I have a website with WordPress and have about 60 categories with 3 or 4 levels.

Now I want to change many category's levels and maybe some slugs. for example a category such as "wordpress" is level 0 move to level 1 by "Content Managent system" parent and so on.

Would this be bad for my SEO?

  • Are the categories part of your URLs? WordPress can be configured to use the categories as part of the URLs, and if you have done so you need to be much more careful about changing them. Oct 22, 2018 at 13:20

4 Answers 4


While this question is 3 years old, it does not have a sufficient answer. For others concerned with this topic:

Redirection is the least of my concerns here. 301 redirects get applied if there is a replacement destination. Use 404 or 410 if you're deleting a category or have no logical replacement.

Consider this example:

 -> SEO  // Level 1
     -> Technical SEO // Level 2
         -> Website Audits // Level 3

Folder Depth

The organization of a website is subjective, Google does not care about folder depth. The URL below is long, but it has the same potential as a very short URL.


What Google does care about is the number of clicks from your home page is. Generally, pages that you want to rank should be easy to get to from the home page.

Page Rank Dilution

A reason it needs to be easy to get to from the homepage is because crawlers find pages via links, links are like doors. Your homepage also holds all of your Page Rank, the more doors it takes to get to a page, the less page rank the final URL will receive.


Recall our example:


If you want to rank the /website-audits page it needs either:

  • A lot of incoming internal links from pages within /seo/ or others at the same level
  • To have internal links to from home or /blog
  • Else, it needs a handful of backlinks from relevant websites

All three of those would be ideal. Also, the 301 redirects will pass page rank, don't worry about losing it.


If you change the category slug or change the level or category then old URL will return 404 error and this will cause ranking drop (you might also see reported errors in Google Search Console). If you want to save the positions then you need to redirect 301 old URLs to new URLs after change.


As far as I know if the URL of category or post changes there is no guarantee that the site positions will remain the same. You can use 301 redirect to let Google know the page was moved. You can configure 301 redirects using Wordpress plugin or by configuring the web server directly.


Changing your URL structure can be dangerous but is an important step at same time Google counts on the URL to identify the site structure and semantics.

I would recommend going through the process but doing it carefully, start by mapping down your site and making changes one by one and 301 redirect the old slug/url to the new one. If you have time i would recommend conducting the changes to one category first, see the results and then move to the rest.

Things to consider: 1. 301 Have a potential link bleed of 90% to 99% 2. Use structured URL instead of flat.

Good Luck

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