1

On my website I had a wordpress permalink structure that was as follows:

http://example.com/2012/03/post-name/

Having read in many places that a simpler permalink structure could boost SEO rankings, I changed the structure and created permanent redirects to the following:

http://example.com/post-name/

It seems google did not like the change. In the three months since the change was implemented traffic has dropped by about 50%.

Would changing the structure be helpful or would it simply screw things up further?

2

As far as I know, it's normal to lose some of the SEO juice, even when implementing 301 redirects. When you switch to HTTPS (which is a different domain for Google than the original HTTP), you can also expect to lose some ranking in the beginning. However, here, the idea is that, since HTTPS is preferred, the change will eventually improve your rankings compared to before.

So, overall I don't think it's a surprise that your ranks and traffic have suffered. The question is whether it will recover in time. I would first try to fix the current situation before switching back as there is no guarantee that that will make things better. Maybe you can check your backlinks and reach out to sites linking to you to switch to the new URLs?

  • Interesting idea about reaching out to websites that link to me. I switched to HTTPS a long time ago and I did notice a change in traffic level at all. Perhaps, the change to HTTPS + the permalink change together had an impact on older sites (with a lot of google juice) that refrence my site... I'll investigate. Thanks for the idea and also clarification that there is always a loss in rank even when correctly implemented. – rohrl77 May 22 at 10:54
  • No problem. Good luck! – WSU May 23 at 9:17
1

I'ld suggest making a list of all your old urls and mapping them all with a permanent (301) redirect to their new destination.

http://example.com/2012/03/post-name/ ---(301 redirect)---> http://example.com/post-name/

This will let search engines know that your page has moved and they should credit the new url with the same amount of trust & relevance.

  • I was aware of this and actually had this done by a freelancer. I tested the redirect on a few pages using this link and the results were ok: redirect-checker.org/index.php – rohrl77 May 22 at 5:44

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