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Replaced my old site with brand new site

 11:40 am on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

I recently redesigned my website and changed the structure and page names. I even changed my home page from index.html to index.php. So basically its completely different.

I moved all my old files to a fold called old_website (just as backup).

But my search rankings in Google searches seems to have vanished. For instance, i would normally be place about #10 for <my main keywords>. I my site is nowhere to be seen.

I was wondering if i went about this in the right way? Also, is this just a blip while google reestablishes my website and structure?

Any help or advise, or even if any one else has similar expericnes that they could share?



[edited by: encyclo at 1:48 pm (utc) on Mar. 10, 2008]
[edit reason] no specific keywords please [/edit]



 12:46 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

It looks like you are going to have to wait for your ranking to build up again. What you must remember is that Google indexes web pages as opposed to websites.

A page called home.htm is different from one called home.php. If Google has indexed home.htm when it comes back to update it it will not be able to find it and it will be dropped from the results.


 1:09 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Just noticed that the old home page was index.php too. So this hasn't changed, and the content hasn't changed much on the home page, just the coding structure really. What else could cause the slump in the home page rankings?


 1:27 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Did you change your URLs in the process?


 1:33 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

The URLs on the homepage all changed, as the overall structure changed. Is this the problem?


 1:45 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

If you wish to retain any of the rankings that you had previously achieved you should consider using a 301 redirect from the old URLs to the new ones. This tells Google that you have permanently moved the page and any inbound link juice and PR should eventually move to the new page. If you've changed other aspects of the page, such as meta tags and content on those pages, I wouldn't expect to regain those exact positions.

If you just let things sit it could take a good deal of time and work to regain lost position.

[edited by: MadeWillis at 1:47 pm (utc) on Mar. 10, 2008]


 1:58 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Try using the Google Site operator to see what Google has in its cache for your website.



 2:48 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Just some daft gotchas that might have gotcha if you haven't been careful.

Is ther any chance the googlebot has got into /old_website . Check your logs. If it has I guess it could penalise you for dupe content.

Have you submitted a siteindex.xml to Google? If you have, you have remembered to change this haven't you?

If you have changed from tables to divs using a WYSIWYG design prog you could have completely changed the order within your pages without realising it. This may have changed the balance between density and prominence for your target terms. Have you tried a tool like gorank's keyword density analyser? You could point it at your new index.php and the old one lurking in /old_website and see what that tells you.

FWIW I reworked one of my secondary sites changing it to php from static html and got better rankings as a result. I didn't do any 301 redirects, just thought I had little to lose with it so could wait for it to find its level.

I'm working on my main site now and to be frank I'm scared stiff I'm going to do something wrong when I change over.

Good luck



 4:22 am on Mar 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

As far as the google machine is concerned it is a totally different site. The urls are different. I hope that you have links to every page on your index page.

I would be more worried that your inbound links are gonna all come up as 404's.

What about your inbound links? Are the linking to the new configuration or to the old *.html pages?

Go with the 301 like the other perrson suggested.


 8:10 am on Mar 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

Before going with the 301 he has to confirm that Google still has his old pages in its index.


 3:10 pm on Mar 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm pretty sure Google won't forget about pages they have indexed as people still notice GoogleBot trying to access pages that they dropped years ago. Regardless if Google still has the pages indexed or not he should use the 301 redirect. Inbound links are probably still pointing to those old URLs and only a 301 will fix this. Unless of course you can go to each and every page that links to you and ask them to update the link;)

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