Does changing in my url mean a loss in search rankings?

I am trying to move my client’s website onto a new platform but am worried about affecting existing search rankings.

The new cms produces a different (search engine friendly) url structure and that’s where the problem lies. Now does the url change mean search engines will evaluate this page as a new page altogether?

I am being told that the SEO credits given to the old page will be lost. And that even if 301 redirection is set it would take 3-6 months for the SEO credits transfer. In this period I am told overall SEO metrics will be down.

Is this true? Is there anything I can do to avoid this?

If you use a 301 redirect and the content remains substantially the same, Google should not treat it as a new page, and will transfer the ratings and everything across. There might be a temporary dip as Googlebot finds its way around the new structure, but it shouldn’t be major and certainly shouldn’t last as long as 3–6 months.

Thanks stevie but I am being told by the SEO agency in charge of the website that there will be substantial loss in page rank and credits earned over the last year and there are substantial rankings they have achieved for the website that I cannot be responsible for losing.

Is there any research or official google article you can point me towards so I can use it to make my point?

The word from the horse’s mouth: Moving your site - Webmaster Tools Help

If you’re the verified owner of both the old and new domains, you can use Google’s ‘change of address’ tool: Tell Google when your site moves - Webmaster Tools Help

Ultimately, if you want to move the site to the new setup, you’re going to have to take the plunge at some point, and the sooner you do it, the better it will be in the long run. It looks to me like the SEO agency is just covering its back.

Steve - you are awesome - those links are reallly good :slight_smile:
Thanks a lot man - do post some more if you think of them later.