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Migrating from country specific domain to .com
starchild

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3970290 posted 4:54 am on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hi,

I am about to embark on migrating a very highly ranked (country specific google), large site from a country specific domain to a .com.

Not only this, but the code base and url structure will also change.

I have the option of doing an initial migration, bringing the same urls and code base over, and then later on, once the dust settles, do the code and url changeover.

In people's opinion, will this mitigate any possible issues that may arise?

What do you think is the likelihood of retaining #1 in country specific google - and yes we have a number of that country specific incoming links.

Can anyone give any more words of advice before we take the plunge?

Of course we will be using 301's to redirect from one to the other, and where possible from url to url.

Tnanks for your time.

 

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3970290 posted 5:46 pm on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

You're looking at all the right issues. I think the odds are good at retaining the #1 rank (or recovering it quickly) are good - if you execute without serious technical errors.

I have the option of doing an initial migration, bringing the same urls and code base over

Probably a good idea. It gives you a chance to see if anything goes south, and retaining the original url makes the 301 redirect rule a simple thing for the first round. You'll also start attracting backlinks for the new domain right away.

When you eventually switch to using a new url structure, take steps to change the page specific 301 redirects so that you don't set up "chains" of redirects. You want backlink power to go directly from: [the original target urls for the old site] to: [the final destination], all in one redirect.

If you can design the new urls so that they follow a relatively simple regex rule, that will make life a lot simpler for you.

[edited by: tedster at 12:15 am (utc) on Aug. 13, 2009]

starchild

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3970290 posted 11:16 pm on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks very much Tedster. It 's a big call to do this, but a necessary one in order the take the site forward I think.

I have appreciated your comments on the thousands of other threads over the the years too...

Cheers.

HuskyPup



 
Msg#: 3970290 posted 1:00 am on Aug 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

I am about to embark on migrating a very highly ranked (country specific google), large site from a country specific domain to a .com.

Why?

All valid reasons please:-)

starchild

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3970290 posted 1:13 am on Aug 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

@huskypup: for two reasons.

A) we want to attract more world wide Audience, and being a country localised domain, google is making it more and more difficult to rank on the main google .com search results.

b) we are embarking on a change of direction, away from adsense and as such are changing our core code structure to suit ecommerce and social interaction more. So, we figure that now is as good a time as any, and make what ever pain we must edure as short and sharp as possible.

HuskyPup



 
Msg#: 3970290 posted 10:54 am on Aug 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

we want to attract more world wide Audience

Where is the site hosted now?

If it is not in your country are you going to change server location?

Not only this, but the code base and url structure will also change.

Will it be the same content or substantially changed once you have changed over?

I can't help but think you're creating a problem here and could end up not ranking well either in your country nor globally.

Would an option be to leave the existing site as it is and construct a completely new site on the .com or is it an extremely large site i.e. tens of thousands of pages?

There are many, many companies that do this and linking either way should not create any kind of penalty, all the engines see it as a normal business practice.

Onr of the major questions has to be how globally competitive are your keywords etc? In some countries it's quite easy to rank well for specific widget keywords however globally it could be a different matter altogether.

leadegroot

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3970290 posted 8:39 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

You will have a traffic drop, although how long for is undetermined - make sure you budget for at least several months down time.

I have 2 suggestions:
1. if you must do this move, do it bit by bit. Split the move across 6 months. Then just as you are losing the revenue from the final pages to move, the first pages will probably come up.
2. Don't do it. Write new content for the .com site and start over. Link strongly from the old site, where appropriate, and you may want to move *some* of the content, but leave the old site in place, with country specific content.

I don't *ever* want to change domains again!

FromBelgium

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3970290 posted 9:19 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

2. Don't do it. Write new content for the .com site and start over. Link strongly from the old site, where appropriate, and you may want to move *some* of the content, but leave the old site in place, with country specific content.

That's what I did a year ago. But soon the results for old country specific domain improved and I stopped developing the new .com site. I think that Google considers country specific domains as being global if you gave enough global incoming links. Now I almost find no difference between searches with and without "&gl=us" on google.com, wheras a year ago there was a big difference.

AnkitMaheshwari

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3970290 posted 9:20 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

I would also suggest that you should not migrate a very good ranked country level domain.
Instead, just create the .com domain and run it in parallel.

starchild

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3970290 posted 10:00 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks everyone for your comments. Part of the reason is rebranding, and part of the reason is geo positioning for sales reasons.

The site is hosted in the US, but main content is locally targeted. The site is well over 10,000 pages, and most of the existing content will come across. The main keyword is a very generic word(s), and is applicable to any english speaking country.

At the moment I am leaning towards creating a new site for the .com version, as I need a local domain to promote trust for sales reasons for local customers.

Migration to a new domain will still need to happen though for branding purposes, but it will be another local domain, and I can do this without much of a hitch I think- 301 to exactly the same urls, and then upgrade the code base once things settle a bit.

No matter what happens, I need to upgrade the code base to facilitate the change in direction, and the urls will go with it.

starchild

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3970290 posted 10:03 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

BTW, i rebranded another local site to a same local domain last year without a hitch. Slight temporary drop in rankings (nowhere to go but down from #1), but recovered quickly.

So, with that in mind, I feel comfortable in the local > local domain migration.

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