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New Forum / New Urls Google Traffic Up 50%

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7 replies to this topic

#1 Jill


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Posted 30 March 2012 - 09:40 AM

Just compared the organic Google traffic which came directly to forum pages for the past 2 weeks since the new forum with the new "SEO friendly" URLs in place, and was surprised to see that the visits are up 50%.

Interesting. Will see if that's just somehow because it's all new, or if it will remain that way.

I don't think anyone should be telling people that changing URLs will lead to even a temporary loss of traffic. If 301's are done correctly and the overall information architecture of a site isn't changing, no organic Google traffic should be lost. Most likely it will be gained.

#2 Michael Martinez

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 12:18 PM

When I upgraded my forums last year I was so many versions down I could not upgrade -- I actually had to install a second forum, export the data from the first and then import it into the second. That export/import process reset all the thread and user ID counts. Thus there was no hope of implementing any sort of 301-redirection. And, yes, I lost traffic for a period of time.

In extreme cases like this it is reasonable to expect a hit. And this is just another argument for keeping software up-to-date. :)

Glad to see you didn't have to go through that pain.

#3 Jill


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Posted 30 March 2012 - 03:37 PM

Yes, thankfully this software seamlessly created all the 301's. And I of course checked beforehand that they were indeed 301!

#4 OldWelshGuy


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Posted 30 March 2012 - 05:22 PM

Have to be careful not to mix up cause and affect though (effect, affect, this is why i use a copywriter) :)

What I am saying is , is there any other benefot in the upgrade? is the code cleaner? is there any microformatting or other change to markup? and has Googlebot done a deep crawl and completely changed the new urls etc? Please don't think I am questioning you, I am just suggesting that there could be additional benefits that are pushing up the traffic?

Did you document it? it would make a good case study, interesting to see if anyone else has seen the same result .

#5 dedmond29


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Posted 02 April 2012 - 07:24 AM

Interesting to read that. We're finishing up a re-architecture of a site, for which one major component will be keyword-friendly URLs. I'll try to revisit this in a bit to communicate impact.

#6 Jill


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Posted 02 April 2012 - 09:03 AM

@dedmond29 if you're re-architecting the site, that alone can affect your visibility in the search engines as well. So if you currently receive traffic to certain URLs that are top level and then bury them within the site (regardless of if they have shiny new keyworded URLs) they could lose their visibility and thus traffic.

In the case of this forum, nothing changed (architecture-wise) beyond the URLs. Their were other code changes, which may have impacted speed, but I'm not sure about that.

#7 dedmond29


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Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:17 PM

Not a major re-architecture fortunately and 301 redirects are/"should" be in place. We're actually rolling out keyword-friendly URLs in phases of asset types so it will be interesting to see how that works as well.

#8 Jill


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Posted 06 April 2012 - 08:58 AM

Thought you guys might be interested in this graph of the Google Organic traffic directly to forum URLs:

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