As previously published on Digital Out Loud, changing a website’s URL does affect negatively a site’s SEO and subsequently its position in search engine results, especially if not done properly.
For years, Google has been recommending against URL changes for SEO reasons only.
Again, Google’s Search Advocate, John Mueller, said when it comes to URL changes: “If you’re lucky, it’ll end up in the same place.”
When considering website redesigns and platform modifications, fully evaluate the risks and benefits involved, and how URL structural changes will impact your website’s SEO performance. Don’t take the decision lightly!
If you are only changing URLs for the purpose of adding keywords to the URL, you will hurt your SEO instead of helping it. So try to avoid changing URLs just for SEO reasons and opt for content optimization while maintaining the same URLs.
Bottom line, don’t change URLs unless you really have to!