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I have this problem. After relaunching my site: http://www.kgstiles.com, traffic dropped immensely(about 60%). After troubleshooting for a week and a half - losing thousands of dollars off of lost traffic in the process, I found that Google was getting a 404 error at the end of many of my 301 redirects(so it wouldn't index the new pages). Most of of the pages, though, would register in my browser. They registered as a 404 error in Google's index as well as a 404checker. So my first question is: could this be what's causing my loss of traffic? and second: how do I fix it?

I'm desperate! Any help is appreciated!

# BEGIN s2Member GZIP exclusions
 <IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (^|\?|&)s2member_file_download\=.+
RewriteRule .* - [E=no-gzip:1]
</IfModule>
    # END s2Member GZIP exclusions

# BEGIN WordPress
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
</IfModule>

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteRule ^moreinfo/(.*)$ http://www.kgstiles.com/moreinfo$1 [R=301]
RewriteRule ^healthsolutions/(.*)$ http://www.kgstiles.com/healthsolutions$1     [R=301]
RewriteRule ^(.*)\.html$ $1/ [R=301,L]
RewriteRule ^(.*)\.htm$ $1/ [R=301,L]


</IfModule>

# END WordPress
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1 Answer

I'm guessing since you implemented 301 redirects you made some major update to your website. I see you are running WordPress now, did you run a different CMS before? If so one major factor in your traffic loss is the URL structure of your site changing. While 301's pass some link juice they don't pass all of it. The content changing on your pages also affects your rankings. So do you happen to know where your home page and other pages were ranking before you made these changes? If not you can go into Analytics under Traffic sources and compare date from before and after you switched platforms and determine which Traffic Source has caused the loss in traffic, i'm guessing it's organics but you'll find out for sure in Analytics. You can drill down under all sources, direct, referrals, organic etc to get a better picture of where you lost traffic.

Can you post a URL of the old website which is 301'ed to the new page so we can view the redirects headers please.

Thanks

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Almost all of the traffic loss came from google. Even the other search engines are about what they were before, and yes we were using frontpage previously (an update was obviously long overdue). Sorry I didn't mean to enter that, I am writing more. the url structure has changed and to counter that, we have set in the .htaccess file: –  christian Dec 10 '12 at 22:20
    
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c> RewriteEngine On RewriteRule ^moreinfo/(.*)$ kgstiles.com/moreinfo$1 [R=301] RewriteRule ^healthsolutions/(.*)$ kgstiles.com/healthsolutions$1 [R=301] RewriteRule ^(.*)\.html$ $1/ [R=301,L] RewriteRule ^(.*)\.htm$ $1/ [R=301,L] </IfModule> –  christian Dec 10 '12 at 22:23
    
which almost absolutely fixed the problems with redirect. One url redirect that illustrates what is happening is kgstiles.com/pureplantessentials.html redirects to kgstiles.com/pureplantessentials, yet when I check the server status of each of these urls, the first renders as a 301 redirect (as it should) and the second registers as a 404 error, but still renders fine in a browser. Apparently, though Google sees the 404 error and ignores the fact that there's content. So my question is how can I get google to see it as 200 instead of 404 –  christian Dec 10 '12 at 22:25
    
I suppose that once that happens, I can resubmit my sitemap to google and the 301 redirects will transfer the link juice (or most of it as the content has not changed) and traffic should once again be where it used to be. –  christian Dec 10 '12 at 22:27
    
Yes resubmit your sitemaps to Google and Bing. If your 301's are working properly. Verify they are with any plugin to watch live http headers and just wait for Google to begin indexing your new pages. –  Anagio Dec 10 '12 at 22:42
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