Website Migration as affects SEO

I am about to migrate a website from Apple iWeb to RapidWeaver.
My new website will have the same name as the old one and be hosted on the same server.

My current website is positioned really well for organic searches but needs to be significantly overhauled. I don’t want to lose the SEO ju ju I have built up over the years so I am being very deliberate about the migration.

I have been reading everything I can about what kinds of things affect SEO algorithms.
One of the positive influences is validation from other places on the web. Apparently the more places that recognize and link to my site the more credible my site is to search engines.

It is recommended that you don’t mess with too much all at once during the migration.
Whenever possible you want to re-use identical URL names. Blocks of text that have been around a while may confer keyword benefits etc.

I am okay with all that. I spent a lot of time on the verbiage for my website several years ago am content to let that stay as is. What I would like is to upgrade the quality of photography that is on each particular URL.

I get a lot of traffic from places like Pinterest. I find pictures of my work all over the web. Maybe this has been contributing to my good fortune in SEO. I don’t want to mess with this too much.

MY QUESTION has to do with photography associated with those URLs & types of links. If I maintain the specific links but upgrade the photos will I be penalized for these upgrades? I can see how search engines can parse text but can they also interpret jpeg pixels?

Short answer is anything you change can and often will effect SERP rankings. Search engines do have some ability to “read” and interpret images, but I don’t think they’re really doings that on a large scale basis.

Having URL’s the same will probably lower the impacts(both bad and good) on search engine results, however “upgrade the quality” could mean a larger file size, that may slow down page load and that can effect SERP ranking.

You didn’t specify what you’re ranking well on, what search phrases, local searches, or the search engines you’re doing well on. Long-tail(more specific) phrases tend to see less impact than fat-head(generic) phrases do. Local searches (both explicit and implied) can be very different.

Keeping page URL’s the same, is great if it makes sense, if its better to change or remove them then just put a 301 redirect to a new or similar page.

More than likely you’ll see a drop in ranking when you first make major changes to any site. If you’ve done a good job then the drop is usually short lived and you should bounce back and do even better.

You’re using iWeb now, that probably means your site isn’t responsive, so changing to a modern responsive theme should have a very positive effect.

Thank you for your patience Doug. It is very appreciated.

I am not sure really what I am ranking well on.
My company name is built out of keywords you would use to find products like I produce. Whenever you type those keywords into a browser we show up relatively high on the search. Not really sure how this happens. I am not a website developer. I am just a subject matter expert.

I am smart enough to know, however, that this is a really cool thing to happen so I don’t want to muck with it too much.

I pay a lot of attention to image file size. I know that bloated images will slow the site down. Upgrading the quality for me just means fixing the white balance and maybe a few tuneups in post processing. I am a self-taught photographer and the images from my early days make me shudder. All of them could stand some tuneup.

I have never heard the expression “Long-Tail” vs “fat-head” but a preliminary google search tells me there’s a lot to discover about that. I also need to learn more about how to effect a 301 redirect.

I am curious what you mean by the statement: “Local searches (both explicit and implied) can be very different.” What is the difference between “explicit” and “implied” in this context?

I hadn’t really considered the positive bump moving from iWeb to a responsive theme. That certainly makes sense.

As I mentioned before, I am a subject matter expert, not a website developer. I’ve noodled around enough, however to know that the web is constantly evolving and I will never be able to keep up. My focus therefore is on content. If I do a good job of amassing assets and narratives that are relevant to my customers I can always find a geek to put it on the web for me.

I do, however, think it useful to know enough about website logic to be able to talk to a developer.

Thank you again so much for your time. I sincerely do appreciate it.

In the old days of the Internet (just a decade or so ago) you would need to explicitly specify a location to get local results. If I was in Seattle and wanted coffee shops I would need to type something like “coffee shops Seattle”. Today on certain phases, the search engines know that if I type just “coffee shop” that I probably want one near my current location (based on IP address or how I might have specified) and give me the local results without me typing the location. That’s would give you implicit local results.

Now say you were in New York and about to take a trip to Seattle and wanted to know about coffee shops there, than you would need to explicitly tell the search engines where you want the search for.

A lot of people don’t realize that the results you get from a implied local search will probably not be the same as rhe results someone from a different location will get with an explicitly location specified search.

Focusing on content is the number one thing you can do to get excellent search results. Most folks are looking for the gimmicks or a quick way to the top of SERP ranking. As that old movie field of dreams said “Build it and they will come”. As for finding a geek , there’s a lot of them that don’t have a clue, so it’s good you’re learning so they won’t be able to pull the wool over your eyes.

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