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We have quite a successful site with high rankings on good keywords. Now the website is redesigned to a new one-page website. The keywords pointed to different pages from Google. What we've been thinking is to put a 301 redirect on all of the different pages (which score well in Google) to the new website (which has only one page).

My question is, as the links from Google might go to a slightly less relevant (less specific) page, will the rankings eventually drop or disappear? And is this duplicate content?

If you have other ideas to keep the rankings as much as possible, I'd love to hear them. I know it would be better to just keep similar pages on the new website, but the website is only one page and redesigning the full website is not an option.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

One page websites are very pretty but terrible for SEO, you will lose most if not all of your ranking in a short space of time.

If you redirect in the way you're suggesting your bounce rate will rocket because people searching for relevant content will not find it and this will affect your ranking in the long term. Much better to show a 410 (gone) status to Google for pages which have gone forever and preserve what you can for the ranking of your homepage.

That said the correct method is a 301 permanent redirect.

One thing you could to to help users, rather than Google, is redirect to anchor tags in the page so users are taken straight to similar content rather than being left to figure it out on their own.

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Thank you for your response, the page will be less relevant, but some of the content will still exist though. The old subpage was about partytents, and the new one-page website will be about tents of all kinds, so partytents as well. Will this harm the ranking? Given if the bounce rate should remain equal (wishful thinking), will my ranking drop anyway because the new page is slightly less relevant? –  samn Mar 7 '12 at 10:16
    
You'll lose all the page meta tags, headings and the like in the refresh so google will have less information to work with when understanding your site. A client recently did something similar and it basically zeroed his page rank. I've updated the answer with an additional thought. –  toomanyairmiles Mar 7 '12 at 10:22
    
So it's better to save the ranking of my homepage, by using 410 statuses on the other (old) pages, than keep the traffic from the old pages (which redirect), because this will be temporary (the rankings will drop eventually)? Just to get it straight :) –  samn Mar 7 '12 at 10:27
    
If you really can't redesign the site, that's what I would do. You will hopefully be relevant for different things in time. –  toomanyairmiles Mar 7 '12 at 10:37
    
We've decided to create new pages on the new site, with similar content to the old pages, they are in the style of the new website and contain links to the new website. This way we won't lose ranking (or little), because visitors still arrive on a relevant page. I think that's the best we can do in our situation. This doesn't require redesigning the full website, and the landingspages (that's all they are) remain relevant. –  samn Mar 7 '12 at 14:13

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