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What about redesigns?
The first and foremost role SEO has when a site is being redesigned is to ensure that web designer doesn't change all page names when performing a site update. Otherwise, when new site is launched, traffic to site may substantially drop off when people click on search engine listings that no longer exist.
To combat this phenomenon, consultant will advise designer to re-use old page names as much as possible. If that's not possible, there are two ways to deal with this problem:
1)A custom 404-error page can be installed to inform visitor that page(s) no longer exist and present them with several options to continue into site. 2)Redirection pages can be set up which use old page name and an informative message for visitor. The pages should offer one or more clickable links, and might include a timed-redirect that should be at least 30 seconds before taking visitor to page with new name.
The second option is more desirable, since it allows search engine to note change, follow link to new page and add it to its index at some later point. And of course, if new pages are added, or filenames have to change, it provides a chance to use filenames that can be optimized with keyword phrases.
Just as you are unlikely to turn an SEO consultant into a web designer, you can't turn a web designer into an SEO. However, SEO consultants and designers should work together to bring all of their skill sets to table. The SEO needs to understand that graphic images can be very important in visual appeal of a well-designed web site, just as designer needs to understand benefit of having a home page title that says more than just “Home.”
Christian Nielsen is the owner of Nielsen Technical Services , which provides Internet consulting and SEO services, including the optimization of dynamic database-driven sites, and Blog optimization. The company maintains a policy of answering questions from clients and potential clients, even if they are just "tire kickers", and has a Blog that can be seen at NielsenTech.Blogger.com which deals with (mostly) search engine related-issues.