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Site re-design & losing google rankings

Site re-design has lost google rankings

     
9:51 am on Mar 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



We have re-designed a website for a customer who didn't inform us that they had google rankings that they wanted to retain. A week after upload of the new site (with changed page URLs) we were informed that the site had dropped off the rankings.

We have since added URL re-directs for the old page URLs, submitted an XMl sitemap to Google. The new pages have pretty much the same content as the old, and I'll be improving the content, page titling etc. over the next couple of weeks.

Do you think:

Will we recover the page rank, how long might it take, and any other ideas?

Cheers WebmanErrol

11:31 am on Mar 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



welcome to WebmasterWorld [webmasterworld.com], WebmanErrol!
what was your reason for changing the urls?
12:02 pm on Mar 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Make sure your URL re-directs are 301s -- not meta-refreshes, not 302s, not a chain of redirects, but straight-out 301s from old URLs to new URLs.

Contact websites that link to the client's site, to get as many incoming links as possible changed from the old URLs to the new ones.

Make sure the new link structure is squeaky clean -- no current pages should contain any of the old URLs, all canonical issues should be addressed, etc.

And I second phranque's question: Why did you change the URLs? I would think that the only safe approach would be to always assume that the client wants to retain their Google rankings. And that URLs should never be changed unless it's unavoidable, and after consultation with the client to ensure that the client knows the ramifications of changing URLs and is willing to take the short- to mid-term hit in exchange for greater long-term gains.

11:50 pm on Mar 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Funny. I'm in the middle of a site relaunch/optimization for a client and have changed every single URL with the exception of the homepage. Why am I not worried? 'Cause they don't rank for anything anyway!

Who knows how long it's going to take for your pages to rank again, but you should stress to your customer that the work you've done is going to benefit them in the long run and then hope like hell that it does, I guess. Definitely want to check out the inlinks and make sure they are changing their links to point to the new URL's and it might also be a good opportunity to get in touch with those inlink webmasters to see about optimizing that anchor text, etc.

You might also want to consider issuing a press release about the site relaunch as that may get some relevant content distributed around the web and help you out a bit too.

7:50 am on Mar 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



The re-directs are proper 301s from old URLs to new URLs.

Thanks for all the information, we'll do a load of SEO improvements and should get a better result in the end. There's lots of room for improvement.

Thanks again.

12:55 pm on Mar 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



No way to get previous page rank at any cost currently if you had made a change. Wait for a moment for next google data center update and do SEO work continue.
6:13 pm on Mar 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



We did this last April and changed 100% of the URLs on the site and I 301'd all the old URLs, submitted a xml sitemap and heavily monitored webmaster tools. It took about 4-6 weeks to fully get back our rankings and it's been up ever since.
 

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