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Businesses go through website redesigns for a host of different reasons. Sometimes they just want to update the look and feel to be a little more modern. Other times they're in the process of rebranding and want to make sure that their site adequately reflects their brand as it exists today. Regardless, it can be a fun and exciting process to go through - but it's also one that could cause trouble in terms of search engine optimization in particular.

The Google Factor

One of the reasons why Google treats website redesigns differently has to do with backlinks. Remember that Google's ultimate goal is to provide searchers with the most relevant and authoritative content possible and backlinks are a big indicator of that in terms of your site. But if you complete a total redesign from the ground up, the chances are high that you're going to lose a lot of those backlinks that you've collected over the years because they may point to a URL that doesn't exist anymore.

That's also why, prior to your redesign, you need to make a list of all of your highest performing pages and try to use those same URLs in the future. You don't want to move a page to a new URL and potentially jeopardize all of the traffic it was bringing in. Sometimes, you'll need to do this and if you do it cautiously, it won't impact the larger domain. But if you suddenly change every URL on your site, you're essentially back at square one again as far as Google is concerned.

You know the site is the same. Your visitors know the site is the same. But Google might not - thus harming your SEO and your ability to rank competitively instead of helping it.

Thankfully, there are ways to overcome this through SEO best practices. You should use the opportunity of your redesign to fix some of the issues that may have been hurting you in the past. Go over all of your meta descriptions, headings and more to make sure that they're all unique. Get rid of any duplicates that you locate. Likewise, you may find situations where you're missing elements like title tags or meta descriptions entirely. Use this as a chance to take care of these types of issues, too.

At the same time, go through and check for broken links - both internal and external ones. This, too, will improve the authority of your site in the "eyes" of Google - which can be a major benefit to your site once the redesign does go live.

If you'd like to find out more information about how to overcome the fact that Google treats website redesigns differently through SEO, or if you just have any additional questions about search engine optimization or related topics that you'd like to go over in a bit more detail, please don't hesitate to contact InfoStream today.