#1 on Google and now we have to change the Home Page

by vegaspro 17 replies
We have successfully achieved #1 spot on Google for our search term and it remains in that spot for over 2 years now. Since the company is growing we need to completel replace the home page to allow for a Country selector. So an entire new home page, with company logo and a country selection, visitor selects USA or CANADA and when Canada is selected it loads the current SEO ranked website. When USA is selected it will load an entirely new website and new domain.

1. How will this effect our SEO position?
2. What is the best method to roll this out without disrupting our current position?
3. Does adding this new home page mean we will have to start over?
4. Will we need to Submit the Site index to Google search console again?


Thank you in advance!
#search engine optimization #change #google #home #page
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  • Profile picture of the author dburk
    Hi vegaspro,

    Search Engines Index Web pages, Not Websites

    First, please realize that Google does not rank websites, they rank individual pages. So if you are not changing the content of your internal pages they should not be affected much by changes to your homepage. The only exception would be when nearly all of your backlinks point to your homepage exclusively.

    Trust

    Trust is an important factor in Google's algorithm. The longer a page has been published the more trust it has earned, if the backlinks that point to your homepage are not changing then those backlinks will continue to carry the same weight.

    If your homepage content doesn't change excessively it will likely retain it's current rankings. However, if you make radical changes to the content, it will likely be treated as a new page and trust factors will be reset. in that case it may temporarily drop in ranking but should recover relatively quickly as long as all backlinks remain stable.

    If you are planning to create a whole new website on a new domain name, that new website will have to earn individual web page rankings just as any other new website would have to do it. Trust is earned over time.

    A Potentially Better Solution

    Rather than replacing the current homepage, I would consider a different option. Why not place a small widget in the header (i.e. Top bar) to navigate to the country specific website? That way you retain all the current content while still providing the country specific navigation. You could place the same top bar widget on both websites allowing users to switch to the appropriate country content regardless of which website they land on first. That is a common method that seems to work well for many other businesses.

    HTH,

    Don Burk
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by dburk View Post

      A Potentially Better Solution

      Rather than replacing the current homepage, I would consider a different option. Why not place a small widget in the header (i.e. Top bar) to navigate to the country specific website? That way you retain all the current content while still providing the country specific navigation. You could place the same top bar widget on both websites allowing users to switch to the appropriate country content regardless of which website they land on first. That is a common method that seems to work well for many other businesses.
      I would look into this option or even a popup that gives them a choice to switch would be a better solution.

      If you had a home page that was not just the root domain for the URL (so it showed up something like somedomain.com/index.html), you potentially might be okay. If most of your links are pointing to that URL, you are just going to create your country selector on somedomain.com. If most of your links are pointing to that, you are pretty much screwed.

      If your links are strong enough, you might still stay #1 for your keywords even changing the home page. If not, you are going to likely see a drop.

      I would honestly avoid changing the home page. Since the USA site is going to be on a different domain anyhow, I would just use Don's suggestion or a popup like I said.
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      • Profile picture of the author vegaspro
        So are you suggesting a javascript popup that has a country selector? If so, what is loading behind the pop up? The original website?
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        • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
          Originally Posted by vegaspro View Post

          So are you suggesting a javascript popup that has a country selector? If so, what is loading behind the pop up? The original website?
          Not necessarily a popup that goes over the entire page. I was thinking more something like you see for email opt-ins or ads that have a small popup window.

          However, if the site is only ranking in Canada right now, then I'm not sure any of this is necessary.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    Originally Posted by vegaspro View Post

    So an entire new home page, with company logo and a country selection, visitor selects USA or CANADA and when Canada is selected it loads the current SEO ranked website.
    I'm gathering from this that the ranking is only in Canada. If you are ranking nowhere in US serps and the business is growing to get more and more revenue from the US then you might be on the right track long term having a page that goes after the US market.

    That all depends on why your Canada page is ranking and why it isn't in the US.

