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Redesigned my whole site (500+ pages) - Rankings not affected

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by partymarty4870, May 11, 2011.

  1. partymarty4870

    partymarty4870 Elite Member

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    I come from a land downunder
    I run a travel and accomm booking site. It's a legitamate business that earns over 350K per year.

    The old site was in HTML and had seved us well for about 3 years. I had designed this site myself as the business grew from $100 per week into $1000 a day. But I ain't no web designer.

    It was definately time to put the best and most professional site out there that we could. this would also save lost of labour time for our staff.

    I put the job up on freelancer.com and also approached local designers. The local designer we chose wanted to do it in .aspx - not the .php I was really after.

    After a month of developement the site went live last Friday.

    As of today I have now got either all my rankings back or improved. I was really sweating on what kind of dip we'd take - as we need that daily income, and couldn't afford more than a couple of weeks in the wilderness.

    Now the things I did with this in mind were

    Approx 5 facebook posts from 5 differnt accounts to roughly different 10,000 people. - this got every account banned. All the posts were directed at www.xxxxxx.com/index.aspx - rather than just www.xxxxxx.com

    Bookmarks to every interior page - the whole lot. These were done to both the
    Code:
    [URL="http://www.xxxxxx.com/store/products.aspx?categoryid=b404dd1d-0cbd-4cad7-8e223-5f1c7c60ae36"]www.xxxxxx.com/[U][COLOR=#0066cc]store/products.aspx?categoryid=b404dd1d-0cbd-4cad7-8e223-5f1c7c60ae36[/URL][/COLOR][/U]
    versions and the plain english urls. This long list was then blasted with every autoapprove SB list I have.

    Hitting google with a new sitemap every day - this sitemap did change as new pages were published every day.

    Funnily enough the aspx coded url's are doing just as well as the plain english - something I didn't really expect.

    My main 2 keywords, which are very very competitive did not budge once - they are directed to my home page, so the address didn't really change.

    I tried to keep the content the same where possible, although this was not always possible as we were trying to improve the useability of the site - I don't think I lost anything due to the changed content.

    I haven't optimised the images yet - so the site is very heavy and loads much slower than before. this didn't seem to affect us, so much for page speed in googles eyes.

    So if you are thinking of a big redesign but afraid to because of rankings, I think I've proved that a painless transition can be acheived.
     
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  2. Nookie Monster

    Nookie Monster Senior Member

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    Interesting case study. I would love to see your site. Might end up being a customer.
     
  3. ilim72

    ilim72 Regular Member

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    Can anyone run this kind of business, do you need some
    professional designation, certification and so on. Just curious as I am looking
    To transit from im to some legit business.
     
  4. Expertpeon

    Expertpeon Elite Member

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    Every time I redesign my sites I seem to increase the rankings not decrease :confused:
     
  5. AndreyK

    AndreyK Junior Member Premium Member

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    Interesting. I am about to redesign one of my sites too. Hope I see no negative impact.
     
  6. mirrorer

    mirrorer Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I have redesign mine to,redesigning doesn't impact ranking as long as the site remain online
     
  7. partymarty4870

    partymarty4870 Elite Member

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    it really helps to be a travel agent with a thorough prior training, not just to load the products but to make the sales. Only about 1/4 of the bookings are automatic - or through the site with no customer contact. The rest usually involve 3-5 emails back and forth.

    My wife had about 10 years experience as a travel agent first. I have a background in tourism marketing and am pretty useless when it comes to selling.

    Although my contacts and knowledge is what helps us get larger commission rates. Thats very important as you get more money for the work involved. We operate on 20-25% - which is just under what large travel wholesalers receive, the regular figure is 10%. The only reason this is possible is prior contacts. I have previously owned a backpacker bus line and a couple of backpacker hostels.

    We also had the luxury of myself and my wife growing the business for 2 years without paying ourselves much - we also own a drive in cinema which has been paying all the bills.

    And to get this experience you have to start as a travel agent - which isn't the best pay, 35-40K where i come from. They get away with it because of the perks.

    For example I have never paid 1 cent to do a scuba dive and I've done over 500 now. Also every holiday is "research" and usually only costs me the (discounted) airfares - with all accommodation and tours FOC (free of charge).

    But it is a growing field, in 10 years hardly anyone will book travel face to face, and its a dynamic exciting, ever changing industry full of young vibrant people.

    Most of which are female.
     
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  8. AndreyK

    AndreyK Junior Member Premium Member

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    I think redesigning can greatly affect your rankings if you on-page seo changes. Things like the way your site is interlinked, links in the sidebars, headers, navigation can have a great affect on seo.
     
  9. partymarty4870

    partymarty4870 Elite Member

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    Thats what you'd think - but I just proved otherwise.

    i knew it was all about links - and this excersise has just confirmed it.
     
  10. partymarty4870

    partymarty4870 Elite Member

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    update time, 2 weeks later

    the store product pages are going up and down like crazy in the rankings for many more search terms than I was ranking for before.

    my biggest $$$ keyword which has been stuck at #5 since falling from #1 at the beginning of the year (when I broke my right arm and had to put everything virtually on hold for 6 weeks) has now moved to #3.

    i had to put the site on a severe diet as the designer went a bit crazy with rotating images on the home page and had 19 images of between 2 and 300KB. These were slashed to 6 images of 30-45KB. This was done after the move upwards. So I doubt much weight is being given to loading times by G yet.

    That fat homepage was costing us about $500 per day. Over the whole site about 4GB was trimmed off over 2000 images.

    Another interesting thing is that overwritten plain english url's are still ranking the same as the .aspx coded ones. This is really bothering me as I was such a big beleiver in your keyword must be in your url.

    Everything I do in this excersise points to backlinking as being the single most important thing. I have broken all the other SEO must do's with no real ill effect at some stage and to differing degrees in the last few weeks. And anything with shitloads of backlinks seems to be immune.