Redesigning a website - Will this affect Google Rankings?

14 replies
  • SEO
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My website has been up for 7 years already, and so far, we have achieved high rankings for our top keywords. We have spent thousands of dollars and the investment has brought us where we are now.

Right now, I wanted to do a complete redesign of the website, to make it more user friendly and easy to navigate. The products on the website will still be the same.

I wanted to just make sure that if we did a redesign, that this will not affect the rankings that we have achieved so far. What are parameters to be careful of in doing this, to make sure not to lose rankings?

Thanks in advance!
#affect #google #rankings #redesigning #website
  • Profile picture of the author csa_dummy
    anyone here?
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  • Profile picture of the author pjman
    Make sure your content appears towards the top of the code. If it's the same content and link structure verbatim, nothing should change. Maybe a bump up if speed improves.

    Unless you push the content towards the bottom of the code or bloat the code, you should be good.
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  • Profile picture of the author RevSEO
    This very well could affect your rankings.

    You need to make sure that you are making the changes based on DATA
    rather then a gut feeling or a whimsical decision that you want to make the
    site more pretty.

    Ive seen a ton of site owners make decisions not based on factual info that
    caused them to lose vital rankings that they spent years trying to obtain.

    I've also seen owners redesign their sites, to convert worse than before and
    decrease overall sales.

    If there's a way to make minor enhancements, driven by data (ie split testing)
    then by all means go for it. But unless there are serious problems with your current
    design I would not recommend it.
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  • Profile picture of the author dadamson
    There is no guarantee either way.

    The safest option however is to ensure that your sites theme is in the same mechanical order as your current theme.

    This means ensuring that the URL structure is the same, so if I go to or something now, the URL is no different with the redesign (if it is you will need to look into setting up 301 redirects on the old pages, this is another topic though).

    Ensure you internal linking structure is the same as previous, try to keep it in the same location as you do now.

    All meta details should remain the same if possible too.

    A big no-no would be closing your site for a couple of days with a "down for maintenance" graphic or something. Once the search engine bots crawl your site and see that it is drastically different you WILL drop your rankings.

    This goes with uploading the new theme too. Ensure you do it when the search engines are not crawling - The search engines crawl on a regular basis so you can often see them in your traffic logs and anticipate a general time when they never look at your site.

    So in short, try to keep the main functions of your site and content the same as they currently are. Cosmetic changes are fine but you may run into problems when you start changing the sites layout and structure.

    That said, if a redesigned site loses rankings they an often be attained rather easily again. It's just frustrating if the problem could have been prevented.

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  • Profile picture of the author slickymedia
    The design of your site does not affect Search Engines as long as the Titles, Description, meta tags and content is not change.
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  • Profile picture of the author JammerJones
    Redesigns can definitely effect your rankings, for better or for worse, depending on the changes you make. If you are just changing the colors, logo, etc. then you have nothing to worry about but if you're changing the layout and the navigation then it will certainly effect your rankings. I would avoid using dropdown menus on every page because each category will then be linked from every page on your site. This is not ideal for a couple of reasons, one being that PR is going to be wasted, two is that it can be confusing for spiders. You want to have your root categories in the main nav with child categories. One of my competitors changed their site structure and upped their traffic by 30% so it certainly can help. PM me for more details if you'd like.
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  • Profile picture of the author WiFi
    Although redesigning a website might seem prettier or more attractive you must consider a few salient points. It’s important before you throw the site to the web that you make sure that you have identified what pages shouldn't be crawled.

    Are there new parts of the site that shouldn’t be seen by search engines, login pages, etc.? Does the new site utilize dynamic URL creation or parameters that will need to be restricted?

    Inversely, what pages might be restricted that shouldn’t be? Is there a folder in the robots.txt file that is inaccurately excluding pages that should be visible? Have meta robots tags been placed on pages that shouldn’t have been tags?
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  • Profile picture of the author ghazia
    Redesign your site without changing the meta, content and URL. Complete the design of the new page and use the old URL for the new page. This can help you to avoid loosing ranking.
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  • Profile picture of the author magic99
    Redesign will minor effect on your wbesite but if you change navigation structure that will be major effect in ranking but its hope it will get rank well,
    You should not change web page name or url , If possible don't change website navigation structure
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  • Profile picture of the author WakondaMarketing
    Yes. Redesigning a website may actually affect your rankings. A website's design may help or hinder a website from ranking in the search engines. It's all in your own personal discretion ayway.

    Wakonda Marketing Inc
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  • Profile picture of the author diyakapoor
    Make sure that you don't change any keywords and content positioning. If you change anything in keywords, content etc., rankings may down.

    Grow your small business and make it Online - High end Digital Consultation for your Online Business

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  • Profile picture of the author biznics
    Its quite simple. As long as your new website follows SEO-friendly techniques, there's nothing to worry about. Change anything you can with the perspective of keeping your site easy for your visitors.

    However, don't overdo anything from onsite optimization techniques like; do not amend title tags extensively (by adding new keywords for example). You can still change titles in a progressive way, using the same old keywords you've used in your old site.

    Hope it helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kris79
    If you have precious website I would be very careful.

    Here is what I would do:
    1. Analyze visitors behavior, to find out what they are looking for and how they behave on my website.
    2. I would use split testing to find out what would be the best solution for increasing conversion and UX.
    3. I wouldn't be changing any URL because backlinks are build to these URLs
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  • Profile picture of the author biggcapp
    ...and of course be careful with the advice you get in a forum.

    It appears that you have a lot of money on the line, so first and foremost - and I think everyone can agree, make sure it's a change that needs to be made.

    Just like the dadamson and RevSEO - who appear to know what they are talking about, no one can tell you that it will not affect your position. NO ONE! Period! So you are at risk of losing the number one spot or whatever spot you have, and the number one page even depending on what you change, and why Google has your site where it is in the first place....and how Google is ranking sites this week.

    I will say that there is a likely hood that you will be able to get the site back, but it could take weeks, if not months to do so, assuming the content is the same.

    The real question much risk could you handle. When you were not in spot 1, what were your sales and traffic like? Could you sustain that level again for awile?

    Just make sure it's a business decision. Some of the UGLIEST sites make money, and other sites have made the decision to improve and re-rank, so they are offering what their lower rank competitors are offering.

    Good Luck!
    Starting My Own - The LifeStyle of an Internet Marketer
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