Ok this is a long one so please bear with me.
I am redesigning 'design-wise' a very old site (10 years old).
For the main page (the first page) I'm gonna touch, I want to basically strip away a lot of the sections and make things very minimal web 2.0 ish. My old design was very cluttered Amazonish early 90s style where there was a side, middle and left section with at least 2 full scrolls down.
I am really afraid of stripping the content from the main page. Do you think it will affect the keywords it is ranked for? I woblnt ge changing the title tags etc though. One of the main sections I want to take away is the left navigation bar which is available on every other page on the site. Not sure if taking this out is not a big issue as i suppose G doesn't really bother with these that are repetitive but on the other hand it does take away the links to those internal pages which could affect those pages.
I also have a couple of links to YouTube videos on thisplain home page. I want to reduce the number of videos. Is there an issue with this? Should these embeds be no follow etc in the first place? Currently they are not. Any issue if I made them no follow? Please advice.
I also use to have 3 links each to 2 very important pages on my site. Out of these 3 links each, two were image links and one other a text link. And because of that, those 2 internal pages rank pretty well on the search engine. My new design has only 1 image link each to these 2 internal pages. Would this hurt these 2 internal pages as there are less links from the main page to them now? I just want to be very careful on the change to my main page as it is by far the page that ranks the best for most keywords.
Last thing, I have links to internal audio and video files on my site too. I am not sure if they also collect link juice or if I should go robot.txt them so they don't get indexed and share in any lInk juice. They are currently now just normal links to those internal audio and video files. I don't want to mess with them if it may affect things. Guess it is better to leave things as they are then to fix it to only break it. But if there is a clear cut no risk and only benefit, it would be better to fix it then to have never done it.
Any advice would be appreciated.