Will I lose Google rankings updating my website?
I have an old site and I want a fresh new look. My webmaster says I will lose Google rankings if she makes a new site. Is there a way around this in order to create an up to date and nicer looking site?
No - your webmaster is full of it. My company has built over 540 websites for clients, most of them with an existing website. It is actually quite the contrary. A new site could be just what you need to actually IMPROVE your rankings. Now - be warned that you will likely experience a few ups and downs within the first couple weeks after a switch as Google crawls and re-indexes the site. It takes into account new code, structure, mobile or not, content and more.
MAKE SURE YOUR NEW WEBSITE IS RESPONSIVE...Mobile ready in other words.
Hope this helps!
Yes and no. David Bentley is right in that you about the re-indexing but you can also help expedite that process by being sure your old page references are redirected to the new ones. Redirection technology is readily available, common knowledge in the IT community, and should be something your webmaster has in their toolset - if not, find a webmaster that does.
I would reword what David said instead of saying "no". You WILL lose some rankings, but it won't last long if you do things right. This is also going to depend on how the new site is built. If the links need to be redirected, if the site content is staying the same or if it's new content. There are a lot of factors that would change rankings with a brand new site build.
With that being said, if you do PROPER SEO to the site once redesigned, then yes it can increase your rankings. Providing better content to the site that is more focused on your brand and keyword queries you're attempting to rank for, if you do proper 301 redirects if your page URL's change, creating a custom 404 page for your site, submitting your XML sitemap, etc. Many things you can do that will help your rankings increase with a new website. Though, when you relaunch you could definitely see a decrease, but only for a short time.
Actually, if the site is any more than a year or so old, if you have a developer worth their salt, your rankings should go UP, not down. It's unlikely that your site is up to standards set forth by today's search engines. Not updating your site is probably hurting you. A couple of things to keep an eye on:
make sure you have a good migration plan in place to avoid losing rankings/traffic due to renamed urls/removed pages
make sure your host is solid. I'd recommend avoiding shared servers, they suck.
make sure you do keyword research and determine the actual searches you want to rank for and tailor your pages to that. Who cares if you come up first for red apples if you sell tennis shoes.
Its' very good if you are updating your website and giving a fresh look to your website. Google love those sites that are updating fresh content from time to time.
It is not true that you will lose your Google rankings if you update your site. However, if your website's new look is not acceptable by users and is confusing then it may result increase in bounce rate and bad user experience. If this happens, then you may lose your website rankings.
A wrong url structure and broken links can also be the another reason of low website rankings.
I would advise you to keep a check on Google Analytics associated with your website while updating your website. You can check user behavior, their enter and exit time on website. If it does not affect the previous time, then it means that new look is accepted by users, but if bounce rate is increasing then it means that users are not liking and understanding the new look of your website.
For that, you can analyze the area which is being ignored by user and should work on its improvement. If you successfully did that, then you will get stable and even better rankings on Google.
Recommend Read: http://www.fatbit.com/fab/find-website-sucks-make-sell-actionable-tips/
Does your new site have the same keywords, content, architecture, links, goals and targets as the old site? If it's truly noting more than a 'fresh look' as you say, then it may be very close to the same site except for cosmetic differences. That said, it hardly ever actually works out that way due to personal preferences by designers and web developers.
You will likely lose some rankings or at least see them drop. That can be temporary if you use redirects correctly, but there's no perfect prediction on switching out a complete website. I used to tell clients they would drop for about 3 months and then rise again because that's what we would see while I was at BruceClay.com, but rankings didn't always come back to where they were because it's such a fluid environment.
Competition is working against you every day. When your site takes even a slight dive - especially on multiple keywords, it opens a door of opportunity. Google automatically plugs those holes with other sites. So ideally your new design has a built-in flexibility so that you won't have to do this again anytime soon and when you do, you can more easily change the look and feel without re-coding - assuming it's does acceptably this time.
It boils down to what is different on the new site compared to the old. Google doesn't see sites visually like humans. They see the Matrix view: code and text, structure, relationships between data, location, links, positions on the page, etc.