    At any rate its a good practice to have navigation to pages targeted to regions. Simple html links anchors should not affect your Canada rankings very much
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    • Profile picture of the author vegaspro
      We are only targeting Canada. They are now expanding to USA but the franchsing laws are very strict in USA so we have to build a new website on a separate domain. So we have to leave the main site in place but give a country selector option without disturbing the SEO performance on main page.
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
        Originally Posted by vegaspro View Post

        We are only targeting Canada. They are now expanding to USA but the franchsing laws are very strict in USA so we have to build a new website on a separate domain. So we have to leave the main site in place but give a country selector option without disturbing the SEO performance on main page.

        Is the site currently ranking in both countries?
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        • Profile picture of the author vegaspro
          No. Just Canada.
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          • Profile picture of the author vegaspro
            Hi Mike, just wondering if you saw my update. We decided to have the USA portion of the main domain. Not a separate domain name. So it will be domain.com/usa

            We still need a country selector (or auto detect possible?) and then when USA it will go to domain.com/usa and if Canada it will load the original home page / website.
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            • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
              Originally Posted by vegaspro View Post

              Hi Mike, just wondering if you saw my update. We decided to have the USA portion of the main domain. Not a separate domain name. So it will be domain.com/usa

              We still need a country selector (or auto detect possible?) and then when USA it will go to domain.com/usa and if Canada it will load the original home page / website.
              So instead of changing the home page and causing all kinds of headaches, I would just put code on the site to redirect USA traffic to that page.

              Put a little selector in the top corner of the site for any traffic that gets missed or detected incorrectly.
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      • Profile picture of the author vegaspro
        I apologize, I said the wrong thing. We don't want to build a new website on a new domain for the USA area. We want to keep it together so a new page(s) for the franchise info will be created on the original domain for the USA market. So we still need the country selector.
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  • Profile picture of the author vegaspro
    I want to clarify a mistake I made in what I said. "When USA is selected it will load an entirely new website and new domain."

    When USA is selected it we want it to be part of the same domain but perhaps a sub domain or a /usa

    Sorry about that.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    If you keep doing what you're doing, to land the page 1 spot, you have positioned yourself to succeed in your niche. Even if you replace the home page.
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    Ryan Biddulph, Blogger, Author, World Traveling Digital Nomad
    Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging at Blogging From Paradise
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  • Profile picture of the author luciesmazanska
    hello

    first Congratulation!

    Regarding to your questions:
    1. yes Im sure that google will dance with you, I did this for my client recently and we were fighting a little bit with google but we won!
    So be prepared for a some small changes, but Im sure that with a light OFF Page SEO you will fix it back
    2. Do this all at once, the best is prepare everything and do all changes at the same time
    3. no, but you have to "KICK UP" your website and tell google that something happened, this leads to last point
    4. Yes! Its not necessary, but We always doing it and it will just helps, nothing bad can happen
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  • Profile picture of the author paulgl
    People are forgetting things.

    Will the current homepage remain the same?

    If so, how does that target the US?

    If people from the US are now getting to your site, and doing just fine, why the change?

    You could just send a visitor from the US to the US site automatically. No fuss, no muss.

    But then, perhaps they are getting to the site for a reason(?)

    If you are really going to start targeting the US, then you do just that. You don't try and gum up something that works.

    Of course it begs the question...what are people from the US doing now?

    Paul
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    If you were disappointed in your results today, lower your standards tomorrow.

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  • Profile picture of the author cynthiaSEL
    Originally Posted by vegaspro View Post

    We have successfully achieved #1 spot on Google for our search term and it remains in that spot for over 2 years now.
    Congratulations! Feels good to hear of your success and see the answers to your questions here. Best wishes as you grow.
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    By the way, if you're struggling with your online business and you just need a pick me up click here: http://www.persistentgrowth.com/wf

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  • Keep the URL the same.

    Keep the keywords prominent on the page.

    Would definitely try to avoid changing it if possible.
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