I’ve written previously about the issues involved in doing a complete redo of your website. Often, when a new account hires Astute Marketing, we are asked to “redo their website”. This process seems to always mean creating a whole new look, new headers, written content and pictures. Many companies envision a review process across the entire new site, and once approved, a flipping of the switch so that the old site disappears and the new site instantly shows up.
Serious issues can occur if you chose to flip a completely new site live, replacing your old one. Google may choose to no longer offer your site as highly as it used to do for the same search terms or keyword(s). There are ways to make sure this doesn’t occur, but depending on the size of your site and other factors, even those tools or tricks may not prevent some significant penalty.
Don’t roll a new site if you haven’t had this discussion with your team. If they don’t know anything about the subject…and many, many web developers do not…then you need to halt that process until you are comfortable that a knowledgeable person is directing the effort.
Just as a reminder, I thought posting this article from Brafton might help you remember the dangers of massive website updates before its too late. I’ve also written about “Mr. Google”, Matt Cutts, numerous times. This post discusses his latest response to a question at SXSW 2013 about pushing thousands of archive pages to a new site. Matt points out that a site doing so could get caught in several ways, either by a Panda trigger or manual review, that would adversely impact their traffic and search results.
Don’t roll that new site until you are comfortable you won’t be penalized. Use a professional or change things a little at a time.