Change URLs and risk a Google rankings drop

Many companies – in the process of building a new website – alter some of their page URLs. Not a good practice says Google.

The bottom line, according to Google itself, is that you’d be lucky if your rankings stayed the same after the adjustment.

The issue was recently discussed on Twitter with Google’s John Mueller. Someone put forward the following question, which then led to the discussion on changing URLs: “”Doing an ecom site migration, new URLs are all shorter with prod type removed, eg /wacky-choc-cookies now just /wacky. I’ve ben prepping 301s, but just thought, I can at this stage edit the URL in CMS.”

Mueller’s (Google’s) reply: “Tweaking URLs on their own results in temporary drops, technical nightmares, and if you’re lucky, it’ll end up in the same place.”

This is nothing new, of course. SEO experts have always cautioned against unnecessary URL changes. But it’s good to get a reminder every once in a while straight from the horse’s mouth.