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Site re-design and ranking implications

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by bluehatface, Jul 7, 2014.

  1. bluehatface

    bluehatface Regular Member

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    My main money site is in need of a re-vamp. When I set it up, I used what I though was a good Wordpress theme, and a few different plugins.

    My theme is actually pretty shit, and has been having problems with various bits and pieces. (And I've had an e-mail from 1and1 saying that Wsijia Newsletter has a virus injected :-/).

    I basically want to start a new, clean WP install, and copy-paste my posts into the new site. I want to replace a few of the images, and edit a few of the posts (generally low word-count, non-ranking posts). I don't mind doing this the long way round, as I need to edit most posts to remove shortcodes for a plugin I made, and want to proof-read all the previous posts.

    Will this sort of redesign have a negative impact on my G rankings? I recently upgraded server speed, removed W3 cache, and installed a simpler minify plugin, and my rankings improved dramatically, so an even better (quicker) theme should in theory help even more.

    I'm going to be keeping the same URL structure, mostly the same images and post text, just a clean install with a clean theme (maybe change author name from my name, to the site's name).

    I presume it will cause a dance, but can I expect to come back with worse/better/same rankings?

    Cheers,
    BHF

    TL;DR version: Will a new WP install, new theme and minor changes have a negative impact on rankings?
     
  2. Scritty

    Scritty BANNED BANNED Premium Member

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    If you change the canonical structure of the site - expect some serious changes. If you keep the URL: structure and add content it should bounce but may well improve in the medium/long term.
    No guarantees of course, but it's something I do quite a bit (today in fact - completely changed the front page of several sites)

    Just because Ebay get away with looking like a site designed in 1996, doesn't mean we should all stay stuck in the past. Modernize and move on :)

    Scritty
     
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  3. Laubster

    Laubster Senior Member Premium Member

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    There are some threads about this (one I created myself) but WordPress theme updates don't seem to majorly affect rankings. Not sure why you'd want to start with a fresh install. It could work, but if your goal is to clean up the pages indexed in Google, you're better off just updating your theme and spending some time in WMT/tweaking your sitemaps to block/de-index any pages that are thin.
     
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  4. tony_d

    tony_d Elite Member

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    It's been my experience that if the changes are limited to visual layout (that is, your URL structure stays the same, and your content also), you won't experience any negative ranking effects.
    If your bounce rate decreases by way of improved UX, you'll actually get a positive ranking effect.
     
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  5. StraussCan

    StraussCan Regular Member

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    Go ahead but don't make major changes in the URL of course.
     
  6. upstarter

    upstarter Regular Member

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    A site redesign shouldn't have any bad effect on your rankings. If you plan to change the url structure, that's a different story...
     
  7. edwins

    edwins Newbie

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    remove pages which doesn't have traffic.
     
  8. bluehatface

    bluehatface Regular Member

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    I want a fresh install just to completely clean everything up. I've done loads of edits, tweaks and fafs and everything (DB included) is a bit messy. I also had hi-res PNG images as the featured image of every post, so I'm tweaking all them as well. I've added shortcodes here and there, and tweaks in files where I probably shouldn't :/

    Also, when I first started the site, I only had 1 SQL database, so I had a few WP installs in there. I've since upgraded, and am going to give it its own DB.

    It's quite an old site, so I've done some major bollocks back when I didn't know any better. Now I know what I'm doing with WP, I'm starting again.

    Cheers for all your input guys! I'm working on the new site in XAMPP as we speak.