Question: What about if you want to change your directory structure for better SEO structure … will Google penalize you?
Answer: If I undersand your question correctly, you ALREADY have URL’s present in the Google index, and the question is can you / should you change them to be more SEO friendly, namely have more keywords.
It all depends of course. First and foremost, if the pages are performing well vs. target SEO keyword searches, then DO NOT CHANGE THEM. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Second, if the pages are NOT performing well, are NOT bringing in lots of external traffic, then of course, you have the opportunity to greatly improve their performance. Little damage can be done to a page that isn’t indexed well. If you have crazy URl’s with ?, and & and all those negative character strings, then generally speaking you will do much, much better IF you change them to keyword-heavy URL’s.
So I would check to see if you are showing up on Google vs. keywords, use Analytics to see if you are receiving inbound traffics. Then, change to more SEO friendly URL’s, and be sure to use 301 redirects so you do not lose any residual traffic.
Got a question? Click this link to email Jason or call 888-993-1122. Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He teaches the SEO training classes for the group, and therefore provides most of the SEO tips for this blog. His goal with this blog is to provide an easy 'one-stop shop' for the busy marketer looking for tips, tricks, and secrets on how to get to the top of Google and Bing for free using proven SEO tactics. When not dreaming up SEO tips, Dr. McDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two dogs, a cat, four iguanas and twelve children (just kidding). Really you read down to the bio on this guy? Enjoy the blog.
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