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Restructuring Site - Rankings Dropping / Backlinks Issue

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by cooper1210, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. cooper1210

    cooper1210 Regular Member

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    Hi,

    I'm restructuring / rebuilding an old site. It's still a WP site, but I have just reshaped the urls and the way it's generally presented. All content (which was minimal), has been replaced.

    Although I wasn't being ranked that well before, I am hardly being ranked for anything now. What I would have expected to see, is my old words disappearing from semrush, just to be replaced by the new words. This hasn't been the case, but it's been a few week since I restructured everything. How long does it really take Google to adjust?

    Not just that, but I also have another query with regards to my backlinks. There aren't that many, say 200, but 95% of them are pointing towards articles that now don't exist! Basically, 404s. Would this affect my ratings that dramatically? I.e. would it be advisable if I 301 forward these links to something relevant?

    Adding to the backlinks, I rarely have backlinks to my home page, but individual articles.

    So yeah, two questions really:
    1) The importance of backlinks to actual pages
    2) Why is my site not being ranked to the new content

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. kickthat

    kickthat Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I'm going to answer this in reverse.

    2) There are a whole bunch of reasons your site might now not be ranking. First of all is that you might have done an awful job on the SEO of the new pages. No offence intended, but it's possible. However, even if you have done a good job with it, it sounds as though you have basically started from scratch - as such, your rankings will reflect that. You mention that you expect to see 'old words' disappearing from SEMrush and 'new words' appearing. I take from this that you are optimising the site for a whole load of different phrases - again, this will mean it's going to take time.

    My expectation, based on what you have said, and providing you have done a good job with the onsite SEO then it could easily be a few months - depending on keyword competition and a whole range of other factors, including whether the site really had any value in the first place.

    1) Yeah, backlinks are important. If existing backlinks now don't go anywhere you're basically losing any link value that the site previously had. You want to get those old pages that were linked to 301 redirected ASAP - those links are currently doing sweet FA. It's mainly because you've asked this that I have suggested above that your onsite SEO might be lacking somewhat... 301 redirecting links to keep the value is a fairly basic thing.
     
  3. cooper1210

    cooper1210 Regular Member

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    Answering in accordance to the order above:

    2) my first infrastructure was not seo setup, I had little idea on seo.

    It was because of business redesign and seo knowledge that we restructured. We were getting ranked before for account (page) url and very very small descriptions, even say 5 words. But these 50 accounts were spread about, so we've got about 200 backlinks from pages promoting what we promote

    1) Backlinks - I'll get those links directed straightaway. I've read up since and I kinda get the gist.

    Apologies for the lame questions, I would say that I'm fairly switched on, but I'm new to IM, and I have so many other duties to attend to,

    Thanks @kickthat
     
  4. cooper1210

    cooper1210 Regular Member

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    @kickthat - setup redirects for the old 404 links, within days I started ranking for the new keywords, cheers :)