Recently, I migrated a client's site to a new server and a new home within WordPress so they could more easily edit their website and start a blog section.

The static site was 10 years old a was showing up at place #3 for it's primary keyword, consistently, according to my client, and has dropped to rank #6-8 following the migration.

At launch, we made sure the urls were identical (save the removal of ".htm" which we used 301 redirects to compensate for) and we generated a new XML map and pinged Google with the new site. We keep a 404 log to make sure we're not losing any incoming links.

We also have Google Webmaster Tools on this site and have zero errors/suggestions, everything seems OK.

I was told by numerous sources that Google would not penalize us for the use of 301s, but it's the only thing I can think of right now that is different about the site, other than the platform.

Any ideas about what we could be getting docked for?

  • 2
    What about the html, is the source code identical for both the static and wordpress versions?
    – user13091
    Commented Apr 16, 2012 at 0:57
  • Have you carried over the meta title and descriptions and produced and xml sitemap to help Google understand the differences between both sites. Google also penalizes for site speed - is the new site slower than the old one? Commented Apr 16, 2012 at 8:28

2 Answers 2

  1. If the HTML is different that will affect rankings as semantic markup definitely play sa ranking in the search engine's ranking algorithm.

  2. 301 redirects don't carry over all of the current pages' links value. A small percentage is lost.

  3. It takes a while for the 301 redirects to kick in.

One or more of these factors can account for the rankings change.


It will take a while until Google reindexes the website completely. If you kept the same HTML design, then the only difference might be in the load time, which might be higher due to WordPress.

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