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Converting to CMS - can it cause ranking problems? sthomaspan
I've been tasked with taking an existing site of about 600 static pages and redesigning it and implementing a CMS.
The site has been around for a little over two years and has been climbing the serp's due to a large manual effort of optimizing every page.
My concern is that all of the static page url's that are linked to and indexed by Google will be replaced with the url outputted by the CMS.
I know there are ways to redirect and I could hypothetically keep all of the static (old) pages on the server and then also have the CMS, but I assume I could run into a penalty doing that?
Does anyone have an opinion on what converting to a CMS will do to my rankings?
Better than an opinion, I have experience. Back in March I took a 600 page static site and converted it to a CMS, using 301 redirects.
Although I slipped a few places for my main keyword, traffic overall has been at a record high. And that single keyword looks like it's coming back as well.
Say you keep the old pages as they are on the server.
And then your CMS is there, managing the new pages.
The old pages are linked to the new CMS pages in some sensible manner.
If your new CMS pages do not contain the same text content as the old pages, you will have no problem.
It can cause ranking problems if all your URLs suddenly change.
So why not implement from the outset a CMS that allows SEF URLs and keep them the same as those on the static pages? Google shouldn't notice any difference.
I was thinking that, but many of the pages would end up having similar, if not duplicated, content. Do the pages have to be exactly the same to get a penalty?
Why on earth would you want to preserve copies of the old pages? A permanent 301 redirect is the most effective and the accepted way to send your readers to new pages and to tell Google to transfer the PR of the old pages to the new ones.