I am operating a classified page similar to craigslist with about 1.3 Mio PI - until the day before yesterday. After a url structure change the site droped significantly within google rankings. After I discovered this, I found the first flaw which was a 302 redirect to the new URL instead of 301. This has been changed now to 301.
The changes can be sumed up into follwing: old: /classifieds/houses.htm new: /houses.htm
This means basicly, that all files are inside the root directory.
Here are my questions: 1) Will the rankings recover and if, how long will it take? 2) Is the new structure better then the old one? A bit late to ask, I know! 3) Should I go back to the old structure? Google is already crawling the page strongly.
1) Will the rankings recover and if, how long will it take?
Any links that pointed to your original link structure and going to send less link juice via the redirects you have in place... so all other things being equal, your rankings may not quite recover to their original positions.