in July this year, we have changed the URL structure of the website from:

Post: example.com/blog/post/986/dance/heart-beats-dance-video-by-chinatsu/

Category: example.com/blog/index/cosplay/


Post: example.com/dance/heart-beats-dance-video-by-chinatsu-986/

Category: example.com/cosplay/

Everything was (supposedly) properly redirected with 301 redirects and it first seemed that the traffic returned after a couple of days, but it has now been close to 2 months and things keep going worse although Google is slowly indexing the changes.

The red line indicates the URL structure change

What is worrying me even more is that the Pages crawled per day from Webmaster Tools started drastically dropping a few days ago and has just reached a new low in months (from over 2000 to 700).

Should I be worried or will things sort out eventually?

  • IMHO if you had implemented 301 redirects correctly from the very beginning (which you say you had done) then you shouldn't have seen any change in traffic because of the URL change. Are there any crawl errors? – MrWhite Sep 11 '12 at 10:22
  • Except for some occasional 404 errors when the server dies, there seem to be no other crawl errors. Everything seems to be set up correctly. One other thing I also did was switch to CloudFlare, could that possibly damage the traffic?? – Dejan Pelzel Sep 11 '12 at 10:53

If you have properly set up your 301 redirects (which must live forever), this is not reason you have a drop in visit and crawl. Is Google listing the new urls in the search results, when searching [site:yourdomain.com] ?

You may have changed something else in the site when you made the 301 too.

Also, you have to look at the last Panda and Penguin updates, you may have been penalized. You may use http://www.panguintool.com/ to check it easily.

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  • Thank you. It does indeed list the new URLs if I search for site:domain.com Here is the Panguintool screenshot: shrani.si/f/J/nG/1Pa8helV/barracuda.png – Dejan Pelzel Sep 11 '12 at 17:42
  • Something else happened I guess, maybe Panda, I can't tell you anything else if you are sure the 301 were properly set. – Baptiste Placé Sep 12 '12 at 10:16

301 should only be for temporary use. If you keep it active for several months Google will start to ding you for it. Your best bet would have been to setup historical aliases (eg, .htaccess rules) for the old URLs if you were hoping to retain lots of inbound link traffic where you can't get the origin links to your site updated.

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