I post at SearchCommander.com now, and this post was published 11 years 3 days ago. This industry changes FAST, so blindly following the advice here *may not* be a good idea! If you're at all unsure, feel free to hit me up on Twitter and ask.
I’ll bet you $1000 that if we took an existing and well established default site installation today, and first upgraded it to WP 2.82, then we set WP up correctly with our chosen SEO plug-ins, correct permalinks, etc. that we would LOSE rankings in the search engines within 90 days.
Because all of the default URLs will 302 to the new pages, instead of 301 redirect, and all of the inbound link equity and indexed pages would disappear. This means rankings would drop.
Because someone at WordPress actually made the conscious decision to change the CORRECT server response, a 301, into the WRONG one, a 302 with the latest release, 2.82. This doesn’t “accidentally” happen, someone forced a change!
That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it?
There are probably hundreds of websites that I’m sure are already being affected by this, . All it takes is for them to have changed permalinks or once they were into a 2.82 environment, and it’s “game over” after Google gets done with them, isn’t it?
There are also probably dozens or even hundreds of well-meaning development firms that are “fixing” client blogs TODAY, and in reality they may actually be doing them harm.
If you didn’t see my first post, with a short video, you might want to check it out, but the bottom line is that there’s a right way to do a redirect, that retains rankings, inbound link value, page rank etc. and there’s a wrong way, and this is wrong.
When WordPress 2.82 came out, we did more than our share of quick upgrades because it came out so quickly after 2.81.
It was after we’d done a few of them that @johnandrews first mentioned that he’d seen a problem, and after investigating a little further I posted about it, and resigned myself to wait for the fix.
Now however, it’s been two weeks, and we’re doing new installations with 2.81, and that’s just dumb.
Then I got a phone call yesterday, where someone had a WordPress site that had been around for 18 months and was older, 2.5, but was just a default installation.
Then a couple of weeks ago, they upgraded to 2.82 and he’s already seeing a loss in traffic.
I saw that his pages in the index were still the default WP url structure, even though his permalinks.
I also saw that the old urls were now 302 redirecting to the new. Not good, huh?
His WP site had been around for 18 months, he has links, traffic, PageRank and rankings. if someone doesn’t fix this, (Maybe redo the thing in 2.81?) who knows what might happen!
I find it hard to believe nobody’s noticed, but maybe not?
Anyone want to take the bet?