Why My Retweet Count Is Gone – Argh!

In an effort to enhance the SEO of my blog, I decided to change the permalink structure of my posts.  You may have noticed that my post URLs used to contain the month and year the post was published, along with the name of the post.   Instead, I wanted my permalink structure to just include the name of the post.

In other words, it used to look something like this:

/%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html

And now, I’ve changed it to this:

/%postname%/

Much cleaner and it’s more SEO friendly (or so I’ve read).  My biggest concern was creating broken links on other sites (where my blog posts may be linked) and losing any pagerank assigned to each specific page through Google.  To mitigate this issue, I used the plugin Dean’s Permalinks Migration 1.0. Very simply, you can input your old permalink structure and then change your permalink structure to what you want it to be (in the same permalink settings you would normally use), and the plugin takes care of the permanent redirection.  This is similar to the 301 redirection I discussed in another post.

The Big Problem

Unfortunately, I didn’t account for the affect this would have on my social networking/bookmarking plugins – in particular, the Retweet button and StumbleUpon button.  Because my link structure changed, the counts on these plugins reset to zero (they were tied to the old links that I just changed).

Now, I have nothing! I’ve heard about this happening before, but completely forgot about it.  Now, I’m faced with two options:

1) Leave it as is and maintain a better search engine optimized blog, or

2) Restore the old link structure, and thus restore my tweet and StumbleUpon counts.

I’m really incline to stick with #1, because I know it’s the best long-term answer.  What would you do?

If you’re interested in helping me out, feel free to go back and retweet some of my older posts – I’d owe you forever. I know it seems silly, but it’s been well-documented how important “social proof” is, and I’ve basically just lost a big part of mine!

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10 Responses to “Why My Retweet Count Is Gone – Argh!”

  1. Consider the loss of your tweet counts like a juvenile error. I think SEO is a more important matter. I know it sucks but this choice is gonna bring more traffic to your blog.
    Don’t waste other time, start tweeting again, now!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Dome – I know you’re 100% right, I just need to get myself to forget about what’s lost. :)

    [Reply]

  2. Hey Eric,

    I agree with Dome, in the long run the SEO benefits will greatly out weigh the past tweets. Plus, think of it this way – posts that already went out and seem to have “peaked” in terms of Retweets and StumbleUpon have pulled that traffic then and there.

    Also, let this be like a little inspiration to promote older posts – they may catch on again and spread even more than before :)

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the reassurance, Murray. I think I will try retweeting some older posts – I notice you do that from time to time, and I’m assuming it helps reignite some old fires. :)

    [Reply]

  3. Eric,

    It sucks because I know how hard we all work for those RTs, Stumbles etc….. a great lesson for all of us to learn from.

    But y’know what? SEO has long term benefits so I’d definitely just go from there. RTs give a bit of social proof and that ‘feel good’ feeling but the search engines should love some SEO.

    I think you’re good to go for now ;) Thanks for sharing your mistakes!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Moon, I appreciate the reassuring advice. You’re right that I should focus on what’s best in the long term, which seems to be the improved SEO. And there’s some value in knowing that I’ll never make this mistake again (and hopefully this will keep others from making the same mistake as well).

    [Reply]

  4. Thanks for the tip on Dean’s Permalink Migration. I just used it to do the same thing on my young blog.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Glad it helped you out! I like your site by the way. Best of luck on your custom vinyl decals business – it seems like you’re doing a lot of cool stuff to document the internet marketing aspect of it.

    [Reply]

    Lyndsy Simon Reply:

    You of all people should know that the only way to have time to do something is to *make* time to do it.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Exactly. There are ALWAYS excuses to not do something that you don’t *need* to do. Likewise, you need to get past the excuses and make time for whatever it is you want to do.

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