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Redesign - Seo Ramifications


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15 replies to this topic

#1 EricCantona

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 10:37 AM

Hello Folks,

I just had a few questions about the SEO ramifications of a site redesign, something which we are about to roll out.

First off, our redesign is mainly cosmetic. Meaning the site strucutre / architecture , urls, will remain intact.

Product A will still be at www.website.com/producta/
and sub category 1 of product a will still be at www.website.com/producta/subcat1/ etc.

My concern is that the content and internal links are going to change slightly and I am worried that this will have a big impact. Allow me to elaborate.

The majority of internal links will remain as they are.

One of my big worries however is the home page. The links that are pointing to other pages at the moment will be reduced (but will still be found in the top nav which is the same on all pages)

Say at the moment there are links to 6 products (a,b,c,d,e,f) on the home page with a link to each of their three sub pages underneath (Sub 1, sub 2, sub 3)

In the redesign only one sub category will be underneath each of the products now. The idea is to not clutter the home page with links, and that if a user is looking for sub category 2 they either just click on the product A link to go to the landing page and find sub 2 there, or they can find sub category 2 in the top nav.

I suppose what I am asking is, now that many of the sub categories links are gone from the home page, do the links to the sub cats in the top nav suffice, or will Google see them as gone, and link juice will change, and rankings will go haywire.

Do these links in the top navigation, mean that sub 1, sub 2, sub 3, for each of the products are still on the home page?

Thanks in advance,

EricCantona

#2 Jill

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 10:59 AM

Google sees links in your navigation just like they see any other links, assuming the links aren't in javascript or otherwise blocked from them being able to crawl them.


#3 qwerty

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 11:30 AM

I'm a little confused...
QUOTE
if a user is looking for sub category 2 they either just click on the product A link to go to the landing page and find sub 2 there, or they can find sub category 2 in the top nav.

So there is still a link to sub category 2 in the main nav. Were there two such links before -- one under Product A (which is now gone) and another that's still there? Maybe to clarify things, you can just list the items that were linked to from the main nav and are not anymore.

By the way, in Jill's answer above there's a typo that flips the meaning of her statement. "Are" should be replaced with "aren't".

#4 EricCantona

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 12:05 PM

QUOTE(qwerty @ Feb 18 2011, 04:30 PM) View Post
I'm a little confused...

So there is still a link to sub category 2 in the main nav. Were there two such links before -- one under Product A (which is now gone) and another that's still there? Maybe to clarify things, you can just list the items that were linked to from the main nav and are not anymore.

By the way, in Jill's answer above there's a typo that flips the meaning of her statement. "Are" should be replaced with "aren't".



Thanks for the speedy response guys.

Jill - The links that are in the main nav are in javascript, so does that means google can't crawl them?

Qwerty- Yes there is still a link to sub category 2 in the main nav/top nav. The main nav will remain untouched from current site to redesigned site. So a user can get to any page from the main nav.

At the moment the links thate are in the main nav are repeated again on the home page. In the redesign these "repeated" or "duplicate" links will be removed, as the user can find them in the main nav and it will remove the clutter.

The question is will google recognize those links in the main nav on the home page. Or was it only recognizing the links that were in the body of the page, and now that they are gone will this effect link juice.

Or am I covered with the links in the main nav?

Hope I explained that a little better.

#5 qwerty

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 02:54 PM

If the navigation menu is dependent on JavaScript, search engines aren't going to use it. They were probably finding links in the clutter elsewhere on the page -- the clutter you're now planning on removing.

I'd say the thing to do would be to redesign your main navigation menu so that it's CSS based rather than JS. That way you can remove the additional links without worrying that you could be removing the only links search engines can follow. Either that, or at the very least you should add a <noscript> element in the code after your menu that will include search engine friendly links -- basically an extra copy of the menu but without all the bells and whistles.

#6 Jill

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 03:10 PM

Do you see those links in the source code? Even if the menu is javascript, it doesn't mean it's not crawlable. Most of them you can still see the links in the source code and then it's fine.

#7 EricCantona

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 05:52 AM

Thanks Jill / Qwerty

I can see the links in the source code, so thats good to hear Jill.

Would CSS be better, like Qwerty is saying?




#8 Jill

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 02:24 PM

Should be fine the way it is.

#9 Michael Martinez

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 03:18 PM

QUOTE(qwerty @ Feb 18 2011, 11:54 AM) View Post
If the navigation menu is dependent on JavaScript, search engines aren't going to use it. They were probably finding links in the clutter elsewhere on the page -- the clutter you're now planning on removing.


But that's no longer true. Google in particular has said it IS following Javascript links. Bing may be as well.



#10 qwerty

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:03 PM

You're right. Google says they can follow them. They even say if you put "nofollow" on a JS link they'll respect that. I still advise against it smile.gif Not all scripts are the same, and I don't know whether or not the particular bit of JS used to build a particular link is going to cause problems. I just don't trust it. I just sent a memo to one of our sites on Friday telling them the new navigation they're switching over to is an improvement over the old one, but it's still JS and they still ought to go with something else.

Besides, CSS-based menus are generally easier to update, run faster, use tighter code, and are friendly to screen reader software.

#11 doogie88

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 02:12 PM

I'm thinking of a redesign, so if I'm keeping the links the same, and content the same, but just changing the layout a bit, do you think I'll be okay with my rankings?


#12 Jill

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 02:57 PM

Yes.

#13 doogie88

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 04:24 PM

Thank you.

#14 doogie88

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 01:27 PM

One more question. I'm starting to like my www.example.com/blog/ design, and am thinking about using it as my main site design. Do you think it would be okay to change my site design to wordpress? I have about 30-40 static pages. The content and layout for the most part would be the same, except I'm thinking about adding a 3rd column on the right side, plus the design has tabs up top, such as, forums, blog, contact us, etc.
Do you think this would be okay for my rankings to change to wordpress? Or should I just get someone to make a similar CSS layout as the blog?
Thank you.


#15 Jill

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 12:30 AM

QUOTE
Do you think it would be okay to change my site design to wordpress?


Sure, it shouldn't be a problem.




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