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  1. #1
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    Redevelop site without losing business

    Hi,

    I am trying to win a job redeveloping an ecommerce site,the client loves my ecommerce system but as a web only business they are concerned that their site will initially suffer badly in the switch to a whole new site structure. My ecommerce system has been optimized for seo so this really shouldn't be an issue, i have also offerred to put in 301 redirects within the system for all his most important category pages and anything else that has good rankings for his major keywords. He is convinced though that unless he retains the precise URL's he currently has then he will be penalized by the search engines and that 301's will not be sufficient. I am a developer first and foremost and everything i have read says that 301s are what you should do in this context but he is demanding the category pages at least retain the exact URLs he has now. I'm pretty sure i could mask some of my URLs using mod rewrite to what he wants but the question i want to ask is whether he is actually right ? Considering that all the content on the page will have been reorganised anyway and that the search engines will know that oldpage.html is now to permanently be found at newpage.php then does the actual url of newpage.php really matter anyway ? would love to hear about any scenarios where people have had the same discussions with clients / experiences with their own site etc..

    thanks guys.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict JNKlein's Avatar
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    He needs to know that even with redirects, or even if you used rewrite to match the existing site map, things will change in his rankings just based on the difference in page content.

    Theoretically, you're 100% correct about the redirects... BUT... I've also seen Google do some wonky things in the short run when you change a site.

    You would be on dangerous ground if you promised him there would be no change in ranking in the short term. I would be clear to him that your solution is the right one for his needs, and in the long run will improve his ranking, but he needs to understand that in the short term things could fluctuate.
    I write about making and promoting websites
    worth caring about at my web strategy blog.

    @joshklein on Twitter!

  3. #3
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    Yes that is basically what i have told him, i think the indecision is with him and I'm not sure there is anything other than a guarantee that could appease him but he also knows that there is no way I - or anyone for that matter - can provide him with one. He is very scared he is going to send his business under and it seems nothing will change that, i suppose he either wants a new site and accepts this or he just doesn't get one.

  4. #4
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    It might help with the redesign. I know Google loves to know that you are constantly updating the website and when I put a whole new design on my clients' websites they skyrocket in one week on the search engines.


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