A few weeks ago, one of my clients who was well positioned in Google thought it would be a good idea to redesign his without informing me. Once the new site online, what had to happen happened: all its great positions were gone in just a few days. The main reason: no Permalink (url rewriting) were saved! I don’t even talk about the structure of the pages and its non-existent content, since its new very nice site consisted of almost entirely of images… and almost no text!
Site redesign: see your SEO agency before you begin!
A website redesign is above all a matter of common sense. Your SEO agency or your SEO consultant spent a phenomenal time to improve your page ranks. It is therefore imperative to preserve this investment, as the age of a page also plays a role in the ranking! As my colleague Patrice Krysztofiak says “changing an URL is digital suicide!”
Even if it is possible to gain back some positions through 301 redirects, these practices are not only time-consuming but do not always produce the expected results. That is why it is best to keep the urls “for life”.
If really you do not have the opportunity to retain your URLs, for example due to a change in the CMS or it is not possible to preserve the integrity of the existing web site, regardless, it is crucial to plan and prepare the ground. So, why not using canonical tags to tell Google’s duplication of the content from one page to another? This strategy is just as effective, and may be even more effective than a simple 301 redirect in some cases.