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[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 9:24 pm (utc) on Sep 30, 2010]
[edit reason] fixed formatting [/edit]
One thing I briefly suspected was the sitewide link to return to the homepage is coded as "index.html," so I thought that may be a problem. But index.html 301's to www.example.com as well, so I no longer suspect it's an issue.
<li class="secondary" onmouseover="this.className+=' overa';" onmouseout="this.className=this.className.replace(' overa', '');"><a href="link_target.html" class="secondarya">Anchor Text Here</a></li>
In terms of the title tag, I just now noticed that there were minor changes made between the old design and the relaunch. One thing that changed was that a "by Company Name" that used to conclude all the title tags on the old site did not get ported over to the new design. A two-word keyphrase was added to the end of the new title tag as well, so I guess overall the count stayed roughly the same. Could that cause a significant difference?
I will see what the designer can do in terms of locating this stuff externally.
In general, time on page is up, conversion rate is up, and bounce rate down...
How is the number of conversions doing?
I lived in GWT post-launch.
And found oodles of stuff that needed fixing: a plethora of 404s, bad URLs in the XML sitemap, etc. etc.
Interesting info about the malformed rewrite. I haven't looked at the .htaccess file since the redesign (assuming nothing changed in it, since there was no need to change anything), but I think I may need to do that stat since so many other assumptions I've had about the redesign have proven no to be the case.
We tried to get the client to send us raw access logs, but the client either doesn't know how to give us them or is reluctant to do so. I will ask again and see what he has to say.
From GWT though, crawler activity spiked in the days/weeks immediately following the redesign.
They have since dropped to regular levels, but it still seems like pages crawled/day and KB DLed /day are up since before the redesign launch.
The site also slowed down significantly following the redesign. Load time (according to GWT) averaged around 2sec/page pre-launch, and jumped to around 3.5sec/page post-launch. Some of this I figure is increased product image/links on pages (which I'll be recommending be edited down to fewer pics/links).
Most important - does the domain root (www.example.com or example.com) resolve directly without any redirects?
GET / HTTP/1.1
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv:220.127.116.11) Gecko/20100914 Firefox/3.6.10 GTB7.1 ( .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET4.0C)
• Finding host IP address...
• Host IP address = x
• Finding TCP protocol...
• Binding to local socket...
• Connecting to host...
• Sending request...
• Waiting for response...
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 3.2//EN">
<body> http://specs.openid.net/auth/2.0/return_to http://www.domain.com/ystore/openid/FinishAuth </body>
Are both the links going to the same page? Image and text links?
Slow things down a little, you need to make sure Google is absorbing all of your changes sitewide before making new changes else you may do the right thing and take it apart thinking it's not working.
Here's a tip. Add a noarchive meta tag when you make a change.
[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 8:03 pm (utc) on Oct 6, 2010]
[edit reason] broke line of code to fix side-scrolling [/edit]
@bbarbeau - is the home page back to where it should be now? Looks like it is from where I am looking (UK)