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Steps to change website from scratch
Bible of creating / redesign / upgrading website
dupac




msg:733102
 6:47 pm on May 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

My site needs a major overhaul. This site is an old site but is not that SE friendly. I think I would have to do a good job in changing things so that the site is more SE friendly. Do we have a list of things to look for while major overhauling of a big site.

My points are
1) Relevant Title
2) Relevant Meta tags
3) Internal linking
4) Content
5) Page size 500k or 100k? still not sure

What are the other things I should take in to consideration while changing. Also I am scared of making these many changes bc i heard Mr G can get mad and penalize me. Now stuck with the problem of changing things and time constraints.

What is the optimal time for the implementing of all these changes such that i dont go in bad book of G

 

dupac




msg:733103
 8:51 pm on May 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Any thoughts or inputs on this guys?

rainborick




msg:733104
 9:09 pm on May 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would suggest that one of the most important things you can do is to keep the URLs/file names unchanged - particularly for your major category pages. A new URL or file name starts from scratch in many ways, and so you'll maximize your efforts by redesigning the content while retaining the position of your most important pages. A major redesign often entails an unavoidable restructuring of the links and other changes, but you can ease the disruption by relying on URLs/pages that are already firmly established in the search engines as a foundation for the new design. Good luck!

Reid




msg:733105
 5:42 am on May 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would agree with rainboric

What is the optimal time for the implementing of all these changes such that i dont go in bad book of G


Ive made at least 4 global changes over the last six months including re-arranging link structure, adding external stylesheets (removing font tags adding custom h and b tags)
adding several affilliates , removing several affiliates, adding adsense, changing footers, splitting pages, appending pages together

and google still loves me, although I was in the sandbox for 2 global changes my traffic is on a steady upward climb over the past 4 months.

PatrickDeese




msg:733106
 6:09 am on May 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would be sure to use includes for common elements in this version - this will save you tons of time doing things like changing ads / advertisers, navigation bars, your copyright year, and more.

> 5) Page size 500k or 100k? still not sure

I assume you meant 50K or 100K. 100 K is the absolute largest any file should be, however, 50K is still a very large file size for an average, everyday page.

Most of my info sites' pages average 10 - 18K, with images.

mblair




msg:733107
 6:14 am on May 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

For whatever URLs in your site that you deem important but circumstances require changing, try to set up some kind of 301 redirects.

You might want to do a search in Yahoo for links to your site so that you can see what pages people have linked to. You'll definitely want redirects for those if you want to retain that traffic and keep whatever PR you have earned flowing from your inbound links.

Reid




msg:733108
 10:08 am on May 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

I recommend 2 things to SEO your site.

1. read and implement this WW classic
[webmasterworld.com...]

2 View the site with a googlebot simulator like 'poodle predictor' and make sure it crawls well
2a validate robots.txt or make sure the robots exclusions are in order

fjpapaleo




msg:733109
 12:16 pm on May 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm going through a similar situation. Redesigning a fairly large site. One thing I'm not sure of; Site's about a year old. About half way through the site I realized I should be naming my url's widgets-blue as opposed to widgets_blue. Now half my site uses one style and half the other. Since I'm going through and redisigning all the pages anyway I'm wondering if it's worth it to change the url and use a redirect just for the consistency if nothing else. These are all internal pages with no inbound links so I'm not worried about that. Or am I just asking for trouble? Does it even matter?
Any thoughts?

dupac




msg:733110
 12:31 pm on May 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks a lot for the suggestions guys. One of the main issue I am facing is that at present my site is in cfm and i want to change to .php. Now all of my urls will change. So what are the suggestions related to this issue?
Also if I do 301 redirect from my cfm to the php page will google give the php same weightage?

mrMister




msg:733111
 1:41 pm on May 16, 2005 (gmt 0)


One of the main issue I am facing is that at present my site is in cfm and i want to change to .php. Now all of my urls will change.

There is a very big lesson to be learned from the mistake you made...

