Will changing the code and layout of my pages while moving to new URLs affect their rankings?

Will changing the code and layout of my pages while moving to new URLs affect their rankings?


Here’s a question from Richard
in New York who asks I’m changing the platform
of my blog. All old URLs will redirect
to new ones. But since the HTML code and
layout of the pages are different, do you lose search
engine rankings? Well, search engine rankings
can change when the page changes itself. If you’re doing the 301’s
correctly, so a permanent redirect from the old site
to the new site. And if you’re doing at a page
level, so from the old page to the new page. You should be in relatively
good shape. But it’s not just
incoming links. It’s also the content
of the page itself. So if you had a really good
layout with a really clean design where all the text
was easily indexed. And you move to something that
was a lot more confusing and maybe the text wasn’t as easy
for us to extract, that could change your search rankings
for the down side or for the negative. In general, we’re relatively
good about changing layouts and being able to still be
able to discern what that page is about. But here’s one test
that you could do. As long as you haven’t done the
transition yourself, if you can try to make a few tests
where you can take the layout of a new page or the new
site and see if you can apply it in some very simple
ways to the old site, then that’s the way to
isolate those. Because it’s just like any
scientific experiment. If you do two things at once and
your rankings go down, you can’t decouple what caused it. Whereas if you can change just
the layout, even if it’s only on a few pages, to sort of try
out and see whether your rankings change with that, then
you’ll know OK, was it more likely to be because of the
redirects or because I was changing my HTML layout. So that’s just a little piece of
advice if you want to make sure that things go a little
more smoothly. It’s always nice if you can test
it, sort of put your toe in the water, before you
jump in and do a cannon ball first thing.

4 comments

  • The advice given in this video about testing single items at a time is overall useful for any type of onsite optimization or content changes (to see how search engines or your actual users react to updates on your site) Good video

  • nice explanation, great stuff..

  • truththroughscience

    When doing that trial testing to see if the page rank is affected when changing the html on a certain page, how do you get rapid feedback? In other words I want to be able to get a page rank or some sort of score quickly and not have to wait until google re-indexes that page.

  • Maribel Delos Reyes

    He always give a great advice and answer the question thourghly

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