We changed our website recently and also changed the menus on it so some of our pages have a different path now. For about 2-3 weeks after the switch we noticed our Google Analytics fell off, then we checked mypagerank.net and out page ranks had gone from 3, 4, or 5 to 0 on some of the pages. Our web designer is being somewhat cryptic about why this happened. Can you explain what would cause this and if our page rank will go back up or do we need to do something?
Google’s gotten more sophisticated at parsing content and understanding more complex navigation, but as all SEO folk know, Adobe Flash is problematic in a bunch of ways, one of which is that generally Google ignores it when analyzing a Web page. (another reason people dislike it is because no Apple iOS devices render and play Flash properly, including all those millions of iPads)
I’m troubled by your coy Webmaster. This is something they should know about: any decent Webmaster or web developer in this day and age should also know at least the basics of SEO and that’s what we’re talking about here, not PNG vs JPG or CSS vs HTML. If they’ve implemented your menu system using a system that’s not search engine-friendly, that’s a conversation you need to be able to have with them so you can find a resolution.
Regardless of the code behind your menu system, however, a proper site map can mitigate a lot of the adverse consequences, and it’s a good idea anyway.
I’ll add one thought: closely monitoring your ranking can be the path to insanity. There are so many different factors that influence PageRank and so much more to search engine results (SERPs, as we SEO types call it) than just the PageRank value that Google reports (which might or might not be accurate in the first place) that thinking that you’ve done X and it produces Y is rather more of a fool’s game than anything else, at least in my opinion.
I hope this all helps you figure out what’s going on!