I have changed the URL for a large portion of my website (150,000+ URLs) to follow a SEO-friendly structure like all lower-case and hyphenated URLs (earlier they were capitalized at places and had whitespaces (%20).

The content remains the same on the both URLs and there was no migration from HTTP to HTTPS. I have ensured proper 301 redirections from all the old URLs to the corresponding new URLs. It was all done in one shot.

I read a lot before implementing it way back in mid-August and found people supporting this approach of page-by-page redirect. Like Matt Cutts supporting such large scale re-directions.

I know there is a slight drop in link juice on doing a 301. I raise this concern as I have seen a gradual decrease in organic traffic since the start of September.

Can the large-scale redirection lead to such drop in organic traffic?

Other changes that I did around the same time. Introduction of rel tags - canonicals,next/prev. I audited my implementation and it is correct.
Then earlier I used to dump all my URLs in the sitemap then I restricted them to only the top level pages. Before the change I had 3,00,000+ URLs in sitemap and after change around 30,000 URLs.

  • Can you tell us a little more about what you're redirecting to (e.g., from HTTP to HTTPS, an old domain to a new one, on the same server or to a new one...)? There might be other variables to consider. (You should probably edit in the question that your content hasn't changed, as commented below).
    – dan
    Dec 21, 2016 at 10:40
  • @dan I had to change the URLs for a large portion of my website to follow SEO friendly structure like all lower-case and hyphenated URLs.(Earlier they were Capitalized at places and had whitespaces(%20). So, I introduced 301 redirects from these old URLs to new SEO friendly URLs on the same domain. Content remains same on the both URLs and there was no migration to HTTPS.
    – HBalyan
    Dec 21, 2016 at 10:45
  • I see, it might be helpful to edit this into the question so that others will see them (not everyone reads these temporary comments). Example URLs really help too. It's a good question to ask by the way considering that things have apparently changed recently.
    – dan
    Dec 21, 2016 at 10:57
  • @dan It has been done!
    – HBalyan
    Dec 21, 2016 at 11:03
  • 1
    Aside: "SEO friendly structure" - Strictly speaking these are "user-friendly URLs", not really "SEO friendly". They do little to help ranking.
    – MrWhite
    Dec 21, 2016 at 12:28

2 Answers 2


This is actually outdated. It is now stated that there is no link equity lost through 301 redirects. However, there are still risks linked with changing the URL structure and redirecting. For example, all pages which are redirected to must be relevant (i.e. is it just a URL change redirecting to the previous version of the page or are you redirecting to a new page). Also clearly the URL structure must be SEO friendly and adhere to SEO guidelines. For more info, I recommend this Moz article.

  • It was just a URL change and the content on the old and the new page is same.
    – HBalyan
    Dec 21, 2016 at 10:20
  • 2
    That's a good resource link, which references Google's Gary Illyes & John Mueller (a user here), indeed confirming that PageRank is now preserved for 30x redirects. We have a lot of answers on the site that will need updating...
    – dan
    Dec 21, 2016 at 10:35
  • @HBalyan, have you reviewed Google Search console since you resubmitted your site map to see if there are any indexing issues? Dec 21, 2016 at 11:21
  • @KirstySimms No errors in sitemap!!!
    – HBalyan
    Dec 21, 2016 at 11:23
  • @HBalyan, are you seeing a marked decrease in ranking for keywords also? Are you comparing traffic YoY and sure that the decrease is not seasonal. In essence, theoretically you should not experience a decrease if you change the URL and implement 301 redirects. However, the possibility for changes in traffic are so broad it is difficult to tell. Dec 21, 2016 at 11:46

Link Juicy and PageRank is two different thing.

Link Juicy can be anything, like PageRank, page expert score, page authority, trust score etc...which are based on backlinks.

John Muller said when you migrate from http to https then link juicy will not going to lose, because here the http page title and content is 100% same to https webpage, so there should be no lose in any of link juicy, and that is right choice, so more and more webmaster migrate to https

But 301 redirection you can implement on any thing, for example my website is about cricket and I may redirect to some football website, and here all the title and content on that page is different so the link juicy will be transfer differently based on the destination title and content and how it match with the main domain. So in your case you will get maximum link juicy and 100% pagerank because your content are really matched. But you might loss some ranking position intially, which is normal and you may got your position back, once Google refresh their old metrics value.


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