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Old Site Back in SERPs Two Months After Site Migration
SEOMa3



 
Msg#: 4614758 posted 2:40 am on Oct 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

I had migrated from ABC.com to XYZ.com in July 2013. Since my brand name was changing, I had to change my domain and proper 1 to 1 301 redirects were applied.

In the whole migration process, my rankings were stable. Slowly ABC.com started moving down the SERPs and XYZ.com took over.

Tonight all of a sudden XYZ.com has moved down the SERPs drastically and ABC.com is back on the 1st page.

I did the following analysis:
- checked the redirects - they are still in place
- checked in webmaster if any penalty was levied - no message there
- I found a product page to be returning a 404 error and another product page to have 2 canonical tags with 2 different URLs
- Duplicate version of a product page was created and that has been cached.
- XYZ.com is still present in the index

Note: For many of my keywords, I was ranking for the homepage and all analysis done point out errors on products pages.

Can someone please help? I am confused now.

 

FranticFish

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4614758 posted 9:39 am on Oct 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm assuming that you didn't change urls (except the domain), content, design or anything except your name.

If you haven't, check your redirects with an HTTP header checker to make sure that the request for a url on ABC.com is routed to the url on XYZ.com in one 'hop' - i.e. not chained.

Google has confirmed that redirects lose some link juice; they've said this is as much as a link would bleed, and the original PageRank paper put the 'damping factor' at .85 (85%).

If the redirects are fine, I'd still go through all your old links, identify the best ones, and have those updated to point to XYZ.com instead.

Was your old brand name a keyword or a keyword synonym and the new brand name is not - have you possibly lost some EMD power, or keyword occurence, due to the rebrand?

If you have Social Media channels, email marketing, lots of direct traffic etc - have you made sure that your users are being referred to or asked to bookmark/visit the new site?

SEOMa3



 
Msg#: 4614758 posted 10:12 am on Oct 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Both the domain name and URLs were changed. Design was not changed. Content was slightly tweaked to incorporate the new brand name.

Redirects are in 1 hop.

One concern I had from the beginning is that my domain URL was ABC.com 302 redirects to ABC.com/default.aspx which then 301 redirects to XYZ.com/default.aspx. On the new domain, XYZ.com 302 redirects to XYZ.com/default.aspx

Yes, I know some link juice is lost. But I had started ranking for my new domains and it was there for a good 2 months on page 1.

Mine is an e-commerce website with 3 products. I don't think redirecting a product page to the homepage would be a wise idea. Moreover they had been 301 redirected to the respective new pages 2 months back and I assume a good amount of link juice must have already transferred there.

Yes, my old brand name was keyword. The new brand name is not a keyword. I would agree that some EMD power must have lost but I am also seeing that I ranked for a good 2 months.

Using SM, EM etc, the users are being told to bookmark the new website.

I would like to point out, I have lost rankings for my new domain name but that actually has been transferred to my old domain on which its been more than 2 months that 301 redirects have been placed.

FranticFish

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4614758 posted 10:55 am on Oct 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

This could be related to the Penguin 2.1 rollout - see [webmasterworld.com...]

Regardless, I'd fix the 302 / 301 / 302 hash. It shouldn't be too tricky and is one thing you can then rule out - avoiding being a false positive for a sneaky redirect of some sort.

If you're on Linux, head over to the Apache forum. If you're on Windows then you can now do this in IIS7 I believe.

On the new site, make sure that your 'home' links, wherever they are (breadcrumb, nav, in-page - the LOT) all point to / and then implement a 301 from /default.aspx to /

Then make sure that both /default.aspx and / on the old site point via a 301 to / on the new site.

This might not be the cause as you could have possibly lost due to other areas you confirmed (and bear in mind that you don't have to necessarily lose to see drops, others just win instead) but you really need to be able to rule this out IMO - it's just best practice.

aakk9999

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4614758 posted 9:09 am on Oct 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

On the new domain, XYZ.com 302 redirects to XYZ.com/default.aspx

So you have ABC.com --301--> XYZ.com --302--> XYZ.com/default.aspx

Can you do without the last 302 redirect? This can be done in setting up default.aspx to be default page in your web.config:
<defaultDocument>
<files>
<clear />
<add value="default.aspx" />
</files>
</defaultDocument>

As FranticFish says, then you should:
On the new site, make sure that your 'home' links, wherever they are (breadcrumb, nav, in-page - the LOT) all point to / and then implement a 301 from /default.aspx to /

Then make sure that both /default.aspx and / on the old site point via a 301 to / on the new site.


Tonight all of a sudden XYZ.com has moved down the SERPs drastically and ABC.com is back on the 1st page.

This happened to me few years ago with a domain move, and also couple of months after the move was executed. It took Google few weeks to sort it out again.

SEOMa3



 
Msg#: 4614758 posted 9:22 am on Oct 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

So you have ABC.com --301--> XYZ.com --302--> XYZ.com/default.aspx


No, this is not the case. It is this way:

ABC.com --302--> ABC.com/default.aspx --301--> XYZ.com --302--> XYZ.com/default.aspx

nettulf



 
Msg#: 4614758 posted 9:40 am on Oct 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Maybe related, I see googlebot is going crazy hammering a lot of pages that was deleted a long time ago. There is more than 17.000 googlebot hits a day now on the old deleted pages (even returning 410 gone), this on a site that use to have 40-50 crawls a day. These crawls started September 17. I was thinking some old dataset popped up in connection with the latest updates, and that is what you are seeing.

kellyman



 
Msg#: 4614758 posted 9:46 am on Oct 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Sounds like to me the 301 has been lost in translation somewhere,

Why is there a need for 302 to a default page? as when you look at it from a search engine prospect theres 4 redirects from start to finish

as FranticFish mentioned there was the penguin 2.1 role out and coincidently one of my sites that had 2 site 301 to it dropped massively so im wondering if there is anything in that update in regard to 301

That said still puzzled as to the 302 part, could that stage especially on the old site be removed that way your losing 1 hop

aakk9999

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4614758 posted 12:54 pm on Oct 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

No, this is not the case. It is this way:

ABC.com --302--> ABC.com/default.aspx --301--> XYZ.com --302--> XYZ.com/default.aspx

This may be the reason for ABC.com returning to index since Google may be ignoring redirect since the first in chain is 302.

You need to have the following setup for the home page redirects:
ABC.com/ --301--> XYZ.com/
ABC.com/default.aspx --301--> XYZ.com/
XYZ.com/default.aspx --310--> XYZ.com/

And on XYZ.com for home page internally link to / (and not to /default.aspx)

Because as kellyman said:
Sounds like to me the 301 has been lost in translation somewhere

kellyman



 
Msg#: 4614758 posted 1:00 pm on Oct 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

As he said above ^^^^^^^^^^^

aakk9999

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4614758 posted 1:01 pm on Oct 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Agreed :)

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