I have recently finished a fairly big project moving Christmasgifts.com over to WordPress.
It was an interesting project, but it took a long time to do. WordPress is not my favorite kind of platform for an ecommerce site (this particular site sells advertising) and it used to rank very highly for the search term “Christmas gifts” at Google. It ranked #1 for years, helped by EMD (Exact Match Domain name) and by having thousands of links to it from websites linking to the free Christmas Clipart and free Christmas music there. Several attempts to re-optimize the old site (which I built in php and mySql originally in 2003, I think) were made over the last couple of years, to no avail. Suddenly the thousands of links to the site looked like an “unnatural link profile”, although they were completely natural!
So we have completely changed the way the site works and looks, with a very nice new graphic design in the WordPress theme created by Matteo Galbiati of www.webandseoguru.com. He also found and modified some plugins so they work for our purposes. We used the Simple Ad Manager, which is kind of clunky but seems to work okay.
Matteo was a joy to work with – very responsive and he always had a solution for some fairly difficult technical issues within WordPress.
The new site is much better for shoppers now because it shows actual products and prices. It works better from an SEO perspective because visitors are not being send off to other sites through ads — they click on products and can purchase them right away. The site continues to offer great advice on what Christmas gifts to give to various kinds of people, but now you can SHOP! which is a much better user experience.
We’ve done yet another request for reconsideration at Google, and are looking forward to being back on page one of the search results for our search terms once again.