During a redesign of my site (which covers London theatre, so lists thousands of actors and shows) my developer changed the URL structure, so that the thousands of URLs in the Google index are now wrong. Obviously this is bad. It feels to me like there are too many to contemplate redirects for all of them. I assume it will take a lot of work to repair this - but where do I start? For now I've uploaded a new sitemap and attempted a kludge of using Webmaster tools that URLs using the old structure used parameters, so it should forget all but one of them - but I'm not sure if I'm missing another way to start fixing things.
You dismissed the most important piece: the first place to start is the redirects. It will take work, but probably not nearly as much as you think. It can be done in a more dynamic fashion assuming the data used for the URLs was pulled from the database. I just helped a website with over 2 million URLs of many different formats create these redirects. In this case it was ahead of time, but we can map it out together if you need help. I know this is time sensitive and no one has responded with an answer yet, so if you need a call ASAP let me know and I'll try to flex around your time. We'll also briefly cover other strategies you should implement to get back in good stead with Google.
Answered 8 years ago