Website owners, these days, give much importance to the SEO ranking of their internet domain. This doesn’t come as a shock since landing on the first page of search engines such as Google has its significant advantages. For bloggers and web development novices, however, one of the main concerns has something to do with changing the webpage URL of the site. One of the most common questions being asked about website SEO ranking is whether the changing of URL slugs could negatively affect it or not. The truth of the matter is it can. However, it depends on a few things.
According to a few website experts, Google does not care much for the URL when weighing the site’s rank. This may be true to some extent. If your website has just been created then you decide to fiddle with the URL, you won’t expect much of a change since the domain is still building up on its credibility. Therefore, if you want to modify URL for SEO ranking, do so while you’re still in the early stages of website development.
On the other hand, if your webpage is already ranking well for particular keywords on Google then you suddenly decide to alter your URL you will experience a significant drop in your SEO standing. I know someone who is new to the SEO world. That person read that adding the right keywords to the URL of a website can improve its position on search engines.
Thinking that this tip could benefit the website, this individual modified the URL. The internet domain in question was already in the top 20 mark on Google for the particular keywords. However, after the change, the webpage went from number 9 to 18 in a matter of days in spite the fact that web managers had been doing all the significant promotional methods to improve the ranking, it still dropped. So what exactly happened?
The URL used by the marketing staff in their online promotions was still the old one. Now, since the SEO novice changed the address of the website, Google did not pick it up. Thus, this changes the ranking. Basically, when people clicked the link on the ad, the page that appeared is a dead page. Usually modified URLs that had been clicked are sent to a page which states “HTTP Error 404 – File not found”.
If this error wasn’t corrected as soon as possible, not only would Google not pick it up but potential online visitors would stop checking out the site altogether. This will hurt the webpage in the long run. Is the effect reversible?
The answer to this is yes. The person who changed the website URL was able to realize the result of the action just in time. For this reason, the address was reverted back to the old one and once links to it were clicked, the right page opened. Therefore as a tip, if you find yourself in the same predicament but don’t have experts working on your site, simply do what the SEO novice did but do so ASAP.
Also, if you’re working with a team of website development experts, ask them to create a site that shows the homepage instead of “Forbidden 404” when the original URL is modified. Some sites are like this especially if a certain page of the domain has been deleted. This way SEO ranking won’t be affected as much.
Lastly, if you plan on changing the URL, have a web developer work on the redirect from old to new as soon as you made the alteration. The website SEO ranking may still be affected after the change but at least the visitor to your page can see the real page he or she hopes to check. You will still get the traffic you need to improve your website’s rank.