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Structural Site Changes: How It Affects Google Rankings April 30, 2008

Filed under: SEO Tips — ivolution @ 3:05 pm

Today for the first time I realised how changing the structure of a well ranked site affects your rankings. Let me just say that before you decide to design a website, and before you decide to go live with your amazing new site that’s SEO’d from head to toe, think, think, think and think again! Make 1000% sure that the structure you’re using is the one you want to stick with.

My site ranked in the TOP 10 for most of it’s industry related terms. I changed the structure of 2 section sof the site in other words, I moved two pages from one directory to another. My site rankings on 1 week dropped from TOP 10 to TOP 50.

What I did wrong:

I did not think about my site structure when first designing my site. Why?? Well I didn’t think I’d actually be able to compete in the industry that I compete in. Silly, I doubted myself but you learn. LESSON 1. Always make sure you know what structure you want and you stick to it throughout your site!

I moved the existing files to another directory and deleted the old ones from their original locations. I also changed all the internal links to point to the new page location. IDIOT!!!!! By removing the old files I lost all my PR form those pages i.e. 8 months of work down the drain. PLUS all the PR that I was giving other pages on my site from those pages dropped in the SERPS too. LESSON 2. When moving a site make sure that you redirect the page using a 302 redirect to your new page. This will ensure that PR is transferred to your new pages and your site rankings are not affected.

External links, those darn things that you work so hard to get. I lost all the incoming links to my site by not checking if there were incoming links. Incoming links and especially deep linking links are an essential part of your SEO strategy. LESSON 3. Make sure that all you incoming links to the old page are either changed to your new pages or that you use the 302 redirect explained above so that you don’t loose it all.

Those were my mistakes, I’ve learnt from them and decided to share them with Y’ALL!
If you could pleas shed some light or give us a little more information on what you’ve experienced please do so.

Search Engine Marketing & Optimization Specialists: Ivolution SEO