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Bit of a general question here. We are in the process of converting a number of our clients from older web sites to new ones.

The problem we are getting, and sorry for being so general here, is we are getting a sharp decline in traffic as reported on Google Analytics. It's not a gradual decline, it seems to hit almost as soon as the new site goes live.

I've just got a few questions to see if there is something we are doing wrong:

a) We are using the same analytics accounts going from old to new site. Is this a bad idea? b) The actual analytics code is integrated into the pages using a server-side include. IS this a bad idea? c) We structure our sites differently to our old site. IE. The old sites would pretty must have all the web pages in the root directory, and hyperlinks would be linked to the page files: EG.

 <a href="somepage.aspx">Link</a>

Our new sites now have a directory structure that pretty much reflects the navigation structure, and hyper links link to the pages directory instead of the actual page: EG.

<a href="/new-items/shoes/">New shoes</a>

Is this a bad idea.

I'm really searching for a needle in a haystack here. Would appriciate any help or advice as to why we are getting such a sharp and sudden drop in traffic.

Again, so this is such a general question.

Thanks in advance.

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Have you used redirects from your old pages to your new ones? –  paulmorriss Nov 24 '11 at 9:46
    
No. But we do submit a new Google site map when the new site goes live. Plus the traffic never seems to recover over a period of time, which is what I would expect if that was the case. –  Andy Nov 24 '11 at 9:49

2 Answers 2

up vote 0 down vote accepted

To answer point b specifically, using a serverside include to generare your analytics code is absolutely fine.

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Thanks for your response. –  Andy Nov 24 '11 at 13:46

You must use redirects. Both search engines and visitors are coming to pages on your old site and then not finding the page they want. It will take a while before the search engines reindex your new site and who knows whether visitors will ever return. If someone has links to your site they may not realise that their link is now broken, and even if they do then they won't fix it. So all the page rank you've built up on links has now gone too.

Using the same analytics code is not a problem and using server side includes is fine too - Google can't tell whether you used them or not.

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It seems so obvious. Feel a fool now. Is it important to redirect to the same page (if still there), or would redirecting to a central "meaningful" page be ok do you think? –  Andy Nov 24 '11 at 10:07
1  
Same if you can, or nearest match, or home page or search page if neither is appropriate. –  paulmorriss Nov 24 '11 at 10:12
    
Thanks Paul. I will try it out. –  Andy Nov 24 '11 at 10:13

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