In this post, I am going to show you how to completely change the link of a page or a post without causing any side effects.
First, you will have to understand that this is a different thing than creating a friendly link for your post. If you just want to rename your link a little in order to be more pleasant for your target readers, make sure to read this post here.
Why would you want to change your link completely?
1) Finding a better keyword
I write all of my posts only on one keyword. Now, if you’ve been through any of my SEO courses, you would know that you will need to add your keyword within the title.
Most of the time, I spend around 5-10 minutes to come up with a good keyword. However, there are times when a few days letter of a few weeks letter it happens for me to think about a more catchy keyword that one which I just used and when I analyse it within the WA Keyword tool, I see that it has better stats than the one that I am currently using.
2) Having a grammar mistake within the link
I am usually in a hurry to create posts/pages on my website since I need to learn a lot of programming for my MSc in Computer Science. Therefore, for me time is limited and sometimes I don’t check how grammatically correct my title/description/text are. Moreover, I am not an English native, therefore sometimes I might write a word in a keyword that I think that it has a different meaning that its actual meaning.
3) Using a Month or Year within your link
You see, usually, search for updated content. For example: “Best phones June 2017” or “Top 10 tips to win an interview in 2017” or anything like that. It is all good to have a title and link like this on your post, except the case when it is, in fact, December 2019.
The main side effect
Now, the worst way to solve this is to create another post or page and to copy paste the content in it. Theoretically and practically this is possible, but it comes with a great side effect.
The content will be considered as duplicate.
Data of your last post is always saved within the search engines once your post/page gets indexed. I don’t know for how long, but I still find in the google search websites that I have deleted 6-7-8 months ago.
When a search engine stumbles across the duplicate content, it will simply skip it and it will continue to index and rank what it is extra, what isn’t duplicated. Therefore, your new post/page won’t get indexed in either Google/Yahoo or Bing.
So how exactly do we change the URL of an already Google indexed post or page?
The first thing you need to do is to go to the post that you want to change the URL
Below the title, you will see the permalink. Click the Edit button. Don’t change it yet. Take some time and write the whole link down including the https//yoursite.com/ and the part that you want to edit.
Just write it on a piece of paper or somewhere on your computer for now.
Once you wrote it down, write the new termination of your link. This can be anything you want. Just make sure that it will not coincide with the ending of any other link from any post/page of your site. Don’t struggle to add the – between two words. WordPress will add it automatically.
Once you wrote the new ending down, click Ok.
My initial link: http://stanculescu-software-solutions.com/month-7-is-here
Link after changing the ending: http://stanculescu-software-solutions.com/ month-X-is-here
You’re not done yet!
Now my link indeed will be https//stanculescu-software-solutions.com/month-X-is-here .
However, now I face another problem. Let’s say that I have like 20-30-n pages or posts that link towards http://stanculescu-software-solutions.com/month-7-is-here.
Once I go on a page and click the text in order to get on http://stanculescu-software-solutions.com/month-7-is-here, it will give me an error. Because /month-7-is-here post does no longer exist. Now it is replaced with /month-x-is-here.
So, instead of spending 5 hours to change all the links to it, here’s what you can do.
First, you need to install the Pretty Links Plugin. Click on this link and scroll down to the bottom of the post in order to see the step-by-step guide.
After you activated it and clicked on Add New Link, here is what you need to do:
Insert in the Target URL the link that you have right now and in the Pretty Link gap, insert the termination of the last link.
This time, make sure to add the – between the words because it won’t be added automatically!
Don’t forget to click the Create blue button at the bottom of the page!
Now, when someone clicks on a post that links to the previous link of your post, it will get redirected to the new link.
So, are we done now?
Oh, c’mon really? What else do I need to do ?!
The last step for you is to go into the Google/Bing/Yandex Webmaster tool and to fetch the new link. This is done in order to replace the link that appears in the search engine. It doesn’t work instantaneously. You’ll have to wait a few weeks in order for it to be replaced by the Search Engine bot.