Moving your blog from Blogger to WordPress is an easy task; but correcting your wordpress permalinks after moving could be an herculean task to accomplish. A lot of tutorials abound on how to correct your wordpress permalinks, but unfortunately, things don’t always work in a stereotyped manner.
Having to correct my permalinks after I migrated from Blogger to WordPress was no easy job. I followed all the recommended steps yet things didn’t work out as expected. I used the ‘Blogger importer, Blogger to WordPress and Broken links checker’ plugins and made sure nothing was left undone. I was happy I had done all I thought should be done. However, hours/days later, a lot of broken links began to show up and I started getting error messages on my Google webmaster tools account. Specifically, I got this message from Google “Google detected a significant increase in the number of URLs that return a 404 (Page Not Found) error. Investigating these errors and fixing them where appropriate ensures that Google can successfully crawl your site’s pages”.
Even though Google tried to assure me that the problem wasn’t dangerous for my site, I knew there was trouble. A lot of webmasters have faced similar situations and have been trying to get solutions to this kind of problem.
Why Worry About WordPress Permalinks?
Any problem with your permalinks would automatically present with one or both of these problems:
1. Search engines cannot crawl your site correctly
2. Sites linking to your site would have broken links; so anybody trying to reach your site through the links would receive a permalinks 404 error message.
If these problems persist the search engines would crawl your site less and less, and human visit would also reduce automatically leading to a drop in your ranking and subsequently in revenue.
Why The WordPress Permalinks problems?
Blogger has a different URL structure from WordPress. Why the wordpress URL is generally structured in this format, sitename/post title/, Blogger’s is in the format: Sitename/year/month/post title. This automatically makes blogger URL longer and part of the post title cut off. This problem has led to some webmasters using custom permalinks in their Blogger post editor to change and add fairly meaningful titles to their post URL to make it easier for search purposes.
What is the implication of this?
When you move your blog from Blogger, it is easier to correct your wordpress permalinks if you have not hitherto used the Blogger custom permalinks to change the post URL. But if you did change the original URL then correcting your permalinks in wordpress blog admin area would make no real meaning as the URL you manually added on Blogger is different from the original blogger structure.
How to manually correct the wordpress permalinks
Before you think of correcting the errors, there is one basic thing you must do. You have to set your permalinks. To do this, go to your blog dashboard, then settings and then ’Permalinks’. Check ‘Custom structure’ and then paste this code in the space provided /%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html
It would change worldpress Permalinks structure to look like that of Blogger. Whatever you post thereafter would look like as it used to be with a Blogger URL.
There are at least three easy ways to find out what your old Blogger permalinks were, especially if you moved your blog without writing down all the post URLs. First you can use Google+ if you have been posting your blog directly to your Google+ page. Simply go to your Google+ account and type the title (not URL) of each post one after the other into the search box located on your top panel. Google + would do a search and fetch out the posts as you submitted them in the past. Take a look at the URL carefully and note down the part after 2012/12, 2013/01, 2012/09,etc and copy down that part. For instance take a look at these two URLs; (http://www.bizsuccessguide.com/2012/12/what-do-you-want-your-business-to-be-famous-for.html
and http://www.bizsuccessguide.com/2012/12/make-your-business-famous.html); they both link to the same post. You can see the former is the newly configured WordPress URL (to look like that of Blogger) while the latter is the old Blogger URL that was configured with the Blogger custom permalinks.
Now that you have seen the URL on your Google+ page simply go back to your WordPress page and look for the same post and click ‘Edit’ and the post editor is set to edit the post. At the top of the post editor, click on the ‘edit’ button that is below the Permalinks of the URL to change the URL from the first one to the new shorter one. Simply locate the last portion of the URL after the date and delete whatever is not included in that new URL so that it should look exactly like this: “make-your-business-famous”. Remember to also cut out the ‘html’ portion (html is set by default) so that your URL would not be .html.html
Check to see that every other thing is okay on the post editor and then click on the ‘Update’ button to make your new permalinks live. The beauty of the whole thing is that after making the correction, both URLs now link to the same post. So whichever is clicked from any website would still direct the person to the same post.
The second method is to check on your social bookmark sites such as stumbleupon and check for all your bookmarked posts. Usually, the stumbleupon link would look like this: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1R2QAT/www.bizsuccessguide.com/2012/10/rules-for-blogging-beginners.html/ All you need do is cut out the first portion before the ‘www’ then add ‘http://’ before the ‘www’ if that the structure of your URL, otherwise leave without the ‘http’. The rest steps are the same as we did in the first guide. Edit it and update.
The last step is to go to your Webmaster tools account to check for crawl errors. All the malfunctioning URLs would be listed by Google and then you also see the link as per the first step with the Google+ posts. Do the same thing as we did in step one and get them corrected.