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will redoing a website hurt your page rank on Google?

  • # September 9, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    My client wants me to add some pizazz to his website, or offer any advice I can, so I took a look and this is what he has now:

    http://www.youridahoattorney.com/

    Well I wanted to redo the entire website something like this:

    http://img2.pict.com/2d/3d/86/1596542/0/800/rockieswebsitemockupv1.jpg

    but he’s afraid that if he changes his site it will hurt his Google page rank, which (IMHO) isn’t that good, he get’s around 500hits per month. But Either way he doesn’t want to "rebuild his page ranking"

    Would Google knock down his ranking if you totally redid the site?

    he also wonders if putting up a second site that’s beautiful and slowly switching over "would having two websites hurt the page rank"?

    Is his fear real? or irrational? I’m not sure.

    # September 10, 2009 at 12:08 am

    Just change it. As long as you have all the safeguards in place (i.e. accessibility) then you shouldn’t have an issue, in fact, it may raise his page rank. I like to think of Google robots as an old blind, deaf man that relies on a braille reader to communicate. A trend I see is highly accessible websites ranking higher than non-accessible websites. Popularity will still play the biggest role.

    # September 10, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    as long as the SEO is same or better, then his page rank will stay same or better…..

    as long as it is coded nice, clean, with lots of links in/out proper uses or title meta etc. you should know it all anyway.

    his rank is all about the SEO not what it looks like, the spiders are in the bowels of the site, not looking at how it looks and judging

    # September 10, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    so even if I totally change his website from website tonight crap to wordpress as long as I have good SEO it shouldn’t cause a dip at all even a little bit. because that’s what he’s worried about.

    I do write very clean code and I would use meta tags properly (probalby throw in the SEO plugin)

    # September 10, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    It depends on what you mean by "redoing" the website.

    You can completely redesign a website and have the Google rank stay the exact same if you don’t change the content.

    If you change the content, however, there of course is a chance the Google rank will change.

    # September 10, 2009 at 2:05 pm
    "TheDoc" wrote:
    It depends on what you mean by "redoing" the website.

    You can completely redesign a website and have the Google rank stay the exact same if you don’t change the content.

    If you change the content, however, there of course is a chance the Google rank will change.

    but as I see it having up to date content is a must, especially for a lawyer, so he should not be relying on this part to keep his rank high. (just my 2 cents dude)

    it is not instantaneous that his rank will drop.

    # September 10, 2009 at 2:16 pm
    "ikthius" wrote:
    but as I see it having up to date content is a must, especially for a lawyer, so he should not be relying on this part to keep his rank high. (just my 2 cents dude)

    I completely agree. There’s no point in keeping stale, uninformative content. I’m merely pointing out the fact that if the content changes, site wide, then there is a chance for a drop in ranking.

    # September 10, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    The content will probably stay the same or will be added too BUT, the structure of the website would most likely be tottaly different.

    Like the navigation would be different, probably using sub pages to break up the 10+ links there now.

    The other idea is to open up a totally different site, then slowly try to transition when the Google ranks pick up. which is a pretty good option, but it also seems somewhat needless. but again there’s fear, he’s also worried that Google will think the Repetition two websites about the same thing, will put the rank down on both pages, is this a real fear?

    # September 10, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    seriously he is worrying over nothing…..

    as long as it is the same site, roughly same-ish content, clean code, links in/out, good use of meta, title, great SEO practices, he should gain from a fresher better site.

    if he is really that worried tell him to go somewhere else, you should not need the hassle of this guys worries, he should be asking for a better site than he got anyway ;)

    # September 10, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Having said that, there is absolutely no way to guarantee a consistent page rank. Google does its own thing. It is impossible to promise anything. If anyone has told him otherwise, he’s been misinformed.

    # September 10, 2009 at 7:47 pm
    "TheDoc" wrote:
    Having said that, there is absolutely no way to guarantee a consistent page rank. Google does its own thing. It is impossible to promise anything. If anyone has told him otherwise, he’s been misinformed.

    Yip, if he changes he could go up, he could go down…. but this also applies to not changing the site….

    # September 10, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    Remember when I said "Google robots as an old blind, deaf man that relies on a Braille reader to communicate"? Here’s a more correct version:

    "Google robots as an old blind, deaf man that relies on a Braille reader to communicate and features ultimate organized randomness."

    Other than the people that work for Google, I don’t think many people really understand how Google ranks pages. There’s the meta and popularity aspects, which control 90% of the ranking, but there’s another 10% that nobody (by "nobody", I mean people I’ve seen or met) really understands.

    # September 11, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Thanks your replies have been really helpful :D .

    I still don’t know if I can convince him, but I’m not going to push him too hard, I’ll just give him what he wants.
    Perhaps go with the 2nd idea of setting up an alternate website.

    thanks again,
    -Mr.B

    # September 11, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Just some quick notes:

    Page rank is only one aspect of what google thinks about your site. It actually is an algorithm that calculates incoming links versus outgoing links. more info on wiki.

    So, in theory your pagerank won’t change from a redesign unless you increase the number of outgoing links.

    Also note, the public PR that you see in your browser only gets updated every 6 months or so, and is usually a month or two behind when it does get updated.

    My biggest recommendation for redoing the site is to make sure you 301 redirect all the old pages to the corresponding new pages (or keep the page names the same).

    From my experience, there’s always going to be a small dip in your SE rankings after a complete redo.

    # September 11, 2009 at 4:14 pm
    "MrBrightside" wrote:
    Perhaps go with the 2nd idea of setting up an alternate website.

    I’d be careful with that. Still seems like trying to cheat the Google system.

    From a recent post on NETTUTS:

    "Google is very strict about duplicate content and severely penalizes sites which do so. This is regardless of whether the content is on different domains. If the same, exact content appears on different pages, the page last indexed is going to be penalized."

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