Know an efficient way to get wbmasters to change links to my new url?
February 4, 2004 9:20 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know of an efficient way to get webmasters to change links on their end to reflect a domain name change on my end?

There must be a more efficient way to do this besides sending individual emails, no?
posted by anathema to Technology (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My advice is to keep the old domain and point both at the same site. That way you don't have to get anybody to change anything.
posted by kindall at 9:44 AM on February 4, 2004

Response by poster: Well, interestingly it is a .edu TLD. Technically, each educational institution is only allowed one .edu TLD. Neither the registry nor the registrar has said anything yet, but they could. It also raises a faily novel trademark issue.
posted by anathema at 9:48 AM on February 4, 2004

An educational institution changing its domain sounds like a very messy job indeed. I can't imagine any way to do it besides personal notification; at the core, links are just text, and controlled manually some way or another.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:36 AM on February 4, 2004

We had a similar problem when we went from a static site to a dynamic one. We left the old links up for a long time, but realised that Google was still putting the old links at the top of their results. So we renamed all the old directories (e.g., z_olddirectory) to force Google to get a 301 error. Then a programmer coworker of mine wrote a ColdFusion script that redirected the old URLs to the new ones. (He also wrote a tool to allow me to enter the old URLs and the new URLs so that the script would know where to go):

For example, Google finds and returns it as a result. When a user clicks on that URL the script sees that it is looking for the old URL and instead redirects the visitor to which is where the document resides in the new dynamic site.

In the meantime we are outputting to a single page all of the new URLs so that Google (as something like which are then indexed.

Yes, it is a hack, but after 5 some years of generating documents that people around the world linked to, we found it was the easiest way to at least make sure people found what they are looking for.

posted by terrapin at 10:47 AM on February 4, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks, terrapin. That could take care of the search engines, but the problem of existing links on other pages would still remain.
posted by anathema at 11:46 AM on February 4, 2004

If by "on other pages" you mean your internal links, yes. But the way I have outlined it above, we lose none of our links from other sites or organizations because to them the redirect is seemless.
posted by terrapin at 1:11 PM on February 4, 2004

Response by poster: Wouldn't this work only if both URLs were pointing to the same IP address? If the old URL is deleted by the registry the redirect wouldn't work, right? That's what makes sense logically to me, but I don't know all of the the ins and outs behind this.
posted by anathema at 1:41 PM on February 4, 2004

Do you have to abandon the old domain name? If you don't, continuing the registration seems like a very cheap way to avoid inconveniencing people. If you do, maybe you can work out some kind of notification/redirection with the new domain owners.
posted by timeistight at 2:11 PM on February 4, 2004

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