How To Change Post URL In WordPress Without Losing Ranking
Changing the URL of an old post is something that I never wanted to do. See how to change post URLs in WordPress without losing ranking.
Changing the URL of an old post is something that I never wanted to do. What if the post loses ranking from Google? I have had this feeling when it comes to changing an existing URL. See how to change post URLs without losing ranking.
In the post, On-Page SEO Checklist, I mentioned that adding the focused keyword in the URL can help you rank. And a lot of readers asked me if they should change the old post URL to add keywords. I said NO. I still recommend not changing the URL just to add keywords.
How To Change Post URL?
Recently I was in a situation where I had to change the URL structure of a post. One of the affiliate managers asked me to remove a particular keyword from a position or the URL. Maybe, it was violating their rules.
I had to do that, but I didn’t want to lose the ranking. So, take some actions after changing the URL, and guess what? I didn’t lose the rank.
In this post, I will show you the 3 steps I followed to keep ranking after changing the old post URL.
Step #1: Redirect Old URL to New URL (301 Redirection)
When you change a URL, WordPress usually automatically redirects the old URL to the new URL. But what if WordPress doesn’t?
The best thing to do is, to set up a 301 redirection. It is the process of permanently sending visitors and search engine bots from the old URL to a new URL. Moreover, It forwards the site’s link juice to the unique URL.
Like everything, you can do it by using a Plugin. Redirection is the WordPress plugin that manages 301 redirections and fixes 404 errors. You can also do it by using the Yoast SEO Premium version. Here’s how to do it using the Redirection plugin.
Once you’ve installed and activated the plugin, go to WordPress Dashboard > Tools > Redirection. So, yYou will find the “Add new redirection” option there.
Just enter your old URL in the “Source URL” box and the new URL in the “Target URL” box. Then click on the “Add Redirection” button. Finally, that’s it. Your old URL will be redirected to the new URL.
Now search engine spiders will find your new URL, index it, and drop your old URL.
Step #2: Update Internal Links to New URL
While you can’t change the outbound links of the post, you can change the internal links.
It might take some time to find the links and change the URL. But it is worth your time. It helps search engine bots to find your new URL and index it quickly.
You can find internal links to a URL from Google Search Console. Log in to Search Console and select the site. Then go to Search Traffic > Internal Links and enter the old URL. Then click on ‘Find’.
It will show the internal links for the URL. Ignore the pages like tag, category, etc. Only go to the single post and update the old URL.
Correct internal linking makes it easier for search engine bots to index and rank the right page.
Step #3: Use Fetch as Google to Index Your New URL Faster
When you change a URL, bots take time to crawl the URL and index it. You can make it faster.
Search Console has an option called “Fetch as Google” that lets you submit your updated URL for indexing.
Go to Google Search Console and select the domain name. Then expand the Crawl menu and click on the “Fetch as Google” link. Enter the new URL to the input field and click the “FETCH” button.
If the fetch status was complete, click on the “Request indexing” button.
Select “Crawl only this URL” and click the ‘Go’ button.
Your new URL will be indexed very soon. Sometimes, it happens within 5 minutes.
Over to You To Change Post URL In WordPress Without Losing Ranking
These are the steps that I followed after changing the URL. Google took time to index the URL, but I didn’t lose the ranking. Surprisingly, I had to drop a focus keyword from the URL, but the rank remained the same.
Have you ever changed the existing URL of your blog post? Share your experience with us.