Widespread Errors That Damage Rankings

Common Mistakes That Hurt Rankings

Planning a website migration?

Migrations are one of many tougher – and sometimes dreaded – search engine optimization duties.

To make it work, you have to keep away from widespread pitfalls that may influence your visibility and lead to misplaced site visitors and income.

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

He shared the commonest website migration points so that you may be ready to deal with them.

Right here’s a recap of the webinar presentation.

Site Migration & SEO: Common Mistakes That Hurt Rankings

There are many the explanation why manufacturers resolve to tackle a web site migration.

However whatever the function, website migrations may be scary for most individuals, even for search engine optimization professionals.

Finished incorrect, website migrations pose numerous dangers.

They will considerably influence your visibility and rankings in search outcomes. Even worse, you may lose rankings and income.

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

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

And since most migrations take round 4-6 months on common, groups typically really feel rushed to finish it.

Widespread migration points stem from:

  • Technical search engine optimization issues.
  • Content material adjustments.
  • Rushed initiatives.
  • Lack of communication.
  • Lack of motion and focus.

There are many website migration checklists on the market, however some vital gadgets don’t come up ceaselessly.

Let’s dive into a few of them.

Technical Points


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

If you happen to’re engaged on React or Angular, keep in mind the next:

  • Don’t launch with no type of pre-rendering. The worst injury 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 inside linking construction.
  • Don’t disguise your content material behind person interplay. Google can’t see it, Google can’t rank it.

Inside Linking

Inside linking typically slips below the radar throughout website migrations, however failing to take it under consideration may be dangerous for search engine optimization.

Listed here are suggestions to assist protect your inside linking construction:

  • Don’t drastically change your inside linking construction if you happen to can assist it. Whereas adjustments are prone to occur, you want to pay attention to your earlier inside linking. Burying sections of the positioning behind just a few layers of pages by no means ends effectively.
  • Your menu hyperlinks matter. Your menu navigation is a powerful sign to Google. Numerous points can stem from menu navigation being gutted.

Launch Day Vital Points

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

  • Examine noindex tags. They haven’t any place in your dwell website.
  • Examine redirects. Ensure that they’re working.
  • Examine robots.txt. You don’t need to block Google from crawling your web site.
  • Examine canonicals. 
  • Rollbacks aren’t your good friend and sometimes deliver issues.

Content material Points

Altering Content material

  • Don’t change your content material when migrating if you happen to can assist it. Altering content material removes a previously secure ingredient. Google might want to re-evaluate the positioning based mostly on adjustments made in the course of the migration
  • If you happen to should change content material, backup outdated content material in case you have to re-add it. Reverting content material could be a key consider a migration restoration.

Improper Redirects

Correctly 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 vital web page has no match, think about recreating the web page.

Web site Migration Greatest Practices

Listed here are normal suggestions and reminders to ensure your migration is as profitable as doable.

The Extra You Change, the Tougher It Is to Diagnose What Prompted a Drop

If you happen to can maintain out on sure adjustments (akin to content material) and piece it out after the launch, it’ll be approach simpler to determine any particular points

Don’t Be Afraid to Push Again and Delay the Launch if Vital Points Are Current

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

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

Don’t Launch throughout a Google Replace

Google updates make it exhausting to diagnose issues.

If one is developing that they provide you with a warning to, pushing again the launch could make it simpler to determine how the migration impacted issues.

Keep away from Phased Migrations

Whereas Google now says they will deal with phased migrations, Gault typically sees issues with this strategy.

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

Begin Your Redirects Early

Check your redirects if doable – you’d be amazed how uncommon that is.

You’ll possible have errors that may be fastened with testing. Concentrate on potential higher redirect matches down the road.

Triple Examine Your Redirects

Examine when the positioning launches.

Examine later that day or the subsequent day.

Examine every week later simply to be protected.


  • Most main points with migrations aren’t at all times the obvious.
  • Concentrate on what’s altering and don’t be afraid to push again. Inside linking and content material adjustments aren’t at all times good.
  • Maintain the migration as easy and “clear” as doable. Take into account saving some adjustments for after the majority of the migration.
  • Good communication and addressing points early forestall main complications afterward.

Contemplating a web site migration? Equip your self with the fitting sources, data, and experience to make sure a easy transition. Talk to Conductor’s team of experts.

[Slides] The place Web site Migrations Go Incorrect & Sabotage search engine optimization

Try the SlideShare under.

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Picture Credit

All screenshots taken by creator, August 2021

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