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The e-commerce.

Great google ranking but developing new site


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Looking for advice on maintaining google ranking whilst introducing a new and improved web site.

I run a OS Commerce web site selling ski clothes and accessories which I bought 2 1/2 years ago. I bought the business as it was really well ranked with google for key and generic sporting words.

Since buying we have experienced year on year growth at a fantastic rate and its been a tremendous success.

The web site has been in need of a revamp (use OScommerce) and as a result I am having a new site built, going live in mid august. I was of the opinion that if not broken why fix it, but despite good sales it really is looking dated now. The new site however looks fantastic at the moment in development and should be a top notch site. Its being built by a good team of independent developers and designers. It is a new site and not OS Commerce but will be placed on my URL - skimarket.co.uk

My main criteria was that it kept iis google ranking. Obviously if loses this ranking then it might look great but if nobody is looking at the site I'm not going to get sales. I have fantastic google ratings with my site at present.

The developers have reasurred me that they are going keep all the parts that keep it ranked so highly with google. However I'm concerned that by introducing a new site I will lose all this. It has been causing me to lose sleep for ages!!!!

Am I right to be so concerned, or should I trust the web designers. How can I be sure that I'm not making a huge mistake.

Many thanks for any advice


Heres the comments from my developer..

Every care will be taken to ensure the current tags are retained and your rankings can be enhanced by the following implementations:

1. Use of search engine friendly URLs e.g. instead of


it would be



2. Use of valid markup. Running your homepage through the W3C validator

produces 30 errors. The new site will use more efficient and cleaner markup which is valid!

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Changing your website will have a impact on google, google does not just use meta tags and alt tags to make its ranking it takes the entire content of the website and then analyses it.


The urls like you currently have can be easily changed to what your developer has said there is a contribution to do it for you (the plus side of using the contribution is that when someone clicks a url already listed in google they will still get the product and not a page can not be displayed page like you would get if you change your entire site)


Valid mark up is getting more important with google and other search engines, i think there is a contribution to fix that as well for you.


If your website needs a revamp, I personally would be looking at changing some images, and template stuff rather than the entire site. Like you say if its not broke dont fix it. you can change the sites look and feel without moving from OSC.


As for is it a good thing or a bad thing to change your site, well thats only something that you can answer. I have given you some of the downsides. If your asking for a personal oppinon id stick with what you got as a base and then make graphical changes and modifications to the feel of the site.

I dont help with templates (thats what the seller is for)


th search function will often help, when it dont try this in google.


site:http://www.oscommerce.com/forums then your search word

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I have recently done a revamp of my site and can give you real time examples of how this affects web rankings and search statistics.


Previously before the change was made we were receiving anywhere from 800-900 unique hits a day. This was on a non-OSC database.


Once we switched over to the OSC database, the first week I noticed significantly less hits (ranging from 400-700 a day). After 2-3 weeks my site was fully indexed again and we were receiving 700-900 a day.


Truthfully it hasn't hurt my search engine rankings, and the main reason why i'm averaging a little lower at this point is I have not gone through and done a complete SEO revamp. I believe that it may initially hurt your rankings a bit (I dropped from number 3 on organic google searches to number 5), but like I have stated, there has been no SEO work done on my OSC site where my non-OSC site had 3 years of SEO.


Make sure that before the changes are made SEO is taken into account and the new site should not hurt you too much.




I think one of the main reasons it took so long to re-index my site was I forgot to redirect via htaccess. Make sure your web developers do a 301 redirect using htaccess to make sure all the old files point to the new ones.

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