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Changing structure of site, all at once or a little bit at a time?

     
7:05 am on Jan 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm restructuring my site. Not the URL structure but the structure of the pages. Does it matter to SEO if I do it all at once or a little bit at a time? Does it matter to SEO at all if the content is the same? Some sites, mine included, have different content all the time. I'm assuming that Google is smart enough to notice that some parts of a page are the same all the time versus the parts that change. So it must note the structure versus the content served by that structure. Does changing the structure effect SEO? If so, should I save all the changes and do it all at once or is it OK to do it a little bit at a time?
9:54 am on Jan 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Yes, it does affect SEO. Most importantly you need to remember to redirect according to your new structure, if you move or delete pages. And, I would personally prepare and switch it all at once.
11:37 am on Jan 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Not the URL structure but the structure of the pages.


So, basically, you are changing the on-page information as needs be, refreshing, updating, deleting and adding?

This is what many sites do and Google likes that.

Does it matter to SEO at all if the content is the same?


I don't understand, surely you don't mean duplicates?

If you mean that many pages have the same/ similar layouts and content, that's completely normal, that's one's basic template page.

Does changing the structure effect SEO?


Only if you change it drastically, modifying, updating and tweaking are, at least for me, every day modifications, not all pages at the same time however over a year or so I will improve many pages with extra information or better images.
1:12 pm on Jan 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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If I change the layout of the pages I usually do it a section at a time as each section is different (for my site that would be third of it roughly). You will see a large spike in Googlebot when it detects the change over the next few days but then things go back to normal. Visitor traffic usually does not change.
1:36 pm on Jan 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I did exactly what the OP is describing about a year ago, it did not go well. I lost half my traffic almost instantly. My site update, last March, coincided almost to the day with a major Google algo update. It is unclear what was the cause of my site's demise. Really there is no way to be sure. Many things can go wrong, one can have implementation bugs that are not immediately visible, one can mess up redirects and many other issues.

The safest way to do this is with a pseudo A-B test, where one changes some pages and compares their performance against the old layout. One can do this in small blocks of pages, if the first block performs as expected, one moves on to the next. If things don't go as planned, then one make the changes and test without impacting the entire website's performance. Once one is confident that everything is working and that Googlebot and other good bots are okay with the change then one can make the full switch.

Good luck....
2:14 am on Jan 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Thanks everyone for the replies.

@RedBar, I mean the content will be the same between the new and old structures. Not that the content will be the same across pages. In a super simple example, current structure is <menu> and then "Dogs are the best people." The new structure would be "Dogs are the best people." and the <menu>. Same content, just laid out on the page differently.