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Can I hurt a website's SEO by adding a complex web design?

old and ugly design but once redesigned...what's going to happen?

1:15 am on Feb 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Hello guys,
Let's say I found a client who wants a brand new redesigned website (from the old plain html one). Once I add all the new content: JavaScript dropdowns, CSS, and a bit of flash on the homepage. Will all that hurt his/her ranking?
I know basic SEO, so I know I have to be limited with the flash, include good meta tags (keywords, description), well written keyword content for the internal links, and have external CSS and JavaScript but still, is it possible to maintain it or not to hurt it so much?

Thank you
11:52 pm on Feb 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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You aren't going to alter the core content signifantly, just rearrange it and add some bells and whistles, a little window dressing so that in itself shouldn't have much of an effect on things ranking wise. Going from HTML to CSS usually means a good thing provided it is done cleanly. If you were to be going from HTML to server generated HTML there would most likely be some issues to resolve but all in all, in your case, I don't see a problem.
8:01 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

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thank you for your advice :D
8:08 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I would add that you want to be sure to keep all page names and URL paths the same.

With the drop down menu's, be sure that all the links are actual href links and NOT js links.

canadafred is right that usually there are no issues, especially if moving to a design that has a better text/code ratio, but any time you are doing a large change to the code that is output to the SE's, there is a risk it could have unexpected consequences.

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