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Website Move - New Domain Name


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4 replies to this topic

#1 mattpayne59

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 10:35 AM

I have a website whose domain name must change because the company has merged with another company and the website must become part of theirs. If I put 301 redirects on all of the pages for domaina.com to point to domainb.com, will I lose my high search result rankings? Is there anything else I can do to make this a painless transition? Thank you.

#2 Randy

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 11:39 AM

Are the pages themselves moving too?

The bottom line is the 301's will help to transfer the latent authority/link value from the old domains pages to the new domain pages you point them to. However links alone aren't all that go into why a page ranks where it ranks.

The best possible case would be to move the content from each of the old domains pages to a new or existing page of the new domain, then use a 301 to point from each of these old pages to the new page that's replacing it. If you do it perfectly you may see a short time when you lose rankings as the search engines catch up, but eventually the new page should start showing up again.

If however you simply do a mass redirect from all of the old pages of the old domain to the home page of the new domain you should expect lots of shake up in the rankings. Because chances are the home page of the new domain isn't going to have content that is optimized for the phrases used on all of those older pages.

#3 Jill

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 01:04 PM

If your old domain had a lot of authority already, that should help make your transition easier, overall with the search engines.

#4 mattpayne59

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 02:10 PM

But it will still take time? Here is my basic plan:

If I have a page www.domaina.com/1.html, it will become www.domainb.com/1.html. The page content will be pretty much identical, but it will have a new company name at the top.

Will this still cause my search results to go down at all or will the search engines recognize it is the same content? I was hoping to make this somewhat painless. Is this all I can do or are there other tricks as well?



#5 Randy

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 08:42 PM

QUOTE
Will this still cause my search results to go down at all or will the search engines recognize it is the same content?


Maybe for a short time. But not much more than that if the content is solid and relevant. You'll usually see one page replace the other over the course of a few days to maybe two weeks as the changes propagate throughout the index. That's with Google. Yahoo! tends to be a little bit slower on the uptake. MSN/Live moves at the speed of a slug most times.

As Jill already said, the more authority the old domain has, the faster it'll go. If you can, go to the trouble of pointing each old page that's going bye-bye to its most appropriate counterpart. At least for pages that rank well in the SERPs. Sometimes you can get away with simply pointing filler pages that don't get any direct search engine traffic to a more general page.




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