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This 39 message thread spans 2 pages: 39 ( [1] 2 > >     
301 Redirect Problem
Dropped out of G after domain name change
DumpedbyG

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 5:16 pm on May 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

About 3 weeks ago we have changed our domain name. Only the domain name has changed and the IP, Name server and owner staid the same. We have added a 301 redirect to the new site in the old domainís .htaccess file.

G indexed the new domain within 2 days and we did not lose too much position in the SEPR (On average about 3 places on our major keywords). But about 10 days later G deep crawl the new domain again. After which most of our pages fell of the G world. Keywords there we were about #4 or 5 can now be found on page #4 or 5. This ďpenaltyĒ is not site wide as new pages we add to the new domain does not have the same problem.

Some of the old domain pages are still indexed in G, although without a title or description. We lost all our backlinks and PRís. When I do a search on the old domainís unique name the new domain is first in the SEPR and then the sites which still links to the old domain. So G does know it is the same site as we do not mention the old unique name on our new domain.

No change in SEPR when I do a search with filter=0.

Does anybody have any insight which they can share and maybe any ideas on how we can fix this?

Regards

 

lisag

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 1:24 am on May 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

Same thing happened to us when we changed domain names nearly 3 months ago using a 301. Within two days of the 301, G dropped the old URLs but did not replace them with the new URLs. We are not banned-- some new pages that are very popular do get put on the first page of the SERPs. But pages published and ranked prior to the 301 went from the first page SERPs to the 15th page and haven't budged. Wish I could tell you what to do-- I'd love to know!

Reid

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 1:36 am on May 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

1. Get those linking to you - the important ones anyway - to update their links.
2. Put the 301 redirect old to new site
3. Your rank still may suffer for a while (until the next update)

[google.com...]

Vadim

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 2:00 am on May 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

Disclaimer. Only Google knows how it works.

I believe that most probable reason is that Google now does not like the domain name change. It is inline with its "history" patent.

The site that changes its name probably is considered as having less authority because if an established site changes its name it usually means that it becomes less stable. For example, it may change the owner.

However, it could also happen that the name change just triggered the deep crawling and the rank recalculation.

Vadim.

DumpedbyG

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 5:57 pm on May 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

Get those linking to you - the important ones anyway - to update their links.

Most of the important once are changed; we even got DMOZ to change our listing. The problem is that there is a lot of scrapper sites linking to us. Do you think G will penalize us because some site still link to our old domain?

Put the 301 redirect old to new site

Yes we did this from day one.

DumpedbyG

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 6:12 pm on May 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google now does not like the domain name change

We did a lot of investigations before we changed the domain name, and we could not find any evidence that G will penalize us for this. The GoogleGuy even said her on Webmasterworld that it is OK.

deep crawling and the rank recalculation

Does not look like a normal re-ranking; we lost more than 100 positions on keywords which is not very competitive.

Reid

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 10:42 pm on May 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

The problem is that there is a lot of scrapper sites linking to us. Do you think G will penalize us because some site still link to our old domain?

I would make sure the change is complete, wait for next update, once the transition has been made then I would do a big fat 302 redirect from olddomain to bannedbygoogle.com

Kukenan

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 4:02 pm on May 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Warning: I have no idea of this. Use at your own risk.

If Google still shows results from both domains, this is what I would do:

1. Make sure you remove any 301's or they will cause your new site to be affected.

2. Use Google's manual removal tool:
[services.google.com:8882...]
Use the option: "Remove pages, subdirectories or images using a robots.txt file. "
Follow their instructions. Remove all the URLs listed from the old domain.

IMPORTANT: with step No 2 you can Kiss the old domain Goodby forever.
Especially if you must remove the homepage.
Yeah... I know they say for 6 months.... Dont believe it!.

3. After the removal from G is complete:
Kill the old site: delete all pages so they return 404.
This is to prevent G from finding the pages again.

4. Wait for Google to recalculate everything.. (couple of months)

I did something similar with a site that listed both pages with and withouth "www" . Google saw them as dupplicate pages and the ranking suffered.

After trying 301 alone for a year we "bit the bullet" and deleted the undesired pages from Google.

G finally got it and listed the site properly.

Your case might be easier since it is not the same domain.

Hope it helps. Again, use at your own risk.

mrMister

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 4:13 pm on May 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think Kukenan is right. Derspite what Google say, I think Kukenan's statements are closer to the truth.

Kill the old site: delete all pages so they return 404.

I'd actually return a 410 rather than a 404 as Google will keep checking a 404. If you issue a 410, it knows that the page is gone for good.

MHes

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 5:00 pm on May 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Why oh why dump an established domain?

