I'm rebuilding a few bespoke sites using a CMS. There is quite a lot of flexibility but it might be a bit of a stretch to maintain some of my existing URLs. A lot of these use uppercase and underscores.
I'm very tempted to move over to all lowercase and hyphenated and put in 301s.
Will this kill my traffic or can I benefit long term if managed correctly.
I've been reading this forum for several years and I can't remember anyone, ever, reporting significant SEO effects purely from changing URLs and nothing else. Admittedly it's hard to get non-anecdotal evidence, since it's not as if you could set up a large control group...
I'm more concerned about the downside in terms of long standing links and social media "likes" etc.
I read somewhere that 301 redirects are equivalent to 90% of the original link, not sure if this is true. So I'm just trying to weigh up if the 'better' URLs plus addition of features like sitemaps and other improvements would balance this out.