Site Redesigns and the Google Page Rank Implications
Regular visitors to Walshaw.com will have noticed that the site recently
underwent a complete overhaul in design and structure. The directory is
now database driven, and the site has been rewritten in PHP.
One of the main concerns I had in rewriting and restructuring the site
was the impact it would have on my Google page ranks. I say page ranks
in plural because Google determines a rank for each individual page of
a web site, rather than a rank for the site as a whole. While the homepage
URL would remain unchanged, most categories were to be given their own
folder as opposed to having everything dumped in the main directory. On
top of that, every page would have a new extension: .php.
Will a redesign kill my hard earned page ranks? Will I have to start
my search engine optimization over? The fears that I had are shared by
many web designers who rewrite and restructure their web sites.
Once the new version was up my fears were realized. Every page of the
site, apart from the homepage, were given a page rank of zero, and I suddenly
had link partners refusing to exchange links with me because of it!
However it is now two months later, and guess what? Most of my old Google
page ranks have been restored to their previous levels. The lesson learned?
For those of you who are thinking of redesigning their site to the extent
that many URLs will change, be aware that you may temporarily lose the
Google page ranks you have worked so hard to achieve. However, over time
your page ranks should be restored to their previous levels so long as
your homepage URL is unchanged. This result derives from the fact that
your ranked homepage is the primary source of visitors to your other pages,
and its rank should drag the page ranks of the rest of the site up to
their previous levels. For the case of Walshaw.com, I found this process
to take approximately two months.