Many web page owners utilize page redirection methods. You rename a page on your web page, for whatever motive. Perhaps you decided to restore your entire naming convention, perhaps you decided to restructure your site and need to move pages into different folders, or you just realized that you are missing valuable keywords.
Let’s elaborate a bit on the key phrases concern, since it is part of your search engine optimization ranking success. Let’s say the page in question is about customized clothing and you named it page1.htm. Then you read some SEO articles and you found out that some search engines use words in the actual file name as search keywords. Next time you do a Google search, take a look at the results, most will have words in the actual file name (in the URL section) bolded, denoting a keyword match. Now that you renamed your page, you just created a symphony of issues for yourself, for your users and for your position in search engine results.
You will have got to point every link on your page to the new page name. If your site is small, it should not be a big deal, but if your page is large, you will inevitably make mistakes, mainly forgetting a link or two. This will result in visitors getting the dreaded “404 page not found” error when clicking on your links, robots (also know as crawlers or spiders) avoiding you, etc. Also, if you are heavily relying on visitors from search engines, then again, people will get a “404 page not found error”.
Let’s apply the previous example, for a long time your page1.htm was indexed by major search engines. If someone types “kleider ” which means dresses in English language in a search engine box, your page shows up on the first search results screen. That is fantastic, only if someone clicks on the link, they will be pointed to page1.htm, not to kleider.htm, because the first page is the one in the search engine’s index. It will take time, sometimes months, before the search engines update their indexes with your new page name.
Google developed a proprietary algorithm that assigns a Page Rank (PR) to every page on the web. PR is a number from 1 to 10 (10 being the ideal) and is intended to be a representation of how useful and popular a given page is. PR is influenced by many factors, one of the crucial ones being Link Popularity. Link Popularity is a representation of how many “quality” or “relevant” sites link to your page.
When you rename a page and discard the old page, you also discard the PR of the page. Your renamed page will be seen as a totally new page, with 0 PR. I will start by enumerating some of the techniques used by the non-initiated.
If you do not have access to the server, ask your host to point you into the right direction. In conclusion, the best and the most transparent way (to both human and robotic users) to rename and move files on your web site, while preserving your search engine ranks is the 301 redirect.