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Permalinks, Switching and SERPS Help



6:37 pm on Mar 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Hi guys;

I'd appreciate your thoughts and feedback on something I've been struggling with.

I have a HTML theme repository site - when I initially built the site, the permalink structure was based on "/best-xxxxx-themes-2013".

At the start of the year, it dawned upon me that having a dated permalink might not have been the best idea, going into 2014+ so I went and created new pages at a higherlevel "/html-xxxx-themes" - with new and daily updated content.

I had interlinked those pages such that "/html-xxxxx-themes-2013" would act like an archive, and "/html-xxxx-themes" would be the main page going forward.

But it's been almost 2 month now and not only have my initial rankings for the "/best-xxxxx-themes-2013" been slipping from page 1- no doubt from lack of updates, but the main page "/html-xxxx-themes" is not showing up even in the most detailed of KW searches.

If i KW search for "my-site-brand + html xxxx themes", it does not even display, it still just shows other other pages with + best xxxx themes 2013.
- All sitemaps have long been submitted since 2 month ago
- All pages are indexed and being crawled daily
- If i google the URL for "/html-xxxx-themes" directly, it DOES show, and even with the most recent crawled date of when the site was last updated.
- All individual themes Ive added at the same time period has otherwise shown up.
- Onsite SEO is optimized

Does google see this as "duplicate content" or something and is not showing it on searches?
Should I revert back to my old structure and just continue to update the "/best-xxxxx-themes-2013" posts and try to gain back lost rankings?
Or is there a better way to still keep my link juices from before and just structure it differently?
Or do I just really need to wait longer?

This is now going into the 3rd month now and I'm getting kind of scared that if I dont take some action, things will got worse as my old pages loose more rank, and my new pages still wont show.

I very much appreciate any constructive feedback guys and your expertise!


7:17 pm on Mar 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Welcome to WebmasterWorld, cerentine!

Assuming that the /best-xxxxx-themes-2013 is a page that lists various themes which each can be clicked upon - what happens with your theme URLs? Do/did they have /best-xxxxx-themes-2013 in the URL path? I.e. do you have:


or are your themes URLs without the category path? That is, do you instead have:


I presume that regardless of what you do short term, the long term you do not want -2013 in URL. The solution and the risk of implementing is different depending on whether 2013 is part of each theme URL or not.


7:59 pm on Mar 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Hi! Thank you for the welcome - definitely great to finally register after lurking around for so long. I very much appreciate the quick reply.

Yes, the individual themes have their own separate structure:

The biggest affect and concern is that:
1) all rankings and link juice are with the www.example.com/best-xxxxx-themes-2013/

2) the new structure
don't seen to be showing up in the results even when using a very "name xxxx themes" kw search, even though they are indexed and crawled daily.

I would be less worried if the new structure actually started showing up in such specific kw searches properly - at least it means it has a hope to be ranked eventually! Does google put low priority on displaying www.example.com/xxxxx-themes/ when there is already a www.example.com/best-xxxxx-themes-2013/ even though the content is different?

Or have I been actually been screwing myself up by overthinking from the start: does having a dated permalink structure even really matter for SERPS and ranking (When no one technically searches by year in this niche to begin with). It definately might look weird for people in 2016 to see a link still with 2013 in it, but feels a shame to give up a whole years of work and those rankings.

[edited by: aakk9999 at 12:30 am (utc) on Mar 6, 2014]
[edit reason] replaced .name. with .example. as .name. is a working domain [/edit]


12:34 am on Mar 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I do agree that having -2013 in URL may make it dated and in fact the longer you leave it, the harder the move will be.

It is good that individual themes have their own separate URL structure and therefore do not have -2013 in the URL path. Have you considered just changing that one URL to drop -2013 and installing a redirect from the old URL with -2013 to a new one? To me this would be the least risk approach.

Since you have in a meantime done this other changes, what I would do is:

- revert back and wait for ranking to (hopefully) return and stabilise
- then change /best-xxxxx-themes-2013/ to /best-xxxxx-themes/ (including changing internal links to point to URL with no year)
- implement redirect from /best-xxxxx-themes-2013/ to /best-xxxxx-themes/

Only then when this stabilises I would consider creating a new Archive URL where I would move some themes little by little as they become older (and not all at once).


1:34 am on Mar 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Interesting. 301's was something that I forgot about.

There's many pages like that but I will definitely give it a try.

Thanks a lot for your assistance! I'll update this thread with how things turn out for anyone looking into 301's and redirecting later on.

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