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Current Thinking on 301 Domain Changes and Google?

 2:07 pm on Oct 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hi everyone,

We are seriously contemplating moving an old 5/6yr old site to a new domain. The current one does not fit the direction we want to take this community site but I'm worried about the move from an old trusted domain to a brand spanking new one.

The technical side of this is easy, every page would have a perfect 301 but...

Do you have any recent experience of a 301 move with Google?



 8:34 pm on Oct 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

As a general report, changing domains seems faster these day, assuming technical accuracy of course.

Here's an account from March 2009 - 7 days and some of the main keywords started ranking on the new domain: [webmasterworld.com...]


 11:49 am on Oct 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

We shifted a big brand domain (7 yrs old) to the .com TLD in November-08. And by December-08, the PR's were all transferred to the new domain and we also started to see traffic improvements. By Feb-09 we saw 1.5 times the traffic than in November-08.

Note: Almost negligible SEO was done on the TLD domain till Oct-08, but due to big brand, it attracted links for every possible authority site and many PR sites in the niche.


 12:00 pm on Oct 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks Tedster and AnkitMaheshwari. It's quite a tough call to make with a site that by anyones standards is doing just fine..

Appreciate the info!


 10:40 am on Oct 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

HI Nick, I have just done this with a site that was the authority for its area.
I followed advice given by Google [google.com]
I also reported and verified both sites in webmasters tools account.
Its early days yet (2 weeks) but I am disappointed with the results thus far.
The new site is ranking for long tail keywords but I have lost all main kw serps with both sites not showing where as it had indented positions before.
I really thought google would have handled it better and quicker.
I am still hopeful thoughbut if no improvement in 2 weeks, I will put the old site back,which might be interesting in itself.

[edited by: tedster at 5:55 pm (utc) on Oct. 6, 2009]


 5:35 pm on Oct 6, 2009 (gmt 0)


Just been through this process. It's been 4 weeks. One thing i wish we dud a batter job accounting for was "timing". Are your worried about seasonal issues - say selling for Christmas 09? be prepare for the lag. Our PR didn't fall, but our dip in SERP was obvious. I'd say 15%. I would also say it hasn't normalized yet.

Obviously, since you stated it's a long term direction then take the hit and re-plan the SEO efforts.

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