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301 domain redirect... When do PR and traffic return?
new_shoes




msg:4180740
 7:07 pm on Aug 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

I read every guide out there on how to prepare for a site-wide 301 redirect. We redirected from:

old.com
- pagerank 6 at time of switch
- 10 years old, very active domain

to
new.com
- pagerank 1 at time of switch
- 5 years old, "brochure site" with no traffic

We followed all the rules (page-to-page redirect, accompanied with lots of new link building, updated webmaster tools, new sitemaps etc).

We are now 16 days in and our traffic has been steadily dropping. We are now at -56% Google traffic.

As of today:
old.com - pagerank 1
new.com - pagerank 1

I'm crying myself to sleep over this. Please somebody tell me everything is going to be alright.

 

aakk9999




msg:4180879
 12:51 am on Aug 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

It partially depends on the size of the site as Google must sort out URLs in its index. When we did the same, it recovered after about a month - the site had about 2000 pages. Even before the switch both domains had the same owner in WhoIs for 8 years. We also contacted what we considered most trusted sites that linked to the old.com and asked them to change their link to new.com.

With regards to pagerank, old site was 6, the new showed as 3 after the first pr update, and about 6 months later climbed up to 5.

soxos




msg:4181059
 10:21 am on Aug 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi New Shoes,

How do the internal links and page titles compare from the old site to the new site? Does each page on the old site have a relevant page on the new site which has the same content on? I read somewhere on google / matt cutts that the *ideal* way to transfer a whole site was to put the old site on the new domain then update wmt and 301 (page by page). So if thats the ideal, then the more different the new site is from the old site could be the problem?

Or another thing - how *new* is your new site, and how much link building have you done?

Have you been able to get any of the old links updated to your new site, try yahoo backlinks...

just some ideas, hope they are helpful as I am about to 301 50% of an old site to a new site myself :/

curiousnst




msg:4181135
 1:30 pm on Aug 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

I moved my site a little over a year ago (about 5000 pages). I did not do any new link building at all, but I did contact some other sites and ask them to update their links. Traffic began to recover after 3 weeks, and was almost back to normal by 5 weeks. It took 2 pr updates to return to my previous pr rank (5).

anteck




msg:4181645
 6:49 am on Aug 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

Sorry to hear of your losses. I'm experiencing the same. Well trusted 2 year old domain redirected via 301 (& done properly) has lost most rankings. Wierd keywords retain. Some pages have authority (come up first for search on title phrase) whilst others don't appear at all. It's totally messed up. This is over 6 weeks after the move.

Google's raving about 301's passing rank is BS. At least now... I've seen this personally on three different sites. If it used to work, it doesn't now. I think the new engine has affected a lot of things.

Vimes




msg:4181685
 8:54 am on Aug 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

As of today:
old.com - pagerank 1
new.com - pagerank 1


this seems strange if its a 301 redirect the old.com pagerank shouldn't appear as the toolbar wouldn't have time to request the the ranking.

as for 16 days that's a bit early as mentioned above the re-indexing of the sites has to happen you are probably losing the SERP's on the old.com pages, are the pages on the new.com increasing in total, if so then these should appear in the SERP's and replace the old URL's they might not replace them in the exact position but they will appear in the SERP's once things have selected down.

Vimes.

AnkitMaheshwari




msg:4181697
 9:38 am on Aug 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have seen old domain' s PR dropping without any change in new domain's PR, which is reflected much later.

Regarding domains, have you just re-directed the sites (only change in domain-name) with same content, design, URL structure or is it a complete make-over including the content and theme?

new_shoes




msg:4181881
 3:47 pm on Aug 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi guys,

Thanks a lot for your input. About the questions:

Pages:
old.com had about 150,000 pages indexed. new.com already has as many pages indexed as well.

How do the internal links and page titles compare from the old site to the new site?:

new.com is identical in every respect to old.com. No changes in design or link structure.

Each page points directly to the corresponding page on the new site. Eg.
  • old.com/about.html -> new.com/dir/about.html
  • old.com/dir/page1.html -> new.com/dir/page1.html


Link building:
old.com has about 4000+ incoming links
new.com has 100 new, quality incoming links

When doing "link:new.com" Google is already listing incoming links to old.com!

Have you been able to get any of the old links updated to your new site, try yahoo backlinks...

No, we haven't managed to do this yet. We've only gotten new incoming links.

If anyone has any other thoughts or tips, I'd love to hear them.

I'll keep you all updated.

tedster




msg:4181914
 4:36 pm on Aug 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

I know you mentioned Webmaster Tools - but did you file the "Change of Address" form that is offered in there?

new_shoes




msg:4182017
 7:06 pm on Aug 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

I know you mentioned Webmaster Tools - but did you file the "Change of Address" form that is offered in there?


Yes, that was done on the day.

tedster




msg:4182020
 7:11 pm on Aug 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

Good - that should make the painful periodof re-indexing a bit shorter for you.

new_shoes




msg:4182665
 6:26 pm on Aug 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've tried to show the changes in PageRank, number of pages indexed according to Webmaster Tools and number of pages when doing a site:site.com.

The date 7/15 was when we made the 301 redirect.



Date..............|.....7/15...|....7/28...|......8/5..|

PageRank,.old.com.|........6...|.......1...|........1..|
PageRank,.new.com.|........1...|.......1...|........1..|

site:old.com......|..149,000...|..63,000...|....2,160..|
site:new.com......|...28,000...|..71,000...|...36,000..|

sitemap #pages
indexed, new.com..|........0...|.115,154...|..113,705..|

google traffic....|.....-22%...|..-53.5%...|...-58.2%..|



As you can see old.com is dropping out of the Google index fast - as expected.

I know that "site:" is not very reliable, but why does it seem that new.com also dropped recently?

P.S. Setting up "tables" in WebmasterWorld sucks. Is there some trick I'm missing?

Robert Charlton




msg:4182868
 1:22 am on Aug 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

Just to check the obvious, since no one has mentioned these...

- Have you checked the server header status for the old domain and the new one?


Each page points directly to the corresponding page on the new site. Eg.

old.com/about.html -> new.com/dir/about.html

old.com/dir/page1.html -> new.com/dir/page1.html

- Did you do a pattern redirect using mod_rewrite (assuming Apache here), or did you do a separate redirect for each page?

- Would you post a bit of the syntax you used in .htaccess, for our resident experts to take a look.

P.S. Setting up "tables" in WebmasterWorld sucks. Is there some trick I'm missing?

I thought you were pretty ingenious in how you managed it. ;)

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