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Dump Site or Re-configure?
recommendations please
old_expat




msg:3987133
 4:50 am on Sep 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have a site that is about 10 years old. The premise of the original .. very narrow niche .. content is no longer valid due to some changes in local laws. Traffic has always been very modest even though the site was very high in SE rankings for various keywords.

I added Adsense as soon as it became available. For several years, the site was making about $100/mo, so I added a section of "permanent" content* and just let it glide along. The ravages of time and neglect have reduced traffic by 75% and income by 90%.

The domain name could be considered appropriate for a similar version of content .. a significantly broader / larger niche .. but the domain name is a hyphenated 16 letter dot com. The site index page is PR4 and most internal pages are PR3.

A few years back, I built another site that covers a slightly different version of [ * ] plus additional content that is much wider in scope and appeal (hopefully).

My plans include rewriting and/or moveing [ * ] to that site .. and adding redirects in the .htaccess

That essentially leaves me with the options:

1. Letting the old site live out it's domain registration and then die
2. Reconfigure the content toward the broader concept
3. Looking for a new, shorter, non-hyphenated domain name and start from scratch

(have found an "almost the same" 12 letter non-hyphenated .com)

Recommendations appreciated.

 

tangor




msg:3988336
 8:28 am on Sep 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

Unusual questions, as in very interesting... the "changes in local laws" being one. However, nothing wrong with a long domain name, particularly if memorable. If that remaining 10% of current income covers operations costs, why not maintain? (Query) If you can expand with new content, why not? (Query) If above work, why move it? (Query)

There is something to be said about longevity.

If it were me, I'd update the site with new content, in reasonable chunks, and go from there. On the other hand, if you have a better domain and start from scratch that might be the way to go.

PR is not your guiding issue, so that should not be your primary consideration.

old_expat




msg:3988703
 10:33 am on Sep 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hello Tangor,

Unusual questions, as in very interesting... the "changes in local laws" being one.

Such is life in the developing world. It had to do with promotional benefits for investments in a certain sector.

However, nothing wrong with a long domain name, particularly if memorable.

It's the combination of long and hyphenated that has me worried .. but maybe I'm reading too much into it.

If that remaining 10% of current income covers operations costs, why not maintain?

Cost is not much of an issue .. I have a VPS so my own labor is the only real "cost",

(Query) If you can expand with new content, why not? (Query) If above work, why move it? (Query)

Basically the new content would not be topical to what has been on the site. And the older content that is salvageable fits very nicely on existing site #3.

There is something to be said about longevity.

Is longevity a factor when content has changed drastically?

If it were me, I'd update the site with new content, in reasonable chunks, and go from there. On the other hand, if you have a better domain and start from scratch that might be the way to go.

Thanks, I appreciate the advice. ;)

Rosalind




msg:3988799
 3:12 pm on Sep 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

I see a lot of old, established organisations moving their hyphenated domains to non-hyphenated versions. It's rarer to see anyone moving the other way.

You might want to renew the domain, however, because a lot of your original link sources will take forever to update to the new url.

motornature




msg:3988895
 10:05 pm on Sep 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

There's value in an old domain, keep it. But you should also get the non-hyphenated domain name with exactly the same letters. If someone else already bought it, then you might try to sell him your website.

onlineleben




msg:3989020
 6:22 am on Sep 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

...I built another site that covers a slightly different version of [ * ] plus additional content...

Does this mean your sites are competing in the SERPS against each other? I would keep the old one - so you have two chances to get a visitor. Also don't forget the incoming links (already mentioned).
Maybe put a banner on pages with incoming links to direct visitors to the new and relevant content on your new site.

old_expat




msg:3989232
 3:16 pm on Sep 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

There's value in an old domain, keep it. But you should also get the non-hyphenated domain name with exactly the same letters. If someone else already bought it, then you might try to sell him your website.

The non-hyphenated domain was not available when I registered the my version and is likely not available now.

I don't have a problem keeping the domain .. if nothing else as way to redirect to the 3rd site

...I built another site that covers a slightly different version of [ * ] plus additional content...


Does this mean your sites are competing in the SERPS against each other? I would keep the old one - so you have two chances to get a visitor. Also don't forget the incoming links (already mentioned).
Maybe put a banner on pages with incoming links to direct visitors to the new and relevant content on your new site.

Yes, there is a certain amount of overlap. Instead of a banner, wouldn't a 301 redirect be better?

JStubblefield




msg:3989459
 1:21 am on Sep 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Nothing wrong with a hyphenated name in my book. I have a 10 year old website and that is my main earner (x,000.00! per month) 90% of traffic is straight from the Big 3 search engines.

If its decent in serps the hyphenation does not really matter they click either way whether its hyphenated or not.

As far as offline marketing and word of mouth I hate having it hyphenated..lol

There IS STOCK in its age in the search engines eyes, not a lot but some. I would suggest find someone that is IN THAT NICHE and see if they want it.

I definitely would not just let it expire.. recycle it, either by updating it or selling it to someone, seriously!

[edited by: phranque at 10:51 pm (utc) on Sep. 15, 2009]

CainIV




msg:3989468
 1:54 am on Sep 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Absolutely redirect it to the new website if the content is related enough. Hyphenated domains are fine, except that they are poor for branding. I built one out years back, and then stuck with it. It finally got very popular, and was very tough to brand, as people couldn't find the website by typing it in, and noone wants to type in hyphens.

I would look for another domain to build the revised content and look and feel, and 301 redirect from old pages to new.

old_expat




msg:3989540
 5:01 am on Sep 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

@JStubblefield - I have decided to keep the domain and redirect

@CaineIV - I would like to try and brand the new site, I'm just not sure if I'm savvy enough.

Thanks to everyone who helped out in this thread .. karma coming your way. :)

[edited by: phranque at 12:01 am (utc) on Sep. 16, 2009]

onlineleben




msg:3989549
 6:17 am on Sep 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Instead of a banner, wouldn't a 301 redirect be better?

If you could still monetize the old content, I wouldn't do a hard redirect.

As far as offline marketing and word of mouth I hate having