What Are the Best Practices for Updating Links to Maintain Effective Spidering?


Maintaining effective spidering when updating links involves best practices such as using 301 redirects, updating internal links, monitoring crawl errors, and ensuring your sitemap is current. These strategies help search engine bots understand and index your updated content correctly. Here’s a comprehensive guide to maintain effective spidering when updating links.

Use 301 Redirects

Implementing 301 redirects ensures that search engines and users are directed to the new URL. This signals to search engines that the content has permanently moved, transferring the SEO value from the old URL to the new one.


To maintain link equity and user experience, update all internal links pointing to the old URL. This includes links within your website's content, navigation menus, footer links, and any other internal references.


Monitor Crawl Errors

Use Google Search Console or similar tools to monitor crawl errors and ensure that your new URLs are being indexed correctly. Fix any broken links and monitor 404 errors to maintain SEO effectiveness.


Update Your Sitemap

After updating your links, ensure that your XML sitemap reflects these changes. Submit the updated sitemap to search engines to help them discover and index your new URLs more efficiently.


Use Canonical Tags

If the old URLs are still accessible, use canonical tags on the old pages to point to the new URLs. This helps search engines understand the preferred URL for indexing and prevents duplicate content issues.


Reach out to website owners who link to your old URLs and ask them to update their links to point to the new URLs. This helps retain the SEO value of inbound links.



Example: Implementing a 301 Redirect

In your .htaccess file, you can add the following line to redirect an old URL to a new URL:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteRule ^old-page$ /new-page [R=301,L]


If you need to update internal links, replace old URLs with new URLs in your site's content management system (CMS). For WordPress, you can use the "Better Search Replace" plugin to automate this process.



Effective spidering when updating links involves a strategic approach that includes implementing 301 redirects, updating internal links, monitoring crawl errors, keeping sitemaps up-to-date, using canonical tags, and updating backlinks. By adhering to these best practices, you can help ensure search engines correctly index your updated URLs and maintain your website's SEO performance.