Will my rankings drop if I switch to Magento?

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“Will my search engine rankings drop after the switch to Magento?” is one of the most often asked SEO questions I see regarding Magento. Unfortunately, there is no “Yes/No” answer. No matter which e-commerce solution you were using prior to switch, your rankings might get effected. Switching to Magento might change some of your on-site optimization elements including:

  • URL structure
  • Meta data
  • On-site elements structure
  • Internal linking
  • Distance of deep links from the homepage

All of these might influence your rankings in negative but also as likely in positive way. If you are attempting to move to Magento platform, I strongly advise you to seek for a Magento SEO expert first, to make sure your move is as smooth and as painless as possible for your rankings.

The most important thing to do when making a switch is to 301 redirect the old URLs to your new URLs, which will allow you to keep the link juice you collected so far. For everything else, consult with your Magento SEO professional.

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About Toni Anicic

eCommerce Consultant

SEO. Professional gaming. Home-brewed beer. Magento Certified Solution Specialist.

Read more posts by Toni / Visit Toni's profile

10 comments

  1. Just migrated our store from ZC to Magento about a month ago. We planned accordingly and carefully, however we still have noticed a decrease in organic traffic. Maybe it will take some more time and tweaks to fine tune our store.

  2. But your still have to admit Magento is slower than competing shopping carts. I am speaking from experience about configurable products based off over a 1000 skus. Yes, such products exist where this is the only logical way to set them up. Your block caching post helped a lot and we are going to stick with Magento now, but I can see it being even faster.

  3. @Liam,

    I’m not sure, I never used ubercart. I only hope it’s better than oscommerce since oscommerce is something I wouldn’t recommend nowadays.

  4. deliberating between two web designers…one uses ubercart and the other oscommerce. any major differences in regards to features, or as long as the site is built properly will they both be similar?

    cheers,
    Liam

  5. @ Chicba:

    > Your Magento site will be slower then others
    > OsCommerce clones

    With an adequate web/database server and proper configuration, a Magento store is quite fast loading (and furthermore a highly scalable system).

    Of course, Magento *is* slow if installed on 2.99-Dollars-per-month shared webspace… But I think somebody who seriously wants to run a Magento-based e-commerce platform usually is running dedicated servers.

  6. Liam,

    When competing with the big dogs, cart choice is not really important.

    If we step into the area of really highly competitive keywords, the on-site optimization (only thing thats even remotely connected to the choice of cart) is completely irrelevant.

    You’ll step into the game where on-site optimization is considered a must have and only difference in your rankings will be the number, strength and relevancy of your backlinks.

  7. My head is swimming w all the possible cart systems out there. some say a custom cart is best for top rankings, others say it makes no difference. currently I have an e-commerce job posted on elance and I have heard everything imaginable. I just want some straight advice…will magento/zen/uber/oscommerce allow me to compete w the big dogs…or do I need to go w/ custom cart?

    cheers,
    Liam

  8. @Chicba,

    There are two common misconceptions in your comment.

    1st one about Magento being slow: It doesn’t have to be. Magento requires a lot of resources and a good set-up and it will run pretty smoothly.

    2nd one is that Google loves speed. As the matter of fact, I recall Matt Cutts saying that load speed is one of the factors that *will be* implemented during the 2010.

  9. > The most important thing to do when making a switch is to
    > 301 redirect the old URLs to your new URLs

    A proper redirecting (301, “moved permanently”) is indeed key to keep existing search engine positionings.

    In our case of naturkost.com I’m not already sure whether our positionings had been improving or deteriorating. It’s too early to come to a final conclusion.

    Before, we were using an osCommerce store, but with proper URL rewriting and extensive on-page modifications.

    Kind regards
    JCG

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