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Should I 301 Redirect, Or Am I Crazy?


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6 replies to this topic

#1 RiYo

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 05:03 AM

A few years ago we have changed our business name, registered that domain name and put a copy of the website we had at that domain. I know we should have 301'd at the time but we did not wink1.gif

What happened since: we have changed our website and updated that on the 'new domain', the 'old domain' still has our old website on it. There is nothing wrong with that website beside that it is a bit outdated, but not shockingly.

Google shows our 'old domain' as number 1 and 2, while the new domain is not being found at all in the top 20. Bing however does rank the 'new domain' as number 2 behind the 'old domain'.

To give some stats:

old domain: 6 years old, PR3, 127 backlinks, ranks 1 and 2 in Google
new domain: 3 years old, PR0, 28 backlinks, does not rank in Google

So the question is: should I 301 redirect my 'old domain' to my 'new domain' or is there a chance that this will result in the loss of rank 1 and 2 in Google.

Thanks for your help

richard

#2 Randy

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 05:31 AM

I would 301 the old to the new so that people get the most current information and you remove maintenance issues.

#3 RiYo

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 08:02 AM

The last time I did a 301 redirect (it was a year or 2 ago), the results we not good. It took ages before the new domain started ranking among the same spot as the old domain name.

As we are in a very niche market with low volume numbers we need to be 100% (ok 90% will do as well ...) that we get our new domain name on that 1st spot as well.

What are your experiences with the 301 nowadays?

thanks Richard

QUOTE(Randy @ Aug 31 2009, 12:31 PM) View Post
I would 301 the old to the new so that people get the most current information and you remove maintenance issues.



#4 Randy

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 09:14 AM

Where Google is concerned at least 301's are much better and picked up much faster than they were in the good old days. If a connection between the domains has already been made, and I highly suspect it has been since they contained the same content for a time and presumably had similar WhoIs data I would expect the effect to be almost immediate. As in days, not weeks.

Of course this doesn't necessarily guarantee that the new domain will exactly replace the old domain in the same position in the SERPs. It very well may, but there are other factors at work. So it may end up ranking a bit better or a bit worse. If it's gravely worse you should be able to reverse the 301 and have things go back to the way they are now.

My guess is the new domain isn't ranking right now because it's being filtered. I had this happen to me with a couple of similar domains (similar content, never the same; one slightly older than the other; both doing basically the same thing but targeting different market segments; all WhoIs info identical and on the same server with close IP numbers) where the newer domain never would rank for those most competitive phrases. It always ranked for slightly less competitive phrases, but never for the main phrase.

Then one day I had a little mess up on my part and the older domain went offline for a time as far as Google was concerned. No 301, just offline. Interestingly, the newer domain popped right into its normal spot in the Google rankings for the most competitive phrases. When I figured out what had happened and reversed the little error, the older domain popped right back into its normal spot, and the newer domain again started getting filtered.

A 100% confident answer just isn't possible in these situations because too much is completely outside of your control. However based upon recent experience I would expect you to not have any problems where Google is concerned. At most a few days or inconsistency while things sort themselves out assuming you do a good job of setting up the 301's. Yahoo! is still a bit slower on the uptake, but like Google will usually keep showing the older domain until the newer one pops into the SERPs. MSN/Bing is goofy. We have another thread about that around here somewhere. But they've continued to rank URLs that have been 301'd. Which while technically incorrect should actually work out pretty well for you.

#5 Jill

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 10:19 AM

I concur with Randy. 301 redirect them. Google's very good at switching things over these days.

#6 RiYo

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 01:53 AM

@Jill @Randy, thanks for the answers. I am glad that you mention that the whois info should be the same .. right now it is not! Some domains are in my personal name and some are in my business name. So I assume it is best to first make sure the whois info for all these domains is the same and after that put the 301 in place. How long should I wait between the whois change and the 301 implementation?

Richard

#7 Randy

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 02:30 AM

You don't really have to wait at all Richard. It's not even a strict requirement that the whois info match, just good form.




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