What Are the Best Practices for Preserving Link Juice While Restructuring a Website or Changing URLs?


Preserving link juice while restructuring a website or changing URLs involves careful planning, consistent 301 redirects, updating internal links, monitoring for errors, and properly managing external links. This ensures that the website maintains its search engine ranking and authority.

Plan Your Redesign

Understanding the Existing Structure

Before making any changes, thoroughly understand your website's existing structure. Use tools to create a complete map of current URLs, ensuring you don't miss any pages. This map will serve as a guide during the restructuring process.

[Complete Site Audit, 2021]

Use 301 Redirects

Implement 301 redirects from old URLs to the new URLs. A 301 redirect tells search engines that a page has permanently moved to a new location, which helps pass on nearly all of the original page's link equity (or link juice) to the new URL.

[301 Redirects, 2023]

Ensure all internal links within your website are updated to point to the new URLs. This avoids unnecessary redirects and maintains internal link equity, which is crucial for SEO.

[Internal Linking for SEO, 2020]

Create a New Sitemap

After restructuring your website, generate a new XML sitemap reflecting the new URL structure. Submit this sitemap to search engines to help them understand and index your site's new structure.

[Submit a Sitemap, 2023]

Monitor for Errors

Regularly check for 404 errors and other issues resulting from the restructuring. Use Google Search Console and other tools to identify and fix any broken links or misconfigured redirects quickly.

[Fixing 404 errors, 2023]

Reach out to webmasters of sites that link to your old URLs and request they update their links to point to the new URLs. This helps in maintaining the link juice from external sources.

[Moz Redirect Guide, 2022]

Preserve High-Quality Content

Ensure that valuable content remains accessible and is not lost during the restructuring. High-quality content often secures backlinks and drives organic traffic, contributing significantly to link juice.

[Content Preservation, 2021]


Preserving link juice when restructuring a website or changing URLs involves several best practices: comprehensive planning, applying 301 redirects, updating internal links, submitting a new sitemap, regular error monitoring, and managing external links. Following these steps helps maintain your website's authority and SEO performance throughout the transition.