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Best way to handle changes to website

Discussion in 'Website Design' started by CES020, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

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    Oct 16, 2008
    VA
    I'm working on a new website for us and I'm looking for some advice.

    Our site does well on searches, but my new design is going to be constructed completely different so it'll have a lot more pages and the page names will be different than the existing page names.

    I can easily wipe out the old site and upload the new site, but it'll leave a lot of bad links on search engines to old pages, with old page names. My thought was to just recode the old pages to be redirect pages to the new site. Then, once it's all indexed again, maybe 6 months from now, I'll just take those old page redirects out.

    I'm also not sure how search engines deal with a lot of pages that are all redirecting. I suspect there is a chance it won't like that too much, but will it penalize us in the ranking for doing 10 or 15 pages with redirects on it?

    So basically, the index page will be the one that gets totally replaced, then it'll be the entire new site, then I'll wipe out everything on all the old pages and just put redirect code in each of them.

    Is that right approach or should I go about this a different way. We do well in searches so I don't want to screw that up.That's my main concern.
     
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  2. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    Not really sure on the ramifications of having a bunch of redirects. Maybe just create placeholder pages with some relevant copy along a with a link to the new page and a note to check the new page as well as informing to update bookmarks.

    Last time I redid ours I also made a custom and semi-fun 404 page for any pages I might have missed.... I've actually gotten comments and even jobs just because someone liked the 404 page. Lol...

    Example. www.sl-digital.com/fakepage.php
     
  3. john1

    john1 Guest

    I would resubmit the entire site to google for indexing. It will scan the site for the new stuff and rank you. Takes generally a week to a few weeks sometimes after changes are made from what I have seen.

    Use google webmaster tools, it's free.
     
  4. ProWraps

    ProWraps Very Active Member

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    yup. resubmit under webmaster tools, and make sure to include a new xml sitemap that is also submitted to google. all will be good.
     
  5. signswi

    signswi Very Active Member

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    301 redirect every old url to new, appropriate urls. Leave those redirects in place indefinitely. Reach out to your biggest backlinkers and ask them to change their links to your new urls. At the same time, seriously work on building new backlinks to your new URL structure. Make sure all internal links use your new structure, that will accelerate the pace at which search engines index and replace your old structure with your new.

    Watch your google and bing webmaster tools for 404s, fix every one that shows up with appropriate redirects and outreach to the link source.

    301 redirects are EXACTLY how search engines want you to handle this situation. It's why 301s exist. I've worked on site structure changes that resulted in tens of thousands of 301s, no need to worry about your two-dozen ;P.
     
  6. signswi

    signswi Very Active Member

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    Oct 29, 2009
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