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Recently we have redesigned the whole site, but we are not sure when and how will we launch it. The database has been restructured, all codes has been rewritten, most filenames and even the site structure will be completely different.
I am really worried that once I launch the new site, all the 2000 dynamic pages will be dropped completely from the index. Will it make a difference if I leave the old script and database on the server so that when Googlebot crawls the URL he wouldn't hit a wall? Should I put links to the old pages from my new pages?
How should I approach this? What do I have to look out for? Thank you in advance.
How should I approach this?Very carefully.
What do I have to look out for?An extended period of no traffic from Google.
The good news is that if your index page is the recipient of most of your incoming links and gets a lot of traffic, that should remain relatively stable. I would try to keep the filenames the same for the static pages if possible even if you change everything else about them.
The links to the old script will be removed from where they were linked. They will be replaced by the new scripts. I was thinking I'll put the old links in my sitemap for about 3 months, so at least something will still link to them.
Does it make a difference if I leave the old scripts on the server?Any benefit gained by this must be measured by the risk of having duplicate content out there, which at best could delay indexing of the new stuff. The other problem is that anyone who could answer this for today cannot say what Google will think tomorrow. i would make the changes without worrying about Google, but be prepared for not having Google.
When we re-created our site, including file names and directory structure, it disappeared from Google.
I think the wait to "re-appear" is around 3 months, but could be more or less, depending on how the cookie crumbles.
In our case we left all the old pages up too, but it doesn't seem to make a difference.
If you have to renew your site and receive a lot of traffic from Google, I'd consider timing its re-launch with your next holiday.