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Would You Change Your Most Popular Page?


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#1 jonbey

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 03:07 AM

OK, on MH I still have one page that gets the lions share of hits, and also makes the most dosh. It is an old static page, as I was too scared to add it to the new CMS pages. The URL will have to change, so it will be a 301 job. So, shall I move it? Is there any risk in moving it? The content will be the same, but the URL a bit different - same words but all lower case (currently using upper case for first letter of each word - yes, it is that old).

There are a couple of others in similar situations too. Part of me say "go for it, it could boost its fellow pages more" and the other says "do not risk upsetting the situation, keep the URL the same".

If there is a way to show Capital Letters in Wordpress page URLs then there will not be such a problem.

OK, to spell it out the change will be from

/articles/How-To-Lose-Belly-Fat.html

to

/articles/how-to-lose-belly-fat

Is it worth risking having my most popular page lose ranking? I have moved domains with no problem, but could changing a URL be problematic?

Edited by jonbey, 27 May 2009 - 03:09 AM.


#2 glyn

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 04:34 AM

If it's a bit hitter of a page in terms of traffic, expect Google to push it down in the listings while it re-evaluates the content. Then it should rise again.

#3 A.N.Onym

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 07:09 AM

I'd make sure that the new version is significantly better (in terms of SEO, content, formatting, deep links to other pages, mega tags, title, h1-6 tags), than the older page - and then change it mercilessly (I didn't check your page, whether it needs the mentioned improvements).

It might help to change the links you control to the new URL. If the page has many external, uncontrollable, links, it might help to get some new links to the new URL.

There isn't anything scary in doing it, as long as you do everything right.

Edited by A.N.Onym, 27 May 2009 - 07:11 AM.


#4 glyn

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 08:33 AM

If the page performs well, forget about SEOing it. Because everyone knows that at a basic level you need to put in some of the bits mentioned in the previous post, it's nearly a flat field. If I see another website with an H1 at the top of the page rewritten with a bit of CSS I shall scream.

Yes I'd be doing stuff like mentioned before on a new page but with much more variation, if I understand correctly it ain't broke and you don't really want to fix it, but you have to. Therefore mirror the existing contenet as much as possible and that should be enough.

At the end of the day, do as you please ;)

#5 iamlost

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 10:57 AM

There is no 'law' that says all your pages need to be part of a cms. I'd leave it (and any other well performing pages) alone until such time as either it sinks in the SERPs or traffic/conversions drop off.

Yes, a cms can make changes easier - but until you need to make changes...

... it could boost its fellow pages more"

Now that I do not get at all. Simply being a cms generated page doesn't affect how a page boosts (or not) other site pages. That is a matter of linkage. If you want to help another page add a link with approprate anchor and surrounding text. No cms required.

If you mean that the cms auto-interlinks you might want to rethink that. Site architecture is far too important to be left to a default cms process (in every off the shelf cms I've researched).

The question that needs to be answered: what compelling business reason requires the change?

#6 jonbey

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 11:07 AM

Cheers IAmLost.

I should rethink the static page. Make it a better "landing page" Use it to peddle the other good stuff. Lots of advantages of having that page static, like geotargeting etc.

My only reason to place it in with the CMS was so that it would show latest posts better, and comments. But I may jsut build a dedicated belly fat discussion page, as I have done for Bruce Lee. That should sort it.

It the last of the static pages in /articles/ (I think) that is every read. All alone in a sea of CMS.

Leaving it be is good for me. Less work.

#7 DrPete

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 12:45 PM

Just a general thought. There's always risk in changing a page, and I wouldn't do it for the sake of change, but you can't keep it the same forever in fear of losing rankings. Eventually, whether or not you change, Google will change the rules. You've always got to be looking for ways to improve.

Personally, I don't know of any issues with capitalization in the URL. Google might sense a change and temporarily re-evaluate, as glyn suggested, but beyond that, you'd probably be fine.

#8 fisicx

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 02:36 AM

Jonbey,

To answer your wordpress question, if you have the parmalinks set up correctly you can make the URL anything you want - there's a field above the post editing thingy that allows you to create a unique URL.

To echo the others advice, leave the page where it is.

#9 glyn

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 03:13 AM

I was a bit snappy yesterday, sorry guys n gals.

#10 jonbey

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 03:23 AM

fisicx, I tried to do that, making a page, but it converts to lowecase. I guess I could hack it, buth then would have to remember to hack each time there is a Wordpress update, and no doubt I will forget one day and wonder where all the money has gone....

gyln, no worries. I usually dive in and regret later (that is my standard operating model). This time I felt I needed to think it through more, and get advice. No problems with your positive go go go approach. I like that.

Edited by jonbey, 28 May 2009 - 03:24 AM.




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