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    301 redirect has destroyed google rankings


    Hi, firstly let me apologize if this has been covered here before please direct me to any threads if this is the case.

    The problem is we had an ecommerce site that has been around for about 8 years.

    Due to the website style getting too old a decision was taken to create a brand new one and is now being hosted on a completely different server from the old one. i enabled a 301 redirect (on iis7) on the old website server to point to our new site.
    Everything seemed fine for the first few weeks as certain keywords we were ranking high on google showed the old domain on google and then redirected whenever anyone clicked.

    Now the old website has been completely struck off google records and we barely on page 3 (if we are lucky) for some of our most important keywords for the new site, this has been disastrous as this has all happened at our most important time of year (i.e. christmas). (Note: i submitted sitemap of new site on webmaster tools)

    It seems i was wrong with my assumption that the old site will continue to rank highly while we wait for the new site to gradually take its place on google.

    Now i am wondering if it is worth it to remove the redirect and just put links to our new site from there? or is it too late?

    Appreciate any help/advice.
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    Originally Posted by hasst
    Hi, firstly let me apologize if this has been covered here before please direct me to any threads if this is the case.

    The problem is we had an ecommerce site that has been around for about 8 years.

    Due to the website style getting too old a decision was taken to create a brand new one and is now being hosted on a completely different server from the old one. i enabled a 301 redirect (on iis7) on the old website server to point to our new site.
    Everything seemed fine for the first few weeks as certain keywords we were ranking high on google showed the old domain on google and then redirected whenever anyone clicked.

    Now the old website has been completely struck off google records and we barely on page 3 (if we are lucky) for some of our most important keywords for the new site, this has been disastrous as this has all happened at our most important time of year (i.e. christmas). (Note: i submitted sitemap of new site on webmaster tools)

    It seems i was wrong with my assumption that the old site will continue to rank highly while we wait for the new site to gradually take its place on google.

    Now i am wondering if it is worth it to remove the redirect and just put links to our new site from there? or is it too late?

    Appreciate any help/advice.
    Firstly, it will be nothing to do with the 301 redirect, All that does is pass on the value of the inbound links to your old site.

    Are you sure you correctly 301 everything to the relevant pages? missing links would cause a lack of ranking. it sounds to me like you were ranking fine because it was still your old site in googles index, once they updated you to your new site, then you have dropped off the radar.

    Have you changed any of your descriptions / titles / images etc etc or is it just a new design? Is it also a new domain name? if you had an old one before then the trust value will have been there that is not present with new sites.

    Nothing is ever too late, however you may struggle to get back up for this xmas, if you are depending on being up there it might be worth cutting an potential profits and use adwords to enure you are there, but if you do make sure you target long tail keywords in an attempt to maximise your conversion rates.

    * can you post your site so i can have a look

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    Not sure if you've seen this before, but maybe you can find something to help you move things along with Google.

    http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=83105

    Having said this, as ChilliDot has said, much will depend upon exactly what changes you made etc.
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    Thanks for your responses guys

    The redirect i enabled just took any visitor only to the home page of the new site, bad practice i know, but for reasons beyond my control it had to be done this way.

    The titles and descriptions for the pages that brought most traffic basically stayed the same, except for the images though. Otherwise a fair amount of content has indeed changed.

    And yes, it is a new domain name. From what im understanding it is not the redirect that is causing the problem rather the fact that we are basically starting from scratch with google with our new site.

    I'm just worried that having both old and new sites active (and putting links on the old to the new) will create a bad user experience.

    Our old site was benjis-direct.com and the new one is now velachocolates.com

    Another curious thing is that looking at traffic with google analytics the most visitors to our new site come via "direct/referral" and then "organic/google" etc. not sure what that means.
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    Originally Posted by hasst
    Thanks for your responses guys

    The redirect i enabled just took any visitor only to the home page of the new site, bad practice i know, but for reasons beyond my control it had to be done this way.
    Here is a big part of your problem. you say that the pages that brought in most of your traffic now do not have any links pointing to them, so google will not value these pages as highly as it used to because there is no weight there.


    Originally Posted by hasst
    And yes, it is a new domain name. From what im understanding it is not the redirect that is causing the problem rather the fact that we are basically starting from scratch with google with our new site.
    this will make a little difference, especially as you have no links helping google verify it is any good.

    Originally Posted by hasst
    I'm just worried that having both old and new sites active (and putting links on the old to the new) will create a bad user experience.
    Maybe, i dont know much about iis redirects, i normally use the .htaccess file to do it. The only issue i could see is duplicate content, but then i would have thought the bot would be redirected before scanning the content. unless you have deleted the content and just left the redirect

    Originally Posted by hasst
    Our old site was benjis-direct.com and the new one is now velachocolates.com

    Another curious thing is that looking at traffic with google analytics the most visitors to our new site come via "direct/referral" and then "organic/google" etc. not sure what that means.
    My guess on this is that the majority of your traffic are coming via your old site, i.e returning customers that are hence being redirected from benji's direct to the new site.

    When you are down on the 3rd page of google you will find very few people visit because of that, you need to be on the first page at the minimum.

    I would try and sort out the 301 redirect, i think that is the main problem if all of the various pages from your old site are just going to your new home page. Aside from building lots of new links i think that is the main way to solve the problem.

    Well thats how id approach it at least
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    I can see a lot of issues. You are likely going to need some professional help to clear this up. Here are a few of my thoughts:

    -You need to redirect every page of the old site to the new. It's not enough to redirect them all to the homepage. Otherwise you're basically starting a brand new site and removing all of the rankings that the old site had

    -You've still got pages from the old site in the index. As mentioned before, you've got to go through these steps here:

    http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=83106

    to tell Google that your site has moved.

    -You've got very few links to the site. It's hard to rank without links.

    -Your homepage is accessable via velachocolates.com and velachocolates.com/index.php

    -You've got very little text on the pages which is putting you at risk for Panda

    -Some of your pages are missing images - http://velachocolates.com/catalog

    But really the main issue, I would think is that the 301s weren't done correctly.
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    Thanks everyone... it looks like ive got work to do
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    It is the permanently page moved to a new location.It is the search engine friendly method. 301 should preserve your search engine rankings for that particular page. If you have to change file names or move pages around, it's the safest option.

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