Jump to content

  • Log in with Facebook Log in with Twitter Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account

Subscribe to HRA Now!

 



Are you a Google Analytics enthusiast?

Share and download Custom Google Analytics Reports, dashboards and advanced segments--for FREE! 

 



 

 www.CustomReportSharing.com 

From the folks who brought you High Rankings!



Photo
- - - - -

Switching Domains - No No?


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 mike2587

mike2587

    HR 1

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 29 July 2010 - 01:01 PM

Hello,

I'm sure I'm definitely not the first person to be inquiring about this and I apologize if I didn't do enough research before posting but I would like to get some outside thoughts on my situation...

Basically, I have a website that has great organic page ranking for specific keywords/backlinks, etc. We are in the process of changing our name slightly, which will reflect our domain name. I'm in the process of building the new site under the new domain (slightly varied in name) and am curious the BEST way to basically somehow do a swap so I don't lose some of my core placement. I realize there are no guarantees in this, but what steps if possible should I go through to adequately make sure that I'm A.) not duplicating content while I'm building the new site with some of the same information and B.) won't drop far on rankings or would like to somehow notify that I'm the owner of the current site and we are just changing our domain to reflect.

I was also considering launching the new site and leaving the old one up for awhile to maybe slowly transition into good SEO, I'm not really sure.

Any thoughts or tips would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Mike

#2 Jill

Jill

    Recovering SEO

  • Admin
  • 33,006 posts

Posted 29 July 2010 - 01:43 PM

QUOTE
I was also considering launching the new site and leaving the old one up for awhile to maybe slowly transition into good SEO, I'm not really sure.


That's the one thing you don't want to do.

The basic thing to do is redirect the old pages to their new counterparts with a 301 redirect. That mostly takes care of things, assuming you create the new site in a similar manner.

I'd recommend an SEO redesign consultation to make sure that it all goes smoothly.

#3 chrishirst

chrishirst

    A not so moderate moderator.

  • Moderator
  • 7,103 posts
  • Location:Blackpool UK

Posted 30 July 2010 - 04:18 AM

For DNS and for search engines there is no such thing as a "slightly varied" domain name. One letter changed and it is completely different.

#4 mike2587

mike2587

    HR 1

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 02 August 2010 - 04:32 PM

QUOTE(chrishirst @ Jul 30 2010, 04:18 AM) View Post
For DNS and for search engines there is no such thing as a "slightly varied" domain name. One letter changed and it is completely different.


What do you mean by this? As in our SEO will go to garbage if we change it? I'm against completely changing over because I'm worried we will lose our organics... How do you think we will fair? Should we just create a second site with new content and slowly build that overtime while retaining the other?

I just want to know the best case (safest) scenario regarding this.

#5 Scottie

Scottie

    Psycho Mom

  • Admin
  • 6,294 posts
  • Location:Columbia, SC

Posted 02 August 2010 - 11:22 PM

Chris really isn't commenting on the SEO implications of changing your domain, simply pointing out that any domain change is indeed an entirely different domain.

I have to ask... if it's that similar, why go through the pain of moving the site? What do you hope to gain from moving to a different domain?

#6 mike2587

mike2587

    HR 1

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 03 August 2010 - 01:03 PM

QUOTE(Scottie @ Aug 2 2010, 11:22 PM) View Post
Chris really isn't commenting on the SEO implications of changing your domain, simply pointing out that any domain change is indeed an entirely different domain.

I have to ask... if it's that similar, why go through the pain of moving the site? What do you hope to gain from moving to a different domain?


Well... We actually changed our legal name so my boss is inquiring this type of change to our URL which should reflect. It's unfortunate because our rankings for our top keyword comes up as #1 and #2 for our organics, so that's pretty major for us, which is why I brought up this cause for concern. We're in the process of switching server providers for the new domain I'm configuring and changing our shopping cart (diff coding language) to a newer sophisticated system which allows more value to our customers. With this being said, would it be smarter to develop the new site as a different site with different content and keep both going to retain these listings? (I see this as a pain..) I'm in the development process of our new site under the new domain, our old one is still up to keep allowing orders to come through and I've setup any direct links to the new site to be 302 redirects to the old one until this is completed.

What are your TRUE thoughts and suggestions behind it if you were in this type of predicament? I know enough about SEO to have at least gotten us to the spot we have (over time) but I'm not a defined pro when it comes to this and changing domains. I'm very leery about it.

Overall we wish it was as easy as just forwarding everything and being done with it, but I'm fearing we'll drop or completely lose our rankings with this changeover, which could really hurt us.

#7 Jill

Jill

    Recovering SEO

  • Admin
  • 33,006 posts

Posted 03 August 2010 - 08:52 PM

QUOTE
With this being said, would it be smarter to develop the new site as a different site with different content and keep both going to retain these listings?


As I already mentioned above, that's the worst thing you can do.

You'll be fine as long as you're keeping the same relevant site structure and 301 redirect the old urls to their new counterparts.

