Back in 2014 Ryanair carried out probably one of the most expensive website migrations in history. When they switched to their new website, it vanished from country destination flight searches on Google… Ryanair was no longer in the top 100 results on millions of searches made each month for flights to destinations where Ryanair was the first airline to appear. Simply put, all of their old website links were replaced with different ones that Google’s index didn’t recognise, so lots of 404 ‘lost’ page warnings were displayed.

Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair CMO, said:

“We should have picked this up while migrating to our new site and will learn from that. We have it sorted now. With a big site change things like this can happen. We are not the first. The site is performing great on visits and conversion and customers find it easier.”

To a company the size of Ryanair maybe it wasn’t the end of the world losing so much of its traffic within minutes, but to most business owners it’s not an option to lost any revenue or a double figure drop in share value.

When we conduct a website launch we always produce something called a 301 redirect strategy that will ensure that when our clients switch sites, there will be little loss to their Google Rankings. Every link should exactly point from the old link to the new link, with the pages containing similar content. Some developers may say that they have to write 100s or 1000s of redirects, but the other option is that you lose traffic thus online revenue. Not a good look.

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