Sometimes, you might want to change the permalink of a published post to reduce its length or to make it more meaningful. This can be done by reverting the post to draft, editing the post and publishing it again. But the problem is that the previous permalink will show a ‘Page does not exist’ error. In this post, we will show how to fix it using redirection.

In this example, we will change the permalink of a post from http://batest874520.blogspot.in/2014/07/test-post-5.html to http://batest874520.blogspot.in/2014/07/my-test-post-5.html.

Changing permalink

First note down the current permalink of your blog post. We will be using this later while setting up a redirect.

Revert to draft the post that you want to edit. To do so, first go to Posts, select the post that you want to revert to draft and click the ‘Revert to Draft’ button as shown in the screenshot below.

Now open the same post in Edit mode.

On the right hand side, under Settings, click Permalink. Click the Automatic Permalink radio button, enter the new permalink and click Done. In our example, the new permalink will be ‘my-test-post-5’.

Click Publish button on the top to publish the post.

Setting up redirect

Now, if you visit the previous post link (http://batest874520.blogspot.in/2014/07/test-post-5.html), you will receive an error saying that the post does not exist. We have to set up a redirect from http://batest874520.blogspot.in/2014/07/test-post-5.html to http://batest874520.blogspot.in/2014/07/my-test-post-5.html.

Go to settings -> Search Preferences.

Under Errors and Redirection -> Custom Redirects, click Edit.

redirection

If you added some redirects in the past, then you will have to click the ‘New Redirect’ button to create a new URL redirection.

In the ‘from’ field, enter the old permalink and in the ‘to’ field, enter the new permalink (excluding the blog URL). In our example, the from and to fields will be

From:  /2014/07/test-post-5.html

To: /2014/07/my-test-post-5.html

Select the ‘Permanent’ check box.

Click Save and Save Changes.

adding redirect

Testing the changes

Now, if you visit http://batest874520.blogspot.in/2014/07/test-post-5.html, you will be redirected to http://batest874520.blogspot.in/2014/07/my-test-post-5.html.

Why to add redirections

There are two reasons why you should add a redirect after changing a permalink. The first is to improve user friendliness and the second is to improve seo friendliness of your site.

After you have publish the post, you might have shared it on social networking sites and other communities. When you change the permalink, the URL that you have shared will be inaccessible. This might frustrate the users. They will not bother to search for that post on your blog to read it. If such permalink changes happen frequently, then users might stop clicking on your blog links altogether.

The second reason is related to SEO. After posting the blog, you might have garnered links for it by commenting, sharing etc. When the old link gives a 404 error, all the link juice will be lost. When we set up a redirect, the link juice passes from the old page to the page. A part of it might be lost, but we are atleast left with something. It is recommended that you change the permalinks only when it is absolutely necessary.

Temporary and Permanent Redirections

You might have noticed that, we have marked the redirect as ‘Permanent’. There are two types of redirects -temporary and permanent. We use a temporary redirect when the page that we redirect is temporarily not available (or we do not wish to show it for some reason) but it will be soon restored in the near future and the redirect will be removed – it is a temporary redirect, not a permanent one. A permanent redirect is used to indicate that the page will never be available.

If a permanent redirect is used, search engines will pass the link juice from the old page to the new page. This does not happen in the case of temporary redirects.