After reading Jeff Atwood’s recent post about URL rewriting to prevent duplicate URLs, I started to look at my own site’s redirections, specifically with regards to Google’s page rank. The first thing I noticed was that I had two different page ranks for this site. had a page rank of 3, whilst had a page rank of zero, even though I’ve never really used the version of the url.

Jeff’s ISAPI rewrite rules were helpful, but were not going to work on an Apache server. The Apache docs for the URL rewriting engine were very detailed, but a little too verbose to glean which exact rules I needed. Luckily, the Search Engine Promotion Help site has an example of exactly what I was after.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.adrianbanks\.co\.uk [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^report\.adrianbanks\.co\.uk [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$1 [L,R=301]

The only alteration I had to make was to add in an extra line to stop any subdomains of my site being redirected to the main site.

Now for a quick explanation of how the rules work:

  • The RewriteRule will only run if all of the preceding rewrite conditions (RewriteCond) are true.
  • Line 1 turns on the rewrite engine in Apache.
  • Line 2 will be true if the host url is not
  • Line 3 will be true if the host url is not (this is my alteration for my subdomain).
  • Line 4 will be true if the host url is not empty.

Only if all of these conditions are met will the rule run.

Having made this change, the page rank for has now jumped to up 3.