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Switching from .org to .com in hope of recovery

 9:26 pm on Aug 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

If site A (example.org) looses ranking, and we open Site B (example.com) would the penalty or filter or whatever this thing is end up in Site B?

1 of our sites, "example.org" vanished from Google on June 4, running out of options what else can be done to recover lost traffic (well, not totally vanished, just lost about 80% traffic).

We also own "example.com" which we never used for content. All the content and inlinks are located on .org site.

Would you still ride this thing out or do such a drastic move? Would google treat the new .com as a brand new site?



 10:52 pm on Aug 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

It could be an option. But it's better to work out why your site disappeared in the 1st place otherwise you'll potentially just create 2 problems.

Do you have any ideas on what may have contributed to the fall ?


 11:32 pm on Aug 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Ideas? Yes, hundreds of them.

We pretty much "cleaned up" everything we could. We found some links in our forum to .jp, .cn or .ru "dirty" sites. Some people got creative and it slipped through our system. Maybe it would be a good idea to ban googlebot from our forum section (the only section we have no control over content, or at least we have to monitor extensively)

Just frustrated how much longer this will take, site is over 5 years old and this is 1st time in 5 years we got hit.


 2:27 pm on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

If it were a small site I would say that you could move your content to another domain (which will be new to Google and will need to get its place in SERPS) and get over the penalty, but if it is a 5-year old site then you really need to fix things up. Have you tried reconsideration through webmaster central?


 2:30 pm on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

If site A (example.org) looses ranking, and we open Site B (example.com) would the penalty or filter or whatever this thing is end up in Site B?

I can't say for sure, but if you follow the protocol and what is supposed to happen in this type of transfer, then yes, there may be some challenges moving to the .com TLD. You will most likely use a 301 to redirect old to new and that is where the challenges come in. The 301 permanently transfers whatever was at the hold to the new. So, if there are penalties/filters at play on the old domain, there is a good chance they will transfer to the new domain.


 2:46 pm on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

site is over 5 years old

There's value in keeping it then. Fix it up and request a reinclusion (if you're confident that it's a penalty and not a technical issue at your end).


 2:58 pm on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

forums for me were a huge problem for one of my sites. Especially since customer insisted that it was Yahoo hosted and I couldn't upgrade to the more spam proof version of the forum software. That resulted in HUGE drops in serps when it started getting spammed and too difficult to maintain.

Dropped the forum from the site, everything came back stronger. Assuming the forum is the problem for you: not sure if this can now be accomplished with a robots.txt exclusion seeing as how googlebot already knows its there.


 9:52 pm on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

trillianjedi & ecmedia - I know, 5 years around, it would be a shame to start all over. Everything has been fixed up and reinclusion was asked for.

zuko105 - still debating on what to do with the forum (thanks for the idea)


 9:58 pm on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Neither plan - old domain or new domain - will work unless you are 100% sure you have cleaned up whatever the problem was.

Using the 'unclean' old domain will be pointless; a 301 from an unclean domain to a new one is worse than pointless.

You need to deal with the old problem first, then see what state the site is in.


 11:07 pm on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks Quadrille, I totally understand. It's just VERY frustrating when you've done everything you can think of.


 11:57 pm on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

If you've done everything you can do, maybe it's worth considering handing it over to a new set of eyes or 2 to go through and do an audit.

Then when you get the "all clear" submit a reinclusion request.


 12:24 am on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

If you are not sure, then stick with the current domain for now; no point in risking the new one.

It would be a shame to lose a successful forum from the serps; would it be possible to lose signatures and introduce nofollow (or ban HTML content?). Or simply to tighten up the moderation?

While a forum - or other third-party content - has to be prime suspect, other links may have gone bad, or be part of link exchanges.

Site-wide links to old SEOs and designers can be disastrous, and any link exchanges ... I'm sure you've checked out all these things, but with Google, a serious penalty is almost certainly link related - unless you've revived pre-2002 SEO techniques ;)

Good Luck with the reinclusion request. :)

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