Common Mistakes That Hurt Rankings

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Planning a web site migration?

Migrations are one of many tougher – and infrequently dreaded – website positioning duties.

To make it work, it’s good to keep away from frequent pitfalls that may impression your visibility and lead to misplaced visitors and income.

On August 11, I moderated a sponsored Search Engine Journal webinar introduced by Cody Gault, Migration Services Lead at Conductor.

He shared the most typical web site migration points so that you may be ready to deal with them.

Here’s a recap of the webinar presentation.

Site Migration & SEO: Common Mistakes That Hurt Rankings

There are loads of the explanation why manufacturers resolve to tackle an internet site migration.

But whatever the goal, web site migrations may be scary for most individuals, even for website positioning professionals.

Done fallacious, web site migrations pose a variety of dangers.

They can considerably impression your visibility and rankings in search outcomes. Even worse, you’ll be able to lose rankings and income.

Gault shared that almost all of groups they work with have zero expertise with migrations.

Nearly everyone seems to be frightened about shedding rankings and visitors and often, there isn’t a full plan in place to mitigate threat.

And as a result of most migrations take round 4-6 months on common, groups usually really feel rushed to finish it.

Common migration points stem from:

  • Technical website positioning issues.
  • Content modifications.
  • Rushed tasks.
  • Lack of communication.
  • Lack of motion and focus.

There are loads of web site migration checklists on the market, however some necessary objects don’t come up steadily.

Let’s dive into a few of them.

Technical Issues


Roughly half the migrations Gault and his workforce at Conductor deal with contain transferring to a JavaScript framework.

If you’re engaged on React or Angular, bear in mind the next:

  • Don’t launch and not using a type of pre-rendering. The worst harm Gault has seen is when the shopper depends on Google to render the content material.
  • Don’t use JavaScript hyperlinks. Google doesn’t crawl them and also you’ll mess up your inner linking construction.
  • Don’t cover your content material behind person interplay. Google can’t see it, Google can’t rank it.

Internal Linking

Internal linking usually slips beneath the radar throughout web site migrations, however failing to take it into consideration may be dangerous for website positioning.

Here are ideas to assist protect your inner linking construction:

  • Don’t drastically change your inner linking construction for those who can assist it. While modifications are more likely to occur, you want to concentrate on your earlier inner linking. Burying sections of the location behind a number of layers of pages by no means ends nicely.
  • Your menu hyperlinks matter. Your menu navigation is a powerful sign to Google. Countless points can stem from menu navigation being gutted.

Launch Day Critical Issues

These are the belongings you don’t need to miss checking earlier than launching your newly migrated web site.

  • Check noindex tags. They haven’t any place in your reside web site.
  • Check redirects. Make certain that they’re working.
  • Check robots.txt. You don’t need to block Google from crawling your web site.
  • Check canonicals. 
  • Rollbacks will not be your buddy and infrequently carry issues.

Content Issues

Changing Content

  • Do not change your content material when migrating for those who can assist it. Changing content material removes a previously secure aspect. Google might want to re-evaluate the location primarily based on modifications made through the migration
  • If you could change content material, backup previous content material in case it’s good to re-add it. Reverting content material generally is a key think about a migration restoration.

Improper Redirects

Properly goal redirects. Don’t mass redirect to the homepage.

  • If a web page is lacking, discover a appropriate match (product to product class).
  • If an necessary web page has no match, contemplate recreating the web page.

Site Migration Best Practices

Here are normal ideas and reminders to verify your migration is as profitable as attainable.

The More You Change, the Harder It Is to Diagnose What Caused a Drop

If you’ll be able to maintain out on sure modifications (reminiscent of content material) and piece it out after the launch, it’ll be method simpler to determine any particular points

Don’t Be Afraid to Push Back and Delay the Launch if Critical Issues Are Present

Migrations are bumpy sufficient with out including extra points into the combination.

If a web site goes to launch whatever the points, be certain to tell the shopper or your higher-ups of the potential fallout

Don’t Launch throughout a Google Update

Google updates make it arduous to diagnose issues.

If one is arising that they warn you to, pushing again the launch could make it simpler to determine how the migration impacted issues.

Avoid Phased Migrations

While Google now says they will deal with phased migrations, Gault usually sees issues with this method.

Be particularly cautious of phased launches when coping with worldwide websites.

Start Your Redirects Early

Test your redirects if attainable – you’d be amazed how uncommon that is.

You’ll probably have errors that may be mounted with testing. Be conscious of potential higher redirect matches down the road.

Triple Check Your Redirects

Check when the location launches.

Check later that day or the following day.

Check per week later simply to be protected.


  • Most main points with migrations aren’t all the time the obvious.
  • Be conscious of what’s altering and don’t be afraid to push again. Internal linking and content material modifications aren’t all the time good.
  • Keep the migration as easy and “clean” as attainable. Consider saving some modifications for after the majority of the migration.
  • Good communication and addressing points early forestall main complications in a while.

Considering an internet site migration? Equip your self with the proper sources, data, and experience to make sure a easy transition. Talk to Conductor’s workforce of consultants.

[Slides] Where Site Migrations Go Wrong & Sabotage website positioning

Check out the SlideShare under.

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