They also look at all the above and try to assess how 'expert' you site is on what they think it's about. You can literally change the 'voice' of your site in rewriting content and see rankings move. Just remember that your rankings aren't just about what happens on your pages - it includes how much trust and respect you get from other sites, social activity and signals, online reputation, and more.
If it were me, I would list the pages that rank and for what keywords in a spreadsheet. Include rankings that are not in the top 10 results because you might see improvements during the change and need to monitor those, too. Use the correct redirects to point old pages to the new replacements for those pages. Start by placing the exact same body text/images and tags on the pages to minimize the major changes. If you are missing things like image alt tags or photo captions don't wait to get those in place. Stay focused on your keyword usage where it needs to be without spamming it.
If you can use the same URL to match old and new pages, that won't hurt, but also realize that your new designer/developer could code any given pages or your site as a whole worse than it was, completely wrong, or inefficiently and really make the site look different to Google.
If the overwhelming source of traffic to your site was SEO, that's your biggest problem. Make sure your designer assembles a spreadsheet showing they did the redirects. If it's not specifically in your agreement, they have no obligation to ensure they've done everything possible to minimize rank drops falling on your head. You just wanted a new look and feel.
It should be against the law to design sites for appearance instead of functionality and effectiveness. But most people simply don't get what business is about (especially creatives and artistic types) and translate that into what a website should be about. I'm trained in graphic/web design and struggled with that for years before focusing on marketing and generating results toward business goals before anything else.
You will lose some ranking but, Google is no longer willing to rank sites that are not responsive designs for mobile devices anyway. What is best is to use a responsive design, apply full "white hat" seo to the site and make consistent, moderate changes to the site on a monthly basis from now on. Feel free tho call if you have questions. Wayne
Short and simple answer is NO. Yes the ranking will drop but if they're competent, they will have a clear understanding on how to keep V1 active whilst developing V2. Do not take down your old website until you have at least a BETA Version of the new one live.
Secondly, a competent web developer will have a few tricks up their sleeves to ensure that you always have a landing page and some vital content that underscores your top 20 ranking keywords that drive traffic to your site.
Hope this helps and good luck.
Actually quiet the opposite. As they say, "Content is King". The more you update and and content the better your Google search results will be.
In addition to that it's best to narrow down your keywords for each page and/or product on your site. This will ensure you're directing traffic where you want it to go and differentiate your pages; as well as solidify that your using meta data correctly. Yes, Google will start to re-index your site as previously mentioned but it s for the better in the long term.
Change it up!!!!
I don't see why it should. If anything updating your web-site with new skills or other areas of interest to people who have not seen it before could attract them, and google find your site for them because the site contains "trigger words" which is basicaly what a search engine does.
Changing site should not drive you down the list of would be enquirers; the only exception would be the site name.
As much as you keep actual index, pages, hyperliknks and most content as it used to be...no. You won't lose rankings. But remember ranking is a result of measurable factors that intervene and affect it - internally as well as externally.
It depends on your platform and what changes you want to make whether it makes sense to simply update your current website or make a new one. If you would like us to do an analysis for you we can. We can get your new site optimized so that you are visible via search.
Tracie, you can usually update to a fresh new look using the same domain name and keep or increase your Google rankings. IF you want to change the domain name as well as the look and contents of your web site, your webmaster is correct: with a new domain name, you will be starting over completely from scratch, and have to rebuild your Google rankings for the new domain name.
If you keep the same domain name and improve the appearance, layout design etc, you will not lose Google rankings [if it is not the case, I would like to know why]. Google does give weight to age, inbound/outbound links, mobility friendlyness, activity etc. .
I agree with some of the answers below. Yes you will lose some ranking but the new structure, the cleaner code and 301 re-directs will ensure that the new site is much better to be ranked higher AND with correct ongoing digital marketing techniques, you should see improved rankings overall.
Well the first thing you need to do is review your last three years of sales and determine where most of your revenue comes from. If it is the site, then yes! Also be advised that when you do update your Website make sure it is HTML 5 friendly. Google has given SEO priority to Websites that are "small screen" friendly. That is, mobile smart devices over desk top PCs or even laptops. This will have impact on small and even multi-billion revenue business.
I have a two year old web update with a redirect and we are stuck at a page 2 rank. Is there a time limit on redirects.