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
    Commented Sep 11, 2012 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?? Commented Sep 11, 2012 at 10:53

2 Answers 2


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.

  • 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 Commented Sep 11, 2012 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. Commented Sep 12, 2012 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.

(This answer was correct for 2012 when it was written due to Google crawler activities at the time. It is very unlikely that this question above is even releavant 8 years later due to the constant changes with the Google crawler.)

  • 1
    This answer doesn't make sense. A 301, by definition, is "permanent" - there is nothing temporary about it. Google should not necessarily "ding you for it" and keeping it in place for "several months" is a good thing - longer the better. Creating an "alias" (ie. duplicate URL) would be "bad", without some other URL canonicalisation. Changing URL structure is inherently "risky", but if that is the intended route then a 301 is mandatory.
    – MrWhite
    Commented Dec 21, 2020 at 18:52
  • So, you do realize that this answer was from 2012 and releavent at the time, or do you just troll old questions for funzies?
    – Bryan C.
    Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 18:20
  • 1
    I'm afraid this answer was not even relevant in 2012 (otherwise I would not have left the same comment). The other answer (also from 2012) basically says the opposite. "old" questions get promoted in the "related" questions list next to "new" questions and sometimes get dug up when searching for duplicates. And Stack Exchange actually promoted this question just a couple of years ago on their Twitter feed. So "old" questions often end up getting attention at a later date quite naturally.
    – MrWhite
    Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 19:26

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