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We are doing a big redesign work on our website, and at least 50% of the website folders will be moved to new places with different names (i.e. many URL will be changed). Sure, Google will need some time to index new pages and we expect our SERP positions will be not so good as they are now for some time.

We also have an old idea to remove www from our domain name. It seems, it's the right time to do these two works together with publishing the website with updated contents. Or is it better from SEO perspective first publish the new contents, and only after some time, when our SERP positions will return to prior results, tell Google that the domain name without www is our preferred domain name?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If I were you, I'll do all work at the same time to not to tell to Google your URL have changed twice. Indeed, changing URL structure can affect SEO; that's why it's good to change URL structure one time for good (and not often).

Otherwise, I confirm your actual SERP positions will be not so good for some time. In order to get back your SERP positions, obviously, don't forget to put all 301 redirects from old pages to new ones.

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You should first redirect all your old pages to the new ones via 301 redirect.

You can do this in the .htaccess (placed in your root public folder):

RewriteEngine On

# for redirection on the same domain
RewriteRule ^old-site$ /new-page [R=301,L]

# for redirection to a new domain
RewriteRule ^old-site$ http://www.new-domain.com/new-page [R=301,L]

To avoid duplicate content - which Google does not like! - you should also only allow one URL to access your website with www or without www!

# Redirect non-www visitors to www. in order to avoid duplicate content
Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^yourdomain.com [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.yourdomain.com/$1 [L,R=301]
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Please read the question before posting an answer. –  Zistoloen Apr 25 '13 at 9:42
    
Sure we will use Redirect 301 :). And we'll also tell Google that our domain is now without www in their Webmaster Tools. BTW, we use ASP.NET 4.0 hosting. –  TecMan Apr 26 '13 at 7:16

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