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    Thumbs down Re-Design Disaster


    Hi, I've had my website running for over 10 years. It's taken a while but I got up in the organic rankings in position one for a very important key phrase for my business.

    So I decided to redesign my website to update it cosmetically and it's range of products. I didn't take much consideration into what this would do to it's organic rank (this is not my profession).

    OK, so I launched the new website and I've dropped from position 1 to page 5 somewhere! Disastrous. At the time I did not know about 301 redirects. I guess I should have done some research but I didn't think it would effect my rank in this way.

    I am confident that the new site is better optimised for ranking, despite it not appearing that way at the moment.

    So I have a couple of questions.

    1. I'm guessing 301 redirects would be a waste of time now that I've lost my ranking?

    2. Does it take time to gain position again? The new website has been active for just over a week.

    Any other advice would be greatly appreciated.

    PS. I did read the stick regarding loss of rank but my situation is not covered in the points there.

    Thanks in advance!
    Lee
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    Hi leecasey,
    I'm sorry to hear that your redesign did not go as planned. In regards to your question about implementing 301 redirects, I would say this is definitely not a waste of time to do, especially if the reason your site dropped is because you did not implement them. The 301 redirects serve to pass the power from the original page to the new page, which is exactly what you want to do here to help regain your rankings. 301 redirects tell Google and other search engines that the original page is now over here at this new place, and that they should rank the new page accordingly.

    In regards to your second question - "does it take time to gain position again?" Yes-it might. Implement the 301 redirects ASAP and wait for Google to recrawl your site. You might speed the process along by submitting a new sitemap in your Webmaster Tools account.

    If you implement the redirects, notice Google has crawled them, and you're still not gaining rankings back? Look to see what else you did on the site that may have affected it. Did you change around your internal linking structure? Did you remove important call to action buttons so now users don't know where to go on your site and they go back to their Google search? Take everything into consideration.

    I hope that answered your questions, and best of luck!
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    Thank you karina, I've implemented the 301 redirects. I have question regarding those. I've looked at the errors in my webmaster tools and obviously the files which are no longer used are causing errors. I've redirected the pages that have been renamed but what about things like flash_animation_that_is_no_longer_used.swf. Should I redirect that to my homepage or something? or is there another code to tell google its just not used anymore to prevent it flagging it as an error? Is this what the 410 code is used for?

    Example:
    Redirect 301 /random.swf http://www.cchydrosonics.com/
    I have submitted a new sitemap and added the 301's to my htaccess file. Hopefully my rankings will improve!

    Thanks for your time
    Last edited by dzine; Sep 25th, 2013 at 09:57 AM. Reason: Please unlink your example URLs the next time
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    1. I'm guessing 301 redirects would be a waste of time now that I've lost my ranking?
    I would still recommend using 301 redirects - all old links will be redirected to give weight to your new pages. It will take some time but it will ultimately still be very beneficial.

    2. Does it take time to gain position again? The new website has been active for just over a week.
    Yes, and that period with 301 redirects can be around 6 months to regain original positions.

    Any other advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Look into your error logs thoroughly and find out where 404 errors are being generated, and also pages that have a high bounce rate. Fixing any usability errors will keep hold of visitors better. Also, be very thorough in usability analysis and improve areas that perform poorly.

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    • karina.b agrees
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    Thanks for the responses.

    I notice in my error logs I'm getting 404's still so I've created the 301 redirects.

    I have a question though, what should I do with files that have no redirect, they are just no longer used? Is that what the 410 is for? For example in my logs I have a 404 for a SWF I am no longer using. Should I redirect that to my homepage or use a 410 or other code?

    Thanks
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    You can use a 410 - this shows that the page is permanently gone. Make sure to also update all your internal links. If any links on your site point to pages you don't want to use, delete the link. Also, if you have any internal links pointing to a redirected page, update the link to point to the final page.

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