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Traffic crash after site redesign
I was trying to make it better I thought?

 4:39 am on Jun 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

One of my sites had a lot of traffic and more Adsense revenue than I get from the rest of my site, but it had looked the same for over ten years and I also wanted to bring it in line with my other sites so I could manage it via Dreamweaver rather than having to edit the page code manually.

I was surprised after making the changes that my traffic seems to have dropped to zero right after I made the change and seems to have stayed that way for almost a week now.

How long should I leave it before changing it back to the old design?

The site is still coming up in the search results for the same terms it had before, I don't know why no one is clicking on the results now.


travelin cat

 2:45 pm on Jun 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

After the design change, did the description and/or the title change in the search engine rankings? You may have the same rankings, but one or both of these may have changed causing less people to want to click on the results.


 3:58 pm on Jun 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

The original site was pretty basic and was mainly text based.

Seems to have dropped down the list of results from the same searches. 84% of the site's traffic came from search engines so it makes a big difference.

I know Google doesn't use Metadata keywords, but would it help to have a meta description?


 4:05 pm on Jun 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

Meta description is very important - if present it's what is used for the description blurb in the SERPS and can contain keywords. Make the unique and relevant to each page.

A more important question is did any of your URL's change? If so, did you 301 rewrite/redirect them accordingly?

Also it's not unusual for your site to drop out for a while after a massive change and come back up, sometimes better, after the mod. Wait it out.


 1:00 am on Jun 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

I changed the site's design back to the old design and the traffic came back almost immediately, this was after six days in a row of zero traffic from Google.

There's a lesson in there somewhere, but I am not sure what.


 11:36 am on Jun 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

This doesn't make much sense. Your visitors didn't know you changed the site design - why wouldn't they click if your search rankings stayed the same. I would look for the problem somewhere else.


 5:57 am on Jul 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

I changed from a heavily table based layout to one using DIV blocks that may have hidden the content from the search or Google thought I was doing a sneaky page refresh to game the system and penalised it?

All the URLs and text were exactly the same on the site.

It's a lesson that in general you should not depend on search engine results for most of your traffic.

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