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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member DickTurpin's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Changing templates (the SEO perspective)

    Hello everybody,

    I am managing a site that is on Joomla! (2.5) and the team and I have already done extensive SEO work (backlinks building,etc) and have managed to rank the site for the keywords we have targeted.

    The situation is that we have created a new template for the site to give it a fresh new look and we are soon to install it and proceed with the transition. Of course we have taken care of making sure all CONTENT, like text, alt text on images, titles, and URL's, remain the same to try our best that Google keeps watching the site like it did before, with no content differences.

    The only things that has changed on the new template are the structural elements, like id names, classes names, <div> and other tags positions, and of course CSS.

    My question is, what do you guys think is gonna happen, would we see any change on the rankings position of the page? or as long as the elements mentioned remain the same (content per se) Google should still look at the page as the same as before and leave us alone?

    I appreciate your thoughts

    later

    Dick.

  2. #2
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    Hey Dick,
    I've worked with Joomla and have noticed that the major concerns when changing templates isn't the class names, ids, etc but more the architecture of the code. As an example if you are changing from a template that has the majority of the page's content "above the fold" to one that does not, I would expect to lose a notch or two in search results. Another thing you may want to consider is what kind of navigation structure you choose to use. content's still king, but if search engines have trouble crawling (or can't crawl some pages) even though they are currently ranking well you may lose some rank.

    Not trying to scare you sir, just pointing out the "red flags" that usually come up.

    Hope it helps!

    EDIT** the navigation structures that rely on some javascript don't seem to be much of a problem unless the parent item is only used to trigger a dropdown...

    ex:
    HTML Code:
    <a href="#">Parent Item</a>
        <a href="page1.html">child item</a>
        <a href="page2.html">child item</a>
    if you're using a menu like this, make sure you leave another way for the search engine crawler to get to the parent item on your pages.

  3. #3
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    Stevie D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DickTurpin View Post
    The situation is that we have created a new template for the site to give it a fresh new look and we are soon to install it and proceed with the transition. Of course we have taken care of making sure all CONTENT, like text, alt text on images, titles, and URL's, remain the same to try our best that Google keeps watching the site like it did before, with no content differences.

    The only things that has changed on the new template are the structural elements, like id names, classes names, <div> and other tags positions, and of course CSS.

    My question is, what do you guys think is gonna happen, would we see any change on the rankings position of the page? or as long as the elements mentioned remain the same (content per se) Google should still look at the page as the same as before and leave us alone?
    Google really couldn't care less about the code on your page, and it pays precious little attention to things like class names. Why should it? It will look out for common things like nav/menu, contact, footer and so on, because it helps it to form a picture of the page, but apart from that, it really makes no odds if you have
    Code Joomla!:
    <td valign="top" colspan="2">
    <span style="font-size: 12px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; line-height: normal; ">
    Code Wordpress:
    <div class="entry-utility"><span class="cat-links">
    <span class="entry-utility-prep entry-utility-prep-cat-links">
    HTML Code:
    <p class="article">
    All that Google is interested in is giving the most relevant and reliable content to searchers. If your content is the same, if your site structure and navigation is broadly the same, if you have put redirects on any URLs that have moved, then as far as Google is concerned your site is the same.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Member DickTurpin's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies guys,
    Certainly valuable information, I'll make sure to keep the content, site structure, URL's, titles, all the same and 301 redirect anything that has changed.

    Thanks for the info again


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