Dumping an old domain and killing it dead is surely total madness? Did you really have to do this?

The hundreds or thousands of deep links from scraper sites or elsewhere could have been helping your rankings, especially in other engines. They also provide traffic. We get 1000+ uniques per day from scraper sites with no effect on our google rankings.

2 sites is always better than 1, for many reasons. You should have explored oneway hard links from old to new. The new domain is probably being treated as a totally new site, having had its honeymoon period it is now dead until you reestablish all those links you had acquired over the years. If you are in an uncompetitive sector, you will recover. If you are in a competitive sector then in my opinion you have made a big mistake.

I fear you will have lost your rankings for a very long time, I hope I'm wrong.

Reid

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 5:06 pm on May 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

I agree

Reid

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 5:19 pm on May 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

I agree with MH.

you got 2 domains here - why not use them to your advantage?

try to re-establish old-domain by restoring it to previous set-up (before you moved it) and let it recover from what you did.

then do a re-think from a multiple domain perspective. Use old-domains PR to help new-domain.

Reid

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 5:34 pm on May 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

About 3 weeks ago we have changed our domain name. Only the domain name has changed and the IP, Name server and owner staid the same. We have added a 301 redirect to the new site in the old domainís .htaccess file.

The burning question now is why did you do that?

The other option is the robots.txt method in the google removal tool.
write a robots.txt for newdomain and make sure it validates.
user-agent: *
disallow:
submit the URL of robots.txt to removal tool in appropriate area

write a robots.txt for old-domain
user-agent: *
disallow: /

submitt it to the removal tool. this will remove olddomain from google for 6 months (not forever)
leave the robots.txt on olddomain to prevent it from being recrawled by any (*) robot.
leave the 301 on olddomain pointing at newdomain to pick-up requests for olddomain.

This will definitely nuke olddomain from google (if that's what you want)

Reid

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 5:55 pm on May 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

I found this too (not sure how good it works though)
How to move a site to a new host

[bruceclay.com...]


claus

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 6:00 pm on May 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

First: There is absolutely nothing about your situation that indicates anything out of the ordinary. Moving a domain these days is slow and painful, and you should not do it unless you really really have to.

>> About 3 weeks ago we have changed our domain name

It will take at least one full month for a 301 redirect to propagate to the SERPs so that you get your old rankings back on the new URL's. That is, for the fastest propagating pages.

In a recent thread it was even stated that it is no longer "at least one month" but in stead "at least one crawl cycle" which may be two-three months.

So, have patience. If your situation is the same in two-three months, then you can start suspecting that something is wrong. Until then it's just Google being dead slow, and that's perfectly normal.

I simply have to add: Don't - just don't - start killing your old domain. Your new domain will go with it. Don't use the remove tool, and don't issue 404's or 410's. That was extremely bad advice. As in "lethal".

I should also add:

Don't try to reverse it now. You have started a process that will take some time to complete. If you try to reverse stuff now, you will be starting a new process, and you can add the three weeks you have already waited to the new process.

Smashing Young Man

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 6:37 pm on May 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

I know that if I had it to do over again, I would have never changed my domain name. It simply wasn't worth it. As has been said, it would have been better simply to start a new website with the new domain.

Fortunately, I changed the name before MSN and Yahoo had found the original domain, so they've had no problem crawling the new domain. Google, on the other hand...ugh.

Reid

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 5:03 am on May 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would definitely take Claus's advice - thanks for the info Claus

McMohan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 7:04 am on May 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Only Claus speaks sense here.

Dumping an old domain and killing it dead is surely total madness?

If we had our way. Many instances these are corporate decisions that makes it inevitable that we use a new domain for various purposes.

Get those linking to you - the important ones anyway - to update their links

Whats the point of doing a 301 then?

I have witnessed many such examples. One common thread that runs in such cases is that, if you are doing a 301 from a relatively less popular site to a new domain, they start exhibiting sandbox type symptoms. If you are doing it on an authoritative site with high natural PR, then the transition is smooth.

Even 2 - 3 months is as early as it gets IMHO, but even longer. Do nothing about it, but adding slowly some quality links (dmoz/Yahoo types) and borrow loads of patience.

[added]sticky me if you want to know which instances 301 has been smooth and not so[/added]

Reid

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 9:27 am on May 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Get those linking to you - the important ones anyway - to update their links

Whats the point of doing a 301 then?

This thread was about 'moving to a new domain' - we were making suggestions and that one (about getting inbounds updated) is right from google.

maybe this person doesn't want 2 domains - just wants it moved. then a 301 would catch all the minor SE traffic and google traffic until the transition is complete.

