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Sidestepping Google Sidewiki: changing URLs won’t help

October 16, 2009 One Comment

As part of the fuss over Jan Moir, the Daily Mail ended up changing the headline and the URL of its story and 301 redirecting the old URL to the new one.

Message about the original URL

Message about the original page on the new URL

I wondered what would happen to the Sidewikis written on the original URL, such as this one.

The original headline and URL were:

  • Why there was nothing natural about Stephen Gately's death
  • /femail/article-1220756/Why-natural-Stephen-Gatelys-death.html

The new headline and URL became:

  • A strange, lonely and troubling death...
  • /femail/article-1220756/A-strange-lonely-troubling-death--.html

The answer is that Google keeps the Sidewiki, and adds a message at the bottom saying "Originally about: Why there was nothing 'natural' about Stephen Gately's death | Mail Online"

So you can't defeat Sidewiki by just redirecting an old URL to a new one.

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  4. Google Sidewiki: the abuse of UK newspapers begins
  5. PCC rules on Jan Moir: a strange and troubling ruling.

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