Launching a new website is a great way to freshen up your brand and improve how you connect with customers and prospects. But often overlooked during the excitement of launch is preserving your existing search engine value. When making the transition to a new site, be sure to redirect old site URLs to the new corresponding URLs using 301 redirects.
Redirects let browsers and search engines know that a web page has permanently moved. The search engines will also update their index reflecting that change and any link weight that the previous page had with the search engine will be carried to the new URL. If the old URL shows up in search results and is clicked, the visitor will be redirected to the new page immediately. While it may take the search engines a while to recognize the change and index the new URL, ultimately your search engine value will be maintained.
If you don’t redirect old site URLs to the new site URLs, any appearance in search results will produce a broken link. This could hurt your search engine rankings and is also a poor reflection of your company to potential customers who are searching for your services.
If you are working with an agency on development of a new website, be sure to check with them to ensure they are planning to define and implement redirects upon launch. This critical step in a website project will help preserve any search engine value you have with your current website. Contact us if you have questions about redirects or want to learn more.