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#1 Spot Lost On Google Following Site Change


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8 replies to this topic

#1 Maracles

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 11:43 AM

We had a #1 spot on Google with sublinks under the heading but we have dropped to #2 after a recent change to the structure and design of our site. It's a messy, unconventional change that we've made and I'm just trying to pin down which aspect has affected our ranking most.

We had to install Joomla CMS in a subdirectory and the way the site is working at the moment is that when you hit the original home page, you get redirected to the new CMS home page. This is a .htaccess URL rewrite, with a R=301 flag. index.php (old home page) now sends you to /cms (new home page). Once you are at /cms all the main links keep you within the /cms directory so, for example, the order page links will go to /cms/order. However, the old site pages are still running in parallel with the new CMS ones, so if you go to /order without the prefix you will get taken to the old order form. This is the same for many other pages. Some pages don't have a new equivalent in the CMS system so to reach them you are still sent to the original site pages.

The CMS has a different header/footer from the old site pages. Are there any obvious changes that would have affected our page ranking?

Old site page: site.tld/services
New site page: site.tld/cms/services

As you can see the new page doesn't have a set of SEO-sepcific links at the top right corner. The new page also doesn't have meta description and keywords. Could these things have affected our page ranking drastically?

If you Google "oxbridge essays", the site used to rank top and have a set of sub links provided by Google. Now we have one link at #2 to our old page /order, which seems to show that all the new CMS pages don't actually rank at all.

Does anybody have any insight into this?

Thanks in advance.

Edited by chrishirst, 30 July 2012 - 04:39 PM.


#2 chrishirst

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 04:40 PM

Does anybody have any insight into this?


Yep You have changed all your URLs and it takes time for search engines to catch up.

#3 Maracles

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 04:11 AM

But we haven't changed the old URLs. That's the point. We left them on the site, we simply added new URLs.

#4 Jill

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 07:45 AM

But we haven't changed the old URLs. That's the point. We left them on the site, we simply added new URLs.


Well there you go. You need to 301 redirect the old ones ASAP.

But dropping from #1 to #2 is likely not anything you did either.

#5 Maracles

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 08:56 AM

I cannot 301 redirect them. We need the old pages and the new ones running in parallel.

#6 chrishirst

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 05:11 PM

So you have duplicate content deliberately?

#7 Jill

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 05:26 PM

You could do rel=canonical then.

#8 Maracles

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 04:11 AM

So you have duplicate content deliberately?


It's not duplicate content.

Edited by Maracles, 01 August 2012 - 04:11 AM.


#9 Jill

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 09:23 AM

It's not duplicate content.


From your first post, it sure sounds like it is.




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