aakk9999 - 10:42 pm on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)
Have you bought working domain or just a domain name?
If you bought the domain name then I guess that in moving the domain, you moving the same structure from the old domain to the new one?
If you bought the existing domain, are you scraping the current content and putting your existing domain content preserving the same structure/design? I.e. are you ONLY changing the domain name, nothing else?
Under the presumption you are only changing the domain name and that the current domain was not ever live or was just parked:
1. It is a good idea to ensure that the new domain has the same WhoIs info
2. Copy all content from the old domain to the new domain
3. After copying the content over to the new domain, check your current content for any internal links that use absolute path and replace the old domain name with the new domain name (or strip domain name alltogether and leave the path absolute from root down only)
4. If you use canonical link element on some/all pages, make sure that you change the canonical link element to have new domain in URL
5. Once you have this sorted, change htaccess to 301 redirect ALL pages from the old domain to the new domain on the page-per-page basis (and make sure there are no chained redirects, that is, if you have redirects on the old domain, make sure they go straight to a correct end URL in the new domain). This should be done regardless whether you will manage to get links changed to point to the new domain or not.
6. Submit sitemap.xml for the new domain
7. Now you have a new domain, approach the sites that link to you - they will need to see a working domain/page before they change links. Nobody will change links to "domain coming soon"
8. If you have WMT, add the new domain to the same WMT account and execute "Change of address" option
My experience: If you are only moving the domain and keeping exactly the same structure/content of the website, and providing that:
- the new domain has no adverse history from before (was not used before or was just parked)
- and providing you do not make technical errors during the move (e.g. you have no chain redirects, you do not leak out URLs that should not be crawled etc.)
..then the changeover can happen between 1-4 months depending on how often the site gets crawled and the loss of traffic is minimal. You may see how old domain URLs get replaced with new ones in SERPs as they are recrawled and on ocassion you may see SERPs toggle between old/new URL for a period of time.
So I would expect A or B
With regards to C, there is a minimal loss of PR for links going via 301, hence you should try to get your most important (most powerful) links to change to link directly to a new domain
And there is always D - you get drop of ranking / traffic because of technical issues exposed during the move.