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Site Re-design Issues


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21 replies to this topic

#1 webvivre

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 03:39 AM

We are redesigning our site and improving the navigation. This implies moving many pages to new directories and sub-directories.

What is the best way to deal with handling issues to original pages that appeases the Google Gods?

There are 100s of pages moved - not sure whether you use re-directs in the meta tags or some magic code if it exists in .htaccess (some hope!)

Some advice please.....

#2 OldWelshGuy

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 04:05 AM

Be VERY careful about this as you can slaughter your rankings if you get it wrong. (It appears that this is the hot question though as this is about the 5th or 6th time this has come up this week, twice in a conference yesterday!

You need to get someone to write your redirect for you, I assume you have an seo or a tech head that can handle it?

You should try to keep the same file-names if possible at all, and in the same folder (obviously), if you can not do this, then you have the laborious task of writing a 301 list. Failing that, if you are moving pages en-bloc, then redirect match is the best way.

something that is often overlooked at redesign time, but is more important than ever then, is the custom 404 page. Make sure that your custom 404 page is well crafted and will draw lost souls back into your site, by being self explanatory. Don't just add lists of links, use text and describe what is on each page

eg

Limousin:
Limousin Gites for sale
Limousin land for sale

etc.

The custom 404 page is crucial at the best of times, but after redesign it is crucial.

I know from experience, that when buying property abroad, it drags on, and the 'house in America' favourites folder grows. Now when I go back there, if I get a 404, I move on to the next, and it is this that you must combat.

Redesigning is far FAR more risky than starting from cold, so be very VERY thorough!

#3 webvivre

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 03:14 PM

Thanks for the help - unfortunately part of the design is to create SE friendly urls and so file names and directories have changed.

It looks like a long 301 list!

#4 Jill

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 02:16 AM

QUOTE
Thanks for the help - unfortunately part of the design is to create SE friendly urls and so file names and directories have changed.


That's a shame you wasted resources and time on that and now will have to wait months to get reindexed. Hope you're not expecting too much out of that effort.

#5 webvivre

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 05:52 AM

Is it possible to add nofollow and noindex to all existing pages (and change the main menu system) rather than have an extensive 301 list?

#6 Randy

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 07:43 AM

You could. But then you're effectively throwing away any and all link popularity and authority of those old pages. So you'd be really starting over from scratch.

#7 merchant hal

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 01:57 PM

we are planning a re-design where most of the urls and the page names will stay the same. is it possible to predict how such a process will impact the ranking of the individual pages? does this depend on how much of the copy is edited on each of these pages? will they have to be re-indexed by the search engines?

thanks,

hal

#8 chrishirst

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 02:04 PM

welcome to HR hal hi.gif

QUOTE
is it possible to predict how such a process will impact the ranking of the individual pages? does this depend on how much of the copy is edited on each of these pages? will they have to be re-indexed by the search engines?
No, Yes & Yes

#9 BlueHorseradish

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 01:35 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ Oct 5 2006, 03:16 AM)
That's a shame you wasted resources and time on that and now will have to wait months to get reindexed.  Hope you're not expecting too much out of that effort.
View Post


So can I guess from Jill's comment that if you were about to begin a redesign of a site that has been performing well and has pages that are ranked and getting traffic, that the strategy would be to keep the same directory structure and filenames as much as possible, and use 301 redirects for changed pages? And not to try to "optimize" the page filenames, even if one might do that if starting from scratch?

Wouldn't it be much more fun and risky to redo that whole information architecture? lightbulb.gif

#10 Randy

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 01:53 PM

Welcome lchrzan ! hi.gif

Defnitely more risky. wink.gif

#11 Jill

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 06:50 PM

QUOTE(lchrzan @ Nov 2 2006, 01:35 PM)
So can I guess from Jill's comment that if you were about to begin a redesign of a site that has been performing well and has pages that are ranked and getting traffic, that the strategy would be to keep the same directory structure and filenames as much as possible, and use 301 redirects for changed pages?  And not to try to "optimize" the page filenames, even if one might do that if starting from scratch?
View Post


Yep, if you can, that's definitely what you'd want to do.

In real life, however, doing all of that isn't always possible.

#12 Sarah

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 08:47 AM

On Monday we are sending a clients redesigned and restructured site live. I have spent all morning ensuring that the URLs are being 301 redirected to the correct pages, and it has been very laborious. Whip.gif

Unfortunately we have had to do this as the site they had before was truly terrible. If you are changing URL's purley for SEO then really, don't do it. It's time consuming, fiddly and can get very frustrating. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

#13 Sarah

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Posted 07 November 2006 - 08:16 AM

Can I just say "bugger" Google Editorial Guidelines Update

The previous guidelines that were less than pleased with long query strings and multiple '&=id' were what had prompted us to rewrite the website and URLS (ok the structure was very bad and in strong need of a re-work too).

<edit cuz I forgot to say:> Does this mean SEO Friendly URL's are now a thing of the past?

#14 Raphael

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Posted 07 November 2006 - 08:48 AM

QUOTE(webvivre @ Oct 4 2006, 04:39 AM)
We are redesigning our site and improving the navigation. This implies moving many pages to new directories and sub-directories.
View Post

Remember, changing the navigation does not necessarily require changing the file/folder structure. It implies it, but doesn't always require it.

Of course, if your file/folder structure doesn't match (in some way) your navigation system, that can lead to heaches for your webdev staff, but everything has a price, eh? wink.gif

#15 Jill

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Posted 07 November 2006 - 09:27 AM

QUOTE
Does this mean SEO Friendly URL's are now a thing of the past?


Depends on what you mean by SEO friendly URLs. Most URLs are SEO friendly, in general.




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