Can A Redesign Hurt Your Search Engine Rankings?

The short answer – YES!

We’ve all heard the stories about redesign projects gone wrong, where IT changed the link structure for all of their product pages, but they neglected to mention it to the SEO/marketing team. Months go by, and their rankings start to sink. Why? Because all of their valuable backlinks are now invalid!

But that’s not the only risk you run. Our e-commerce site runs a custom CMS that was developed in-house, and something as “simple” as a redesign project usually requires a bunch of recoding on the backend as well. (My webmaster hates me, but that’s the price we pay for customizability)

Apparently during our latest update, one of the backend changes mucked something up, and we only just discovered it today.. (3+ months later) In the meantime, 28K pages have been deindexed from Google as a result of this bug!

Google Webmaster Tools is a godsend, as I wouldn’t have realized the problem if not for the large number of Crawl Errors that popped up on my dashboard. A bunch of testing brought to light the issue, and now my guys are working to fix this problem ASAP.

Fun. 🙁


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