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Moving a site to a new domain only for a better name?
menntarra 34

 1:06 am on May 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have a website which is 2 years old. I have some reputation in my niche. I am on the first page for some really competitive keywords. All in all site is running fine.

However i found a much better domain name for my business. IMO this new name would drive much more traffic, and of course it suits my business better than the current one.

What do you think about moving my old site to this new domain, just for the name? What is your experience if there's any.



 3:10 am on May 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

You're talking about re-branding. It can be quite a challenge - or a great move. Just make sure, first of all, that the new brand is a LOT better, because if any technical errors creep in you can have a very rough time. If it's a technically precise launch, all 301s working with no mess, then it can be a totally smooth move with Google.

I'd say the biggest issue I keep seeing in this kind of situation is changing all the absolute internal links rather than depending on the 301 redirect.

menntarra 34

 12:08 pm on May 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks, and what do you think about the links pointing to my domain? Does it worth contacting every single site to change to the new brand, or just leave them, does it matter that much?

Marketing Guy

 12:14 pm on May 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Try and change some if you can and launch with some PR, but if you 301 old to new and update address via WMT you'll be in more or less the same position in terms of SEO as you are now.


 3:35 pm on May 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Does it worth contacting every single site to change to the new brand, or just leave them, does it matter that much?

Is there a way you could leverage that so you get MORE publicity out of it? For instance, instead of just asking them to re-point the links, try and get them to write about your new and improved site on thier facebook page, in their newsletter, etc.,?


 5:26 pm on May 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

The higher the competition you are dealing with, the more important those requests are for you. Remember that you do lose something like 10%-15% of the link juice by going through a 301 redirect.


 11:49 pm on May 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

update address via WMT

There is a way to notify Google of an address change?


 12:15 am on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

yes, there is an option in WMT. You find it under configuration -> change of address although a 301 should be enough.


 6:13 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Oh I see it now, thanks!

menntarra 34

 9:09 pm on May 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Is it better to preserve the old IP for the new domain?


 10:52 pm on May 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

I quite a lot of experience doing this. It doesn't sound like you're running Adsense but I can honestly say that myself and other people have found a serious drop in earnings when moving to a new domain. It was an oversight on my part and there isn't anything definitive out there as a clear cut rule. I'm just suggesting that if you have some really nice click earnings those might be compromised for quite some time. I had a site of a few years and didn't think that those great clicks would go away but they certainly have in my situation. I'm looking at months since the move and have never heard a hard and fast rule about how long it might take to get back some of that click value.

menntarra 34

 11:19 pm on May 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

@MrSavage: i don't have adsense on this site. I'm interested if this IP change affect SEPRS and page rank, or it does not matter at all?


 12:18 am on May 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Regarding IP, not sure if you're consider moving the IP (server) then doing the 301? I personally leave the IP as is and do the 301. Nothing hard and fast I've seen, but shaking up things with an IP in combination with a 301 an entire domain is less ideal or disruptive. Just a personal preference or even superstition. I've done both and nothing was better over the other. My suspicion is that less disruption is best.

In all honesty, provided it's not a complex move, it's very safe in my own experience. If the redirects are complicated then double and triple check everything is in order. I like to get a sitemap from the old domain and then click the links and make sure it's all working as planned.

If I get a better domain I'm not concerned about killing off the good that I had. Tedster mentions a loss in link juice which I know nothing about.

Like anything regarding websites I'm sure there are 100 different opinions on this. Boil down multiple opinions in other words.


 3:48 am on May 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Would do the 301 as doing in WMT you leave other engines pointing no where creating error pages that get noticed in GA and WMT

301 the lot to the domain level - there may be some link bleeding but minimum loss

if the domain change is keyword heavy there should be a lift


 9:33 pm on Jun 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Tedster, I'm going to be doing this with a domain that got smashed in Penguin - not b/c of Penguin but because I've been wanting a better domain name for ages, and right now, with only 20% of my normal traffic, this seems like a good time to make the move.

I'm curious to hear more about the 10-15% loss of link juice that you mentioned above? I think my backlink profile is so weak that it isn't worth worrying about, but I just wondered how this would affect the site. Lower it in the rankings a bit further? It can't get much worse right now, so that's not really a problem.

I have very few quality backlinks, but I'm pretty sure those sites will be willing to update their links to me, so that should help.

Also, what about other search engines? Do they typically handle this as gracefully as Google, providing I get everything right?

(I did this once on a hobby site where I changed the TLD, but this will be the first time I've truly rebranded a site.)

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