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    Site Structure Change = Back in the sandbox


    I have strong feeling to believe that Google puts a website right back into the sandbox if you change your website's entire URL, Site-Map structure even though you have the SAME EXACT THEME for the site.

    I have a project that was out of the sandbox, over a year old, ranking well for different phrases.

    I decided I want to go into a different direction and stay in the same exact theme, but completely re-design the site, and change the URL's, folder structure, etc.

    The result? Right back into the sandbox, I'm not ranking anywhere again, even for less competitive keywords. Before, I would be able to add new pages to the site and would rank for keywords that have pretty good competition, not anymore and looks like I have to wait now again.

    My theory is, Google is putting sites into probation if they see a big site-wide structure change to help avoid people spamming existing domains, even if they are 'same topic/theme'.

    This is just a theory though, if anyone wants to comment on this from their past experience, would love to hear it.
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    Paul, since everyone sort of went "right back into the sanbox" about 2 weeks ago, I think it's pretty safe to say that your theory is debunked by the recent Google update that effected everyone just the same as you. Alot of people's site structures weren't changed either.

    Can you PM me your URL?

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    i did make couple total re-design on several domains and never been re-sandboxed
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    With the Jagger update about half my sites look like they are back in the sandbox.

    They all rank well (top 5) on MSN and Yahoo but #150 on Google. Guess we just have to wait until the dust settles.
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    Originally Posted by paulk
    I decided I want to go into a different direction and stay in the same exact theme, but completely re-design the site, and change the URL's, folder structure, etc.
    From what you're stating in this phrase only, I'd say you probably are into the sandbox again.

    Changed URL's and folder structure: for example, did you change let's say www.yoursite.com/keyword.html to www.yoursite.com/keyword/ ?

    You say you kept the site theme, but did you changed the original content with new content ( even if it related to the same theme as before ) ?
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    "You say you kept the site theme, but did you changed the original content with new content ( even if it related to the same theme as before ) ?"

    Exactly... the site has all new content, the old content was taken down.
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    A) it's because of the change of content you're not ranking anymore. Different content gets different rankings.

    B) because you did't do a 301 from the old to the new url rankings have dropped.

    C) sounds like a completely new site to me. New content, new structure = different rankings. If you want to redesign your site and keep current rankings, you should leave the content as is and just redesign.

    D) is most proably C), just didn't bother to delete A and B...

    <edit> just read my post and doesn't make much sense, but new content equals new rankings, no matter if it is the sandbox or not... </edit>
    Last edited by tfbpa; Oct 30th, 2005 at 03:59 PM. Reason: Drunk...
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    Well, this happens quite often when a website has a new owner. The new owner will want to have his own content on his newly purchased domain and so he changes the whole content. This is why Google re-sandbox sites when their content gets changed massively, they probably think a new person has taken control over that domain.
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    Originally Posted by seo_sensey
    Well, this happens quite often when a website has a new owner. The new owner will want to have his own content on his newly purchased domain and so he changes the whole content. This is why Google re-sandbox sites when their content gets changed massively, they probably think a new person has taken control over that domain.
    Yea my guess is that what happened... The old content I didn't want to keep so I got rid of it, the site has been live for over a year itself...I'll just wait a few months and keep adding new pages.

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