Does a WP Theme change hurt my SEO+ranking?

by bwh1
21 replies
  • SEO
  • |
Unfortunately I have a problem with my current theme at one of my sites.

It's the free Mystic Theme which was a gorgeous theme for the niche I used it but there are too many troubles after they do not update the theme since 2 years.

Now, how to conduct a switch of the theme without to hurt my ranking-SEO?

I'm currently at first page and get good business due to this so I fret to lose my ranking.

Thanks for your input

G.
#change #hurt #ranking #seo #theme
  • Profile picture of the author arpitagarwal82
    I would recommend not to change the theme if possible.
    But if you really want to change it, make sure that all the meta data remains same. This includes titles, description excerpt etc.

    Also make sure the new design is better that old one in terms of page load time.
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  • Profile picture of the author frettcarla
    Well theme change does not affect the ranking. Its only the look and feel will be changed. Rest of the things will remain as it is. But yes as arpit told make sure that all the seo related stuffs remains unchanged.
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    • Profile picture of the author nettiapina
      Originally Posted by frettcarla View Post

      Well theme change does not affect the ranking. Its only the look and feel will be changed. Rest of the things will remain as it is. But yes as arpit told make sure that all the seo related stuffs remains unchanged.
      Of course theme change can affect rankings. There's no simple "look and feel" that could be just switched, and no "rest" that would remain the same. It's very likely that HTML will be totally different and even if the new theme looks the same structure may be drastically different. Unless you're changing from one variant to another variant of a theme, or some other very special case... Google is not rating look and feel, they're using bots to spider and algorithms to rank.

      This may lead to the site temporarily dropping in rankings. Usually good sites bounce back eventually, but site redesign is always a process that can lead to permanently lower rankings.

      Yeah sure, your titles and meta descriptions are probably the same after the switch if you're using any SEO plugin.
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  • Profile picture of the author FrasserBeecroft
    Hi I agree with the above two posts. As far as I'm aware changing a theme would not change any rankings in Google but you must be sure to change any seo information if it does not pull it through.

    I'm not a big seo expert but there is a good basic course at SEO Enigma | How To Rank Quicker, Sell More & Beat Out Your Competition! (no affiliate link) which looks quite good and at the moment appears to be quite cheap.

    Hope that helps,

    Frasser
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  • Profile picture of the author sudo rank
    Originally Posted by bwh1 View Post

    Unfortunately I have a problem with my current theme at one of my sites.

    It's the free Mystic Theme which was a gorgeous theme for the niche I used it but there are too many troubles after they do not update the theme since 2 years.

    Now, how to conduct a switch of the theme without to hurt my ranking-SEO?

    I'm currently at first page and get good business due to this so I fret to lose my ranking.

    Thanks for your input

    G.
    If your next theme is an SEO improvement (Cleaner Basically) then it could work well.

    I try to stay away from themes other people have created now and build my own - at-least I can keep things simple, clean and add new functionality as I go.
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  • Profile picture of the author BobyRurka
    The other question is: are there such thing like "SEO friendly" theme? If so, do you have any recommendations?
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  • Profile picture of the author bwh1
    Thanks guys, helped a lot.

    G.
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  • Profile picture of the author remodeler
    I've changed themes in the past and it had no effects on SE rankings. Just kept the titles, descriptions and excerpts the same.

    I also had an html site a few years ago that I changed over to php and didn't lose rankings with that either. It's still going strong after 5 yrs.
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    • Profile picture of the author nettiapina
      Originally Posted by remodeler View Post

      I've changed themes in the past and it had no effects on SE rankings.
      I've been seeing rank drops after redesigns or changes quite often in the last year or so. Unfortunately past experiences don't count if they're years ago.

      My theory is that Google sort of re-evaluates the site if there's big enough changes to it. If the content is the same, optimizations are in place, internal links exist, and backlink profile doesn't change, I see no reason to expect that the site would not bounce back.
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      Links in signature will not help your SEO. Not on this site, and not on any other forum.
      Who told me this? An ex Google web spam engineer.

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  • Profile picture of the author craighakwins
    I don't think it has any effect to it, if it does it won't be much at all.
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  • Profile picture of the author rlopez88
    Don't think so. But if you do decide make sure you keep the content the same before switching back
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  • Profile picture of the author pryidevsblog
    But suggest you to keep that as it is.... I know it won't hurt your site if and only if all meta titles, description are kept safe.
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  • Profile picture of the author kathyrose
    It would not change your previous seo work if you change your theme in WP site.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    The theme change is going to change the site structure, internal links (guaranteed), even If it's only nav. links.

    When you change link sources, you change SEO.
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  • Profile picture of the author SEOJerry
    The theme change will effect your SEO ranking, you can minimize the effect by keeping the title and all other text elements the same. If the theme change is worth it then do it, you can always build yourself back up with minimal effort from a theme change.
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  • Profile picture of the author saurabh113
    Some of the free themes come with a link in the footer. May be new clean theme without unnecessary links will create a positive impact.
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    • Profile picture of the author nettiapina
      Originally Posted by saurabh113 View Post

      Some of the free themes come with a link in the footer. May be new clean theme without unnecessary links will create a positive impact.
      What does that have to do with anything in this thread?

      Also, if you can't edit footer.php to remove a simple link you really shouldn't be commenting on anything WordPress related.

      Originally Posted by rajika4ever

      do not worry its not effect to the SEO.
      What makes you say that? I've argued my position as have several others. You should really do the same if you wish to add to the discussion.

      Originally Posted by rajika4ever

      anything hard coded inside old theme
      Themes are sort of mini applications that run on WordPress "platform". They always contain PHP code, and it's very unlikely that they're identical in any case. Of course you need to mind any customizations, but that's not the issue at hand.
      Signature
      Links in signature will not help your SEO. Not on this site, and not on any other forum.
      Who told me this? An ex Google web spam engineer.

      What's your excuse?
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  • Profile picture of the author rajika4ever
    do not worry its not effect to the SEO. you can change your theme but make sure about the load time and if you have anything hard coded inside old theme those things will be gone after you change the theme
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  • Profile picture of the author webdevpro
    By changing the theme the page's HTML structure will be changed (e.g. div instead of table or nested structures etc.) that may affect your ranking for good (or bad). If you are doing some good business, I'll recommend not to change it now.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chandrapaul
    no it will not if ur content url not changes.
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