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Site Relaunch Destroyed My Traffic!

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#1 tobassist


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Posted 11 May 2007 - 09:36 AM

I recently launched a redesign of a site with a client. All 301 redirects were properly implemented and have been tested until we were blue. Mod_rewrites were set up to prevent duplicate indexing throughout the site. My robots.txt file was set up properly. The new site is much more seo friendly and contains well structured visible content. Since the launch and recrawl, we’ve seen as much as a 60% drop in organic traffic. The site launched on April 27th and now (may 11th) we are still seeing the traffice dropping day by day. The site has been fully crawled and recrawled, and our index is roughly 41,000 pages (mostly consisting of product level pages with reviews, thousands of different kinds of products). With keyword research, we’ve found that the top level pages (home, about, general category pages) are doing better than the old site, but the product level pages have dropped off the face of the earth. The keywords from the product level pages is what drove the majority of our traffic though. How come with the 301 redirects properly in place did we lose so much relevancy?

Has anyone seen this much of a drop off with a site relaunch? If so, how long does it take to start to see a rebound? We expected a drop, but not a continual drop. Why are the product pages having so much trouble ranking? The important ones can be accessed in a page depth of 2 or 3 clicks (for crawlers).

Note: the site has not engaged in any grey or black hat techniques. No hidden text, no spamming, etc… Only videos are in flash, the site is 90% html search engine friendly content.

#2 AbleReach


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Posted 11 May 2007 - 10:28 AM

How long has it been since your re-launch? If it hasn't been long, it's possible that the site just needs time.

What pages have the highest bounce rates? Do they have anything in common?

It is a very good sign that the top level pages are doing better. That means what you've done so far is working, and you can use that to the site's advantage.

Pages that are one click closer to the root become like gatekeepers for what is further out. Are you using this to your advantage? Internal site links can refer to anything contextually logical where you would like eyeballs and spiders to travel. A home page blurb on the gadgetville.com home page can mention and link to gadgetville's world famous [link to specific catalog item] blue widget. Do you have a way for featured deep links to appear on top level pages, perhaps in a sidebar? That can help.

A reliable-feeling, predictable navigation structure is essential, but (IMHO as always) sometimes links that look the same on every page don't do enough.

Here's an article that discusses internal linking in depth: Internal Linking Strategy: SEO Self Reflection.

How are their inlinks doing? Backlinks pointing to second level pages can be like gold. Building a second-level resource just for attracting backlinks can be an effective strategy for attracting new eyeballs.

Good luck!

#3 tobassist


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Posted 11 May 2007 - 10:57 AM

Could the problem possibly be this?

My site is using amazon's API (with permission from amazon) to receive product information about a very wide range of product pages on our site. This information is displayed prominantly on our site. Could it be possible that these product pages are being penalized for scraping since the content pulled from amazon could be an exact match with many other sites using this api and the information on amazon itself?

check out this page:

the section "About this Product" contains the amazon api

the addition of this API was the main change on these pages with the site redesign

#4 Halfdeck


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Posted 11 May 2007 - 04:18 PM

You got 38,000 supplemental pages. what's the site's original domain name?

Did you restructure the site's url? Next time, install a domain level 301 first before doing a complete restructuring of a site. You do too many things at once and its hard to pinpoint what went wrong.

How does the site look when you run it through Xenu?

Edited by Halfdeck, 11 May 2007 - 04:19 PM.

#5 tobassist


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Posted 11 May 2007 - 04:30 PM

the original domain name is expotv.com... that didn't change. The URL structure (naming) did change a bit on a lower level


but was properly 301 redirected before launch

could it be that the 301's havn't worked themselves out yet and have not transferred the page strength to the new URL???? The site was re-launched April 22nd, so it's only a few weeks old

#6 Ruud


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Posted 11 May 2007 - 04:54 PM

I don't see those supplementals here. Virtually everything seems to be out of supplemental.

I'm puzzled why you have the /members/ dir open to be indexed. I also find that there is very little actual content on the review pages. Most of the meat seems to come from your Amazon feed.

#7 Guest_rustybrick_*

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 06:03 AM

I have seen this happen with the launch of new sites.

Sometimes it takes a while for Google and other engines to pick up on the 301s and new site URLs.

It is just something your going to have to be patient with.

#8 arnabme


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Posted 15 May 2007 - 05:44 AM

I agree with rusty brick. Search Engines takes a while to understand and then rank pages that have a 301 Permanent Redirection.

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