Here's a strange one for me: My client (a shop) had a free website set up by a local magazine around six years ago.
The site is currently live under shopname.com
The magazine was part of a larger local newspaper group but was disbanded and taken off the market just less than a couple of years ago. It appears the magazine staff outsourced this website design to a freelance developer.
Unfortunatly, the freelancer has moved away from his registered address and both email and phone number are dead.
The larger newspaper group have therefore lost control of the domain name and a legal matter is underway. However, they do still have access for FTPing data to the site. They will not give me the FTP details though, so I cannot maintain the site easily.
So I have had no choice but to create a new domain (shopnamelocation.com) and have set up my own hosting and pointed the new domain to the new hosting. The new site is now live.
The only matter to be dealt with now is forwarding visitors from the old site to the new site. Bearing in mind that the newspaper group cannot access the DNS control, it seems the only way is to place a redirecting page on to the old host. Should I use a blank page with a meta redirect or should I create a page which asks visitors to click through to the new site?
ps. the old domain is not due for renewal until April 2011 so, other than the legal route we are persuing, the earliest we could change the DNS settings is likly to be then and not before.
domain control: you really dont want to play around with domain registration too much. this can trigger a filter in the google algo which can hamper your ranking efforts. many years ago people would register expired domains that were totally unrelated to them but had alot of link popularity. since that trick google pays attention to changes to domain registration and they actually became a domain registrar to get full access to those details. also you should be careful if for some reason you decide to let the domain expire, since there are many people still buying expired domains.
redirecting: you dont have dns access but you do have hosting access. why not upload a 301 redirect using an htaccess file? this would transfer the link popularity. if for some reason you cant do a 301 redirect then trya meta refresh=0 seconds. search engines tend to treat meta refresh with no delay as a 301 and transfer the link popularity. meta refresh is not as good as a 301 but it is better than doing nothing.