We have a couple of clients that have changed their company name since we first built their web sites way back when. The companies now wish to use new url's (already set up as alias's) for these sites to reflect their new name. The original existing url has been indexed fairly comprehensively in Google. The clients want the original url's to no longer be indexed by the search engines. They want Google to only index the domain name we have set up as an alias.
What is the easiest way to swap over to using the new domain with out dropping out of the Google index for a protracted period of time.
Thanks Yours Willie Whelan
That actually depends on the size of the site.
If you're working on a large site and you simply stick in a 301 there's a very good chance you will see substantial content disappear from Google.
301 is perfect for page-to-page, and multiple-pages-to-new-root, but there are quite a few issues that come into play when it comes to redirecting deep content on a page-by-page basis.
Larger sites need managed redirection - do it in one go and prepare for quite serious issues.
You'll have to do a 301 redirect and bite the bullet in the short run.
everyone above is absolutely correct...
if your server supports .htaccess use that to redirect all the old pages to relevant new pages on the new server
301 redirect is the most efficient and Search Engine Friendly method for webpage redirection. It's not that hard to implement and it should preserve your search engine rankings for that particular page. If you have to change file names or move pages around, it's the safest option. The code "301" is interpreted as "moved permanently".