Cool URIs don't change [w3.org]

You should not use technology specific extensions in your URIs.

I'm assuming that at the moment your URIs look like this...

[example.com...]

Rather than changing this to:

[example.com...]

You should change it to:

[example.com...]

This way, when another language comes into vogue and you want to switch, you won't have to change your URIs

walkman




msg:733112
 2:44 pm on May 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Bible of creating / redesign / upgrading website"

1. You MUST create it in 6 (six) days. Not seven, not five :)

2. Other than the title, other metas really don't matter that much.

3. Home > Category > Subcategory > Page

4. If possible, have like a related pages feature, where 5-10 pages are linked from each page, this ensures that every pages has enough links to it.

dupac




msg:733113
 3:13 pm on May 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

mrMister I understand your concept but what if i have lot of products under a category.
e.g.
home> widget1 > product 1, 2,3 4,..

home> widget2 > product 1,2,3,4,...

In this care i need a url like www.mysite.com/widget1/product1.php
www.mysite.com/widget1/product2.php

www.mysite.com/widget2/product1.php
www.mysite.com/widget2/product2.php

So what should i do in this case?

PatrickDeese




msg:733114
 3:46 pm on May 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

> So what should i do in this case?

You should see if you can get your server to parse .cfm for php in .htaccess - that way you don't have to lose your indexed pages, but you can switch to php technology.

Most of my sites use php in html files, by adding this line to the htaccess file:

AddHandler application/x-httpd-php .shtml .htm .html

I am sure adding .cfm to that list will work fine.

SEOtop10




msg:733115
 5:25 pm on May 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

PD has given a great suggestion. If you add CFM to the handler line and that can be parsed as PHP, you can easily retain your old URLs.

Otherwise, you will end up putting 301 redirects on all CFM URLs.

SEOtop10




msg:733116
 5:27 pm on May 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have a question related to "Cool URIs don't change". I wanted to implement tis on my site but realised that I will be making a sub-directory for every page. Isn't it too much cumbersome?

How do you handle this?

MrFishGuy




msg:733117
 9:57 pm on May 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

A few months ago I did a major, drastic, global change to one of my ecommerce sites. It was my first site and I made all the rookie mistakes, frames, flash navigation, java shopping cart, etc... The only thing was, Google really liked it. I always ranked in the top 10 for my most competitive keywords, and number one for most of my product pages, and I didn't want to lose that.

I posted a question on WebmasterWorld as to how to go about changing it to make it better for my visiters without losing Google rankings, and got many good suggestions, like doing it in stages.

I finally decided to do things based on the mantra of WebMasterWorld. Build it for the visiters, not the search engines. Based on that, I rebuilt the entire site at once. The only thing I did not change was the names and locations of the pages. I hoped(prayed) that Google would have mercy on my site.

I was rewarded with now being in the top 5 for my most competitive keywords, and still being number 1 for most of my product pages. My amount of sales have gone way up, with more people buying more things per order.

My advice is the same advice that's been repeated here for years. Build your site for the visiters and the search engines will find you and reward you.

jd01




msg:733118
 10:12 pm on May 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> How do you handle this?

I think the add handler type is great advice, and as far as creating sub-directories, etc... mod_rewrite is your friend - you don't actually need to create directories, just the links to them... then use mod_rewrite to take care of the serving/content portion from your .php pages.

Justin

dupac




msg:733119
 12:35 pm on May 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

If I have to change from .cfm to .net then what are the complications. How can I retain my pages but still use .net technology.
I have to do this as required by my client, but i am not sure what procedure or method to apply so that i dont loose the page already indexed in search engines.

mrMister




msg:733120
 1:19 pm on May 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

If I have to change from .cfm to .net then what are the complications. How can I retain my pages but still use .net technology.

You don't have to change from .cfm to .net (or .aspx for that matter)

You need to associate the .cfm extension with the asp.net dll. You can do this in the IIS console.

Then your .cfm pages will execute as if they were .aspx pages.

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