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    Lost half my impressions when we launched a new site, any ideas?


    I work for an ecommerce site. We completely pulled down the old one and put up the new one and my impressions and clicks are about 50% of what they were. All of the pages have correct title tags, meta description, H1 tags etc... All pages have 301 redirects up. Any suggestions on what else I can look at?
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    This may be because of the latest Google Penguin update. Just check out the latest penguin update and make changes accordingly.

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    • KernelPanic : Do you even know what Penguin is?
    • eddyf : Posts like this are a real dis-service to new readers.
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    @niners52

    If all the 301s really were setup correctly (excuse my suspicions but people often say they are and when you look closely they aren't) then it could be that Google does not believe your 301s.

    You say the new site had all the tags set up, but were they set up to be the same as the old site or different wording.

    I can have a page about fish and then 301 it to a page about cheese. Doesn't mean the search engines will keep on ranking me just because I ask.....

    I suggest, for some reason, Google does not believe your 301s but that's very hypothetical without knowing more.

    My advice is to switch back to your old site (you will regain your rankings if it has just been a couple of weeks) and then get someone professional to look at your new site and make sure 301s will work before trying the move again ....

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    • Ann Smarty agrees : I would suggest reverting back to the old design. Traffic decrease clearly shows the new design is too messed-up. While you are busy figuring what it is, it may be too late!
    Learn SEO and Online Marketing with Doodleddoes or follow me on Google+ at https://plus.google.com/+TimHillDoodled/
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    The thing that makes me doubt the penguin update is the site has done great for years and to have it drop so much the exact weekend we launch seems like too big of a coincidence. Was there a major update in early November that may have done it though?

    I have gone through and double checked the 301s and found a few that were not right. Those will be fixed Monday morning but I would say we are over 95% accurate.

    The tags are setup differently. The original site was put up close to ten years ago and never updated so all of the tags were keyword stuffing essentially. Which was ok in 2001 but I got rid of all that.

    It is an e-commerce site so all the redirects were to the same category page as it was in the old site.

    The old site was out of the box software and it was extremely dated, and the new site was custom built. What the customers see is only part of it there is a large backend done for us and so switching back isn't really an option.

    We created a sitemap a few weeks ago and it really helped. Once I have a few tags and a few 301s fixed I will submit another sitemap. We have almost no incoming links, nobody has ever made an effort to get some. That will be an upcoming project. I will go back and triple check everything, but any other things I could have missed?
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    The only thing I can think of is that my not found errors keep increasing in Google Webmaster Tools, would that have anything to do with it?
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    Are you "not found" errors because of broken links on the website or mistakes in the sitemap.xml?

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    • Ann Smarty agrees : Sprry, I just forgot to give reputation points in my previous comment :)
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    You changed your URLs and titles and didn't update nor use 301 redirects for the new pages.
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    I have ran some crawlers on the site and have not found broken links, we have employees and customers on the site 24 hours a day and nobody has said anything about find any either. I have spot checked the sitemap and haven't found anything.

    We did the 301s but is there any way to export or run a program that will allow me to double check? I have spot checked a lot of what the developers put in but not everything.
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    How long ago did you pull down the old site and launch the new one? 4 days, 2 weeks, 3 months? If it has been more then a month or two, you need to start digging deeper and follow some of the above comments to understand the real problem(s).

    Regardless of doing everything correctly, you are likely to see a hiccup or two with your rankings. The site is new, Google is unfamiliar with the new layout, code, etc. It always messes things up when you redesign a site or make changes. At least in my experiences. It is important to start noting EVERYTHING you are doing during this troubleshooting process to understand what the problem was and how to prevent it (if possible) with any future changes. Yes, the bottom line is affected but not allowing time to see if your changes are improving will lead you down this same road in the future.

    If it's been less then a month, hold your horses and wait it out a little longer. The re-launch may take a little more time to settle down. If you have not already done so, be sure to re-generate a xml sitemap and submit it, start building links to your new pages instead of the ones that you 301'd and pay attention to your webmaster tools account to make sure something else is amok.
    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Chinese Proverb
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    It has been a little over a month. I knew we would lose some traffic due to google drop but 50% is tough to take. We did the sitemap but I but in a few fixes and will resubmit again. The sitemap peaked at 9k indexed and has now dropped to less than 8k. The new or old site has never had any sort of link building so that is on the agenda for upcoming things to do.
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    I did misread your 50% drop off, sorry. That is a little steep and understand your concern.

    Typically, people come here and do not allow enough time for things to recover. I usually yield towards the better part of a month and closer to 2 months to allow changes to filter in and things to bounce back. One redesign I was a part of and experienced a similar hit. This was also before these major updates from Google. Took about 2 months before traffic bounced back. Content creation and going back and trying to change old links to point to the new 301 pages helped this along.

    I think you answered your own question with building links. Also, I always found it helpful to scour the site and make notes of things I found done incorrectly and what change was applied to see if that fixed anything. You can learn a lot from it too. Best of luck and let us know how it works out.
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    Thanks for the help. I am hoping to start link building by the end of the year but launching a new site involves so much work. I guess it is time to just double check everything.
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    Its pretty typical to lose some traffic when you change all of your URLs even with 301s in place.

    The key here though might be in the analytics, you say impressions are down 50%, but how about visits. It could be that you have a similar number of unique visits but the number of page views (or impressions) per visit is down due to usability. Look at your bounce rate, pages per visit, time per visit. Then look at traffic sources. Are the impressions just down on search traffic, or is it also down on referral and direct traffic too?

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