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Old Website Tired, Going Live With New Website – Options And Seo Consi


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#1 Jason1930459

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 07:06 AM

Hi all,

I have been in the IT industry for about 20 years but this SEO topic is new to me. I am reading up on SEO but need some help to make some decisions and would really appreciate some input.

My wife has a costume sales and rental business in Melbourne Australia and been operating an old website for approx 8 years. The current website is old and tired but does rank very well and the site generates approx 50% of her new business foot traffic into the store and is vital. Her high rankings are probably more due to the age of the site than anything else. The current site was never really optimized for search engines at the time it was designed and built.

We have built a new website which is a ground up rebuild and offers much more functionality and ecommerce capability. I have been reading up in this forum re tips to ensure that the new site is optimized for SEO. However still lots of work to be done.

My biggest concern is the risk to our high SE rankings depending on how we implement the new website. Based on my reading to date, I understand that my options and the pro’s and con’s for each option are:

Option 1 – Retain current domain name and replace entire content with new content and functionality.
The new site is a ground up rebuild and does not really match up well to the old site in terms of pages. I imagine it will take the google bots and spiders some time to index the new pages and we are likely to see dramatic falls in rankings in the short term and longer term if SEO is not done right.
Pro’s – Retain existing URL and no loss of branding
Con’s – Potentially lose page rankings until new pages are re-indexed in Google and the new site ranks well in terms of Google’s algorithms.

Option 2 - Use a new domain name and use 301 redirects to redirect traffic from the current website either at root level or at the page level to the new site.
Pro’s – Transfer some page rankings. I have been advised that not all ranking will get transferred and there are many variables.
Con’s- Users will be re-directed to a different URL? Could still potentially lose page rankings

Option 3 - Retain the existing website and content and incorporate a HTML link on the current website to the new site.
Pro’s – Reduced risk to page rankings unless this is an illegal redirection approach and I get penalized or Google takes my pages off it’s index.
Cons – New site may never build up ranking in it’s own right whilst it is linked to from the old site. Could Google penalize me for this approach?

Option 4 - Retain the existing website and content and promote the new site via an image or non HTML link. Users will have to type the new domain name in the address bar.
Pro’s – Potentially awkward for users having to have to retype the new domain name. Reduced risk to page ranking unless Google penalize me due to users not navigating into the current site and leaving the home page straight away by re-typing the new URL.
Cons – New site may never build up ranking in it’s own right whilst it is linked to from the old site. Could Google penalize me for this approach?

Option 5 - Retain the existing website and content, load some new photos to freshen it up and go live with the new site separately on a different domain and with its own content. Focus our SEO effort and energy to improve the new site’s rankings which over time should improve with the correct strategies. There is not too much duplicate content. Most content and functionality is new.

Pro’s – Significantly reduced risk to our current website’s rankings and sales in the short term.
Cons – New site’s rankings will take time to build up.

The most important consideration for us is that we do not lose Google page rankings as we rely heavily on our website for generating new business. I am leaning towards Option 5. I would like to adopt Option 2 to speed up the page ranking process but I am a chicken. I would like input from this forum before we implement. Would appreciate any advice anyone can provide before we go ahead.

Thank you kindly.

#2 Jill

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:17 AM

There's no reason why the current domain with a brand new site should have to lose any of your search engine traffic as long as you are very careful in how you design it, develop its site structure and the content. You just have to know what you're doing.

Look for my articles on SEO and Redesign for lots of tips on what to watch out for.

You shouldn't have to do any workarounds or keep an old site just because you are worried about Google.

#3 Jason1930459

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 12:20 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ Dec 3 2010, 11:17 PM) View Post
There's no reason why the current domain with a brand new site should have to lose any of your search engine traffic as long as you are very careful in how you design it, develop its site structure and the content. You just have to know what you're doing.

Look for my articles on SEO and Redesign for lots of tips on what to watch out for.

You shouldn't have to do any workarounds or keep an old site just because you are worried about Google.


Hi Jill, Thanks for the quick reply. I will read up on your tips. I believe you are located in Boston. We are located in Melbourne Australia. Are you available for some SEO consulting either hourly or perhaps a consulting package. Perhaps we could use Skype or similar? Would be keen for you to review what we have done in terms of SEO and our site before we go live. Thanks and regards Jason

#4 Jill

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 12:26 PM

Jason, while I'm fairly booked up at the moment, I am still taking on SEO Redesign consulting clients on an as needed basis. Please take a look at that link and if it seems like something you want to do and within your budget, please contact me through my contact form.




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