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New Site - Avoid SEO interruption

Posted on 2011-03-04
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Been designing websites for a while now. I never really paid attention to launching a new site and how the search engines (google) view handle it.

I have a website now that is getting good rankings for my page. I have a new website to replace the current one. Any suggestions on how to make the transission with the search engines in mind? I would like to avoid breaking my ranking.
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Question by:rbudj
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Nenad Rajsic earned 250 total points
ID: 35039979
if possible try not to change your file names and folder structure.

If that is not possible then use permanent redirects in htaccess (Apache) to point your old pages to their corresponding new pages

for example: Redirect 301 contact.php newcontactus.php

if you are changing only visual side of things (design) then you shouldn’t have any problems.
just don't change your page titles and H1 + page text.

Let me know what you are planning to do and i'll try to help some more
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by:rbudj
ID: 35040221
Everything is going to change so I guess I'm doomed from the start. File structure, page names, everything. I will follow your suggestion using Apache.
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Assisted Solution

by:Aaron Tomosky
Aaron Tomosky earned 125 total points
ID: 35040705
The main thing to avoid is having a URL that works on the old site not work on the new site. Htaccess is one way to do this.
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Assisted Solution

by:Nenad Rajsic
Nenad Rajsic earned 250 total points
ID: 35040941
to keep your ranking and related keywords try to keep your important new pages with same titles,h1's and content for a while. When your new url's are indexed then start making content changes on those pages. permanent redirects are a must for your scenario and are more important than all the other stuff I mentioned. Not just because Google might send people to non-existent pages but directory links, people’s bookmarks etc will just hit your 404 page if you don’t redirect them.

Also update your sitemap.xml file and remove your old pages from there.
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Assisted Solution

by:Jason C. Levine
Jason C. Levine earned 125 total points
ID: 35041400
If you are changing everything, expect to take a slight and temporary hit in the rankings as google adjusts.   Make sure the new site is fully optimized for search engines:  good titles, validating HTML, good internal link structure and navigation, etc.  
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Author Closing Comment

by:rbudj
ID: 35044746
Ok. Thanks everyone. I will follow your suggestions.
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