Search engine optimization consists of some relatively arcane issues that are not obvious to anyone. That I can be thankful for, I suppose, or I wouldn't continue to be in demand as an SEO specialist. But why do clients throw money out window with developers who don't understand they are bulldozing down site naming structure and careful page architecture when they do a site redesign?
Today I got a call from a very good client who was excited to have me see his site redesign and sent me off to visit while he was on phone. I typed in domain name and watched page load in my browser. Nice color scheme, interesting scrolling header, clean design, good navigation. "Looks Good," I said, and then my heart sank when I noted that my carefully crafted title tag was missing from browser title bar.
I began to groan audibly as I made each of these discoveries, forgetting that my client was on line. My heart leapt back into my throat as I looked for all great articles, press releases, additional text content I had conscientously added and found them missing from site entirely!
My client responded to my noises with an exclamation that his new site was "State of Art!" and "Completely Automated" as he pointed out cool new functions and slick scripts. "Only one problem," he said, still gushing about expensive toys, goodies and googaws on his pretty new baby - "We dropped from our first page rankings in search engines, what happened?"
I won't detail what I said as I exploded in anger at havoc his developer wreaked upon my lovingly optimized pages, but after I calmed a bit (thank goodness he's a good client and a friend) I detailed developer's unknowing destruction.
Do you realize that ALL links to previous pages will generate "404 Not Found" errors from links in search engines until these new pages are crawled? Do you realize that EVERYTHING I did to get top rankings has been destroyed?! Do you understand that ALL money you gave me to optimize your site will have to be spent AGAIN?