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I'm migrating a drupal site to wordpress and I was wondering what the concerns are with respect to preserving google rank, etc. while assuming the page content is somewhat similar.

I've set up 301 redirects, and created a new site map, but the surrounding html / menus, etc are different. Is this considered a concern and are there a best practice for this kind of migration?

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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

It sounds like you've checked off the basic best practices: using 301 redirects and updating your XML Sitemap. The 301s are the crucial bit where preserving rankings is concerned, since Google will recognise the permanent nature of the redirection and transfer PageRank etc.

Google's support pages on site migration cover this and some other areas of good practice.

Some additional thoughts:

  • Ideally, old pages should be individually redirected to their new equivalents or, where equivalents aren't available, to the next nearest parent category.

  • Avoid chaining redirects (above all, Google may not follow the whole chain, but there are other negatives too, such as reduced page speed)

  • Make sure your 404 page is served with the correct HTTP code and is user-friendly (good navigation, maybe a special "we've moved, excuse the error" message, etc.).

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Thanks, I'm going to take the two phased approach as I'm changing the domain name as well. That link was very helpful. –  Shane Dec 15 '12 at 21:20
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Beyond what Gdave has said, I think the minimum you need to do is to find the most accessed url's and fix their pages or setup 301's. Do for as many as you can.

Then you'll notice 404's in WMT - fix them too. Though 404's can be logged within your site and you can check the log for missing url's.

301 will be best way to pass on the PR. But since you're not migrating domain, why do you need 301?

For gone url's use 410 ( delete permanently).

Google does not care about Drupal/Wordpress but does care about the missing and redirected pages.

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There are also some changes in folder structure. I happen to be doing a domain change in this migration, I neglected to mention that because it's going to be done in a separate phase and I wanted to limit the question to as few issues as possible. +1 for 410's, wasn't aware of that status. –  Shane Dec 15 '12 at 21:25
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