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Update old website without loosing ranking

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by benq20, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. benq20

    benq20 Registered Member

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    Hello,

    I have to update a pretty old website (around 7 years old). The owner wants to change it to wordpress. What do I have to look out for when setting this up to not loose the nr.1 google ranking? E.g. keep link structure the same.

    Many Thanks
     
  2. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    That may not be possible, at least in the short term. Every site I've seen updated thats well ranked loses at least SOME rank for a time. If done well most recover or are even better... but it IS a risk to some extent.

    I tried to: Keep all the pages and extensions the same, keep the metas, page descriptions/titles, written content, alt tags on photos... there is a lot of stuff now that I think of it.

    If its ranking #1 why the hell would the owner want to screw with it, by the way? Is its conversion rate shitty? If it isn't broke why fix it?
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. claudewalt

    claudewalt Newbie

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    Maintain the same permalinks and navigation if possible.
     
  4. benq20

    benq20 Registered Member

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    Its a hotel website. It was coded in 2009 and therefore it really needs a facelift + new features like online booking, new pictures... I told her about the risks and "never change a running system". So you suggest to keep the content almost the same but only change the looks?
     
  5. nincyface

    nincyface Regular Member

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    It could very well be that the old interface is very labour intensive, meaning it would be cheaper in the long run to change the backend to wordpress. It could be that the old interface is not very secure and prone to be broken into, wheras a new backend would prevent this. Wordpress could make it a lot easier to add new modules to the website, instead of hiring a php coder every time you want to make a small change.

    Really there are a hundred reasons why a change could make sense. I understand what you're saying in terms of google rankings, but that's only one small aspect of running a business.
     
  6. Chiefjop

    Chiefjop Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Design and CMS doesn't mean a thing for your rankings. Link structure, optimization and content do. If you keep those the same all should be good. If you gonna change things up a bit then you will probably see some rankings drop.

    I think you will be able to find some guides on yoast.com.
     
  7. nichetom

    nichetom Newbie

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    I'm currently going through this and switching from gross old php product links to cleaner /product-category/product-name/ type urls. I think it should be fine with the proper 301 redirects in place right off the hop and the offset of the additional content, improved struture and hierachy depth and more seo friendly urls. Although i do think a short period of ranking drops is inevitable depending on how fast the links to the old page get discovered as 301
     
  8. guillaumemcom

    guillaumemcom Registered Member

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    Make sure the wordpress theme you choose is properly optimized for SEO : use of plugins for title/meta description, internal linking, sitemap, etc...
    You should check your current ranking and make sure you have pages working on the same keywords in the new version of your website.

    And as said by nichetom, plan all the 301s redirect, and check in Google webmaster tool to see if you have any problems when the new website is online.
     
  9. Swaggatron

    Swaggatron Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Migrating the website to WordPress is a good idea. This will definitely give you some initial trouble. Google Page rank need not be considered anymore. Just ensure that the migrated website functions efficiently for a user. Ranks should be easier to gain, if this works out.
     
  10. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    If you change all the content (especially the text) then in Google's eyes you could be seen as changing the precise subject matter of the site. Depending on how you re-write the new site its possible to go from (say) being a hotel site thats about a "beach side hotel in San Diego" to being more about a "luxury hotel in San Diego." And as a result you could start ranking differently. When I renovate sites I *try* to keep as much of the old text as can be kept. And I at least pay close attention to the keyword profile and density of each page. On site SEO is at least half of ranking. So tread carefully and do full research before you begin. I can't say what will happen in your circumstance, but exercise extreme caution is always a good path.