Some More Lessons to Learn From My Fail
Ever since I was working on the Corpus Juris redesign, I had been both anticipating and dreading the moment when I would flip the switch from the old site to the new one. Anticipating because, of course, it’s exciting to launch a site! Dreading because I was afraid of the inevitable dip in Google rankings for my pages. All the old URLs would no longer work with the new site. 301 redirects would help alleviate some of the pain but it wouldn’t be a perfect solution. It’s well known in the SEO world that 301s don’t exactly capture the whole value of a link in one’s favor.
I’ve been monitoring the search performance analytics through Google’s Search Console and Google Analytics since the relaunch and the new link structure and new page contents have finally caught up with me. Search engine traffic and link positions have fallen quite precipitously. From an average ranking of 7.4, the site has fallen to an all-time low of 129.4 on December 11! While some pages still rank high (1st page, within top 5 results), many more pages have just disappeared from the first page or are totally missing from the index.
Thankfully, things seem to be looking up. On December 12, the site’s position has slowly been rising again! It climbed to 94.4 (December 12), 45.0 (December 13), 39.9 (December 14), and now at 21.0. I’m waiting for midnight for Google to make the new statistics available and show the site getting back to pre-launch levels. With any luck (and after all that fucking hard work), I’ll be seeing the benefits of the rewrite and have the site position exceed the historical trend.