Bit of a panic last month. Traffic to UKTW slumped for no apparent reason so I decided to take the opportunity to tidy some stuff up. The basic site was updated a little while ago but the actual show and venue pages were still using code and templates that probably hadn’t been updated in 5 years!
Anyway, I decided on a two-pronged attack. Firstly I would re-build the pages in the new content management system so that all the code ran inside the same area and secondly, as this would mean new urls anyway, I would update the url style to something more meaningful.
And so I set about it … the code changes were pretty easy and I was pleased with the new style URLs where http://www.uktw.co.uk/L337/Musical/Phoenix_Theatre/London/Blood_Brothers/ could replace the wonderfully non-descript http://www.uktw.co.uk/dl/page.php?page=details&qtix=L337
I made sure that the url redirection was done with a code 301 (permanent move) as I wanted Google to continue to consider me significant – there is a real advantage to the fact that UKTW has been around since 1995 and that the main urls have remained pretty untouched for probably 8 or 9 years – I didn’t want to lose that history in Google.
Net effect, an immediate rise in traffic followed swiftly by a total traffic collapse! Arghh …. lots of panic but nothing much I could do .. so I have sat it out and traffic is now, after a couple of weeks, starting to grow again. Let’s hope Google is just taking some time processing the thousands of 301 redirects properly 😉