Recommended way of reorganizing M1 category structure with minimal SEO impact?

Hello all! I’m hoping you guys can help or point me to any resources on the best way to reorganize the Magento 1 category structure on our site without incurring any hits to our SEO rankings.

Our site is 11 years old and has roughly 8,000 products listed across 100 or so categories. Our industry has gone through a lot of change in the what products are popular and the structure we launched with 11 years ago no longer makes sense. We have always had the “include categories in product URL path” option enabled as well as canonical links for both categories and product pages. As part of this restructuring, many categories will change names as well as parent-child hierarchy relationships (some will be moved under others while others will be moved out from under their parent).

The more I look into what we should have as the proper structure, the more scared I get that this will severely impact our organic rankings. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, but hadn’t found a compelling enough reason to do so. I recently had a discussion that made me realize that our menu structure has been impeding the sites crawlability and may be holding us back. Looking into a menu that allows us to have more site links on every page has brought this question back up again.

Any recommendations as to how best to proceed?

submitted by /u/rdevarona1
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