’s Keep both the old and new URLs. Setup the new URL as canonical and serve only the new URL to Google via the sitemap.
Option B might be less shocking to Google as it can gradually update it’s index to the canonical URLs. However, I prefer option A as this will we the quicker / cheaper solution (option B involves custom development). But I'm not sure whether there's a difference for Google between both options and if / how big / how long a traffic drop would be caused.
It’s a commercial website but not a webshop. Sales aren’t directly related to traffic, so we’re ok with a small and temporary traffic drop.
Note that even before this change, Google is already aware which version to serve to which region. This is handled in our sitemap.
Any advice is appreciated!