But don't even consider keeping both sites live at the same time.

#8 mike2587

mike2587

    HR 1

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 04 August 2010 - 11:13 AM

QUOTE(Jill @ Aug 3 2010, 08:52 PM) View Post
As I already mentioned above, that's the worst thing you can do.

You'll be fine as long as you're keeping the same relevant site structure and 301 redirect the old urls to their new counterparts.

But don't even consider keeping both sites live at the same time.


If it's different content and different structure then why ideally would it matter? We have been tossing around ideas about making it a 'retail store' site and retaining what's keeping us so high and working on increasing our new site differently. If the content is different and the domain is different then what problems would you foresee? Have you successfully transitioned a site with 301's and retained all your rankings with it?

#9 shennant

shennant

    HR 1

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 04 August 2010 - 11:53 AM

Why don't you leave the old site, re-create all the content from there to the new site, and market the new domain while the old site is still up and running. You can put notifications on the old site, directing customers to the new site. Also putting a date on when the old website will be totally shut down. Then on that date, just basically create a 301 redirect as mentioned earlier. Just a suggestion.

#10 mike2587

mike2587

    HR 1

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 04 August 2010 - 11:57 AM

QUOTE(shennant @ Aug 4 2010, 11:53 AM) View Post
Why don't you leave the old site, re-create all the content from there to the new site, and market the new domain while the old site is still up and running. You can put notifications on the old site, directing customers to the new site. Also putting a date on when the old website will be totally shut down. Then on that date, just basically create a 301 redirect as mentioned earlier. Just a suggestion.


That's basically the route I was thinking of going for just being safe and slowly transitioning, etc... Do you think differentiated content with a 301 will effect organic rankings or should the content completely match? I know duplicating content is a BIG NO NO, but for that type of scenario..?

#11 Jill

Jill

    Recovering SEO

  • Admin
  • 33,006 posts

Posted 04 August 2010 - 03:12 PM

QUOTE(shennant @ Aug 4 2010, 12:53 PM) View Post
Why don't you leave the old site, re-create all the content from there to the new site, and market the new domain while the old site is still up and running. You can put notifications on the old site, directing customers to the new site. Also putting a date on when the old website will be totally shut down. Then on that date, just basically create a 301 redirect as mentioned earlier. Just a suggestion.


Because that wouldn't work and would only hurt rather than help.

QUOTE(mike2587)
If it's different content and different structure then why ideally would it matter?


It would matter because what used to get you high rankings might be changed and will no longer get it for you.

If you're changing content it could be that the old content was contributing to being seen as relevant to certain keywords by the search engines, and the new may not be seen as relevant. You really have to know what you're doing with this sort of change.

In addition, if you take pages that were prominently featured within your website's architecture and place them in a different part of the architecture, this too could affect the weighting the search engines apply to those pages.

QUOTE
If the content is different and the domain is different then what problems would you foresee?


Then basically you're starting from scratch. You may or may not keep your old rankings. If the new content is better optimized, then you'll do fine. If you're taking a well-optimized site and creating a less optimized one, then you'll lose targeted search engine traffic accordingly.

QUOTE
Have you successfully transitioned a site with 301's and retained all your rankings with it?


Yes, many times. But in all cases we were very careful with the new structure and content to ensure that the keywords that were previously bringing in traffic were still prominent within the new site.

Unfortunately, most companies realize they should have done this after they go live with their new site and they've lost a good portion of their search engine traffic. When done correctly from the start, there's no need to lose any traffic and you should in fact receive more.

#12 Darryl Payne

Darryl Payne

    HR 2

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts

Posted 11 August 2010 - 12:41 PM

Please read Jill's response again...read it again...then do what she says. Don't place any links to the new site until you are finished with it. If you 301 redirect the old site to the new site after it is complete, you will be fine. I have done this several times without problems. Once Google has indexed the new site, I would recommend contacting the people linking to your site and asking them to change the link to the new site. This is not really necessary if you keep the old site up indefinitely, but I think it is a good idea.

#13 WSO

WSO

    HR 3

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 94 posts
  • Location:Dallas, Texas

Posted 12 August 2010 - 11:13 AM

In fact, read Darryl's again! Jill's advice is that important. In fact, the same core issues come into play even if you are doing a total redesign without changing URLs. I've had more than one instance of a customer who had a site, then hired someone to redesign it, and that developer didn't consider the existing pages/urls that were in Google's index. Then when the new site launched, many searches would serve pages from the old design that were no longer valid pages. The user would get Page Not Found errors. Not only does this result in lost traffic, it damages the value of the brand.

When redesigning, if possible, use the same page names. But by all means, make sure that for any pages that are no longer part of your new site, that they redirect to the most relevant page on the new site. And of course, that should be with 301s.

Tom




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

SPAM FREE FORUM!
 
If you are just registering to spam,
don't bother. You will be wasting your
time as your spam will never see the
light of day!