DumpedbyG

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 6:40 pm on May 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

The burning question now is why did you do that?

The content of our site has expanded so much that the old domain name was not relevant to about 90% of our site.

MHes

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 9:13 pm on May 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't think that was a good enough reason. Page title is the big one for being picked out in the serps. If users do look at the domain, you could have made filenames become more relevant e.g.

www.bluewidgets.com/new-pink-widgets.html

Meanwhile I would have started a new site and slowly built it up. This new site would be aimed at the new branding.

There's talk of new sites being penalised for getting too many links too quickly. By changing all your old links to the new address they are probably flagging you up as being a new site with unnatural "too good to be true" links suddenly appearing. I'm not convinced by this theory but I would not risk it.

Reid

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 5:35 am on May 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

thats what makes me wonder
changing a host is one thing - but a new domain AND new IP adds up to new site.

DumpedbyG

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 8:28 am on May 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

thats what makes me wonder
changing a host is one thing - but a new domain AND new IP adds up to new site.

No, we did not change IP or host we only change the domain name.

Also new pages we added after the change rank fine, it is just the old 301 pages which gets penalized

DumpedbyG

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 8:40 am on May 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

talk of new sites being penalised for getting too many links too quickly

I do not think this is our problem, as new pages we add do not get penalized.

I also find it strange that G would do that as that would be an easy way to kill new competitor (just add a heap of links to them).

MHes

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 9:27 am on May 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I agree. The 'too many links' theory is flawed, but if the links are now being seen as new ones, rather than old established links, they may not be passing on full pr until they mature in Googles eyes.

I'm confused because I thought your new site was not ranking. Now you say new pages are ranking ok?

DumpedbyG

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 9:42 am on May 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm confused because I thought your new site was not ranking. Now you say new pages are ranking ok?

I have stated this in my origianal post.

Only the 301 pages get penalized.

MHes

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 11:17 am on May 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sorry, I'm being a bit thick :(

That is very strange if the pages with the 301 redirect are not ranking but new ones are. As I said earlier I would never have gone down this 301 route. These 301 pages are obviously being treated differently to the new pages. Can you sticky me your old and new urls and I will try and fathom it out.

claus

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 3:10 pm on May 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hey DumpedbyG, i can understand if you're p***ed about this and think that things ought to be different, and you're worrying that there might be something wrong with how Google looks at your site.

Don't panic. Don't even start worrying until four-to-six months after the 301.

I'll repeat what i stated before: All this is perfectly normal. From what you have stated in this thread there's no reason to suspect that you have been "dumped" or anything. You don't have an individual penalty, as in "a penalty for that specific site" - in stead you have the general "penalty" that all 301 redirects get. It's perfectly normal although, if you're hit by it it seems extremely stupid. Google could do much better, and have done much better in the past, but there's been a shift in how these things are handled, and this is Googles way of "not encouraging" things.

Your site will recover at the new URL and it will take a long time. Far too long, in fact. But that does not mean that you have a problem. It's a Google problem. That's just how these things work with Google these days.

And it's also perfectly normal that your new pages show up. That's just how it is. 301 pages don't, new pages do.

Google is not just a search engine - it also has politics for what it would like you to do with your site. Yes, the people at Google actually think they should have a say about that.

  • Google does not want you to move from one domain to another (easily).
  • Google does not want you to transfer pages between domains (easily).
  • Google does not want you to transfer PR between domains (easily).
  • Google does not want you purchasing or starting too many new sites (easily).
  • Google does not want you to change pages or domains to rank for new keywords (easily).
  • Google does not want you to be able to buy or transfer rank
  • Google does not want to reward webmasters that don't have patience (fast bucks)

OTOH:

  • Google does want you to stick to one site and develop it.
  • Google does want you to add new pages to that site.

See?

Reid

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 6:47 pm on May 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

That's right dumped - just make sure everything is set up properly and wait it out - at least 6 weeks panic after 8 or 10 weeks.

lisag

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 29414 posted 4:40 am on May 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Same for us: after the 301, newly added popular pages appear on the 1st page of SERPs. Old pages from before the domain name change which were on the 1st page for several years and are now on the 20th. But there are a few exceptions: some pre-name change pages still come up on the 1st page of SERPs (no they're not more popular, more recent or highly ranked than others on our site)! It really makes no sense at all and seems random. And some pages added after the 301 have a PR of 6 but are nowhere to be found in the SERPs. Certainly looks like we haven't be re-mixed back into the index soup for 96% of old pages. It's been three months.

It took 2 months for PR to transfer. It's been 3 months and the SERPs still haven't recovered.

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