15 Aug 10 4:00 am
Firstly, none of what I said above is final or legal advice.. Google doesn't likes too many changes as far as links are concerned.
- Changing themes to affilotheme at this late date will not hurt my ranking.
Changing themes normally doesn't affects your ranking, however some themes have special features that may or may not be favorable for SEO.
- Changing from blog structure to a static structure will not hurt my ranking.
As I said before Google prefers site that are regularly updated and are in line with today's technology and visitor preferences. So blogs have an advantage there.
- I should not try to turn my existing blog theme into static site but should use the affilotheme.
Yes, thats better.
- I can keep existing permalink structure for affilotheme site if I want.
Question: Doesn't the permalink structure reflect site structure? How can I keep the current permalink structure without keeping the old blog "categories?"
Yes it does, infact categories etc act as silos and are very important as far as how Google sees your site is concerned. I am not sure about the second question.
- I can change permalinks with 302 redirect for old posts or use plat SEO pack plugin for automatic redirects.
Question: 1) Won't all these redirects slow down loading of my site?
2) What is a 302 redirect anyway :) and how do I do it manually?
I will suggest you to Google on that, the topic is pretty well discussed over internet and I am afraid my explanation won't be that detailed :(
"Finally, Sonitin -- Please tell me why is it "highly unadvisable" to change my old posts to static article pages (with 302 redirects)? This puts my whole plan into question, doesn't it? Do you think I'd be better off starting a new site and not leveraging ranking and domain age?"
The reason for that lies behind how Google reads and understands various CMS. Wordpress is designed for a blogging system, if you are using wordpress then you are inherently implying that you plan to blog. A blog will have blog posts containing its more important material and most of the pages are meant to be static, non-changing and often statuary pages.
Now there is no technical documentation for this, however I remember studying about it in html vs wordpress discussion on a very reputed seo blog and it made sense. If google's algorithm understand wordpress design correctly then they can index it way better as well. And wordpress has always been more favored in rankings. I am pretty sure if algorithms have not have been customized for wordpress then it would have resulted in lot of duplicate page penalty for such sites (think of tags pages or categorie pages that are nearly same).
As far as starting a new site is concerned, I prefer having lesser stronger better sites then spreading myself too thin. I have made that mistake. Plus with age comes trust rankings, they are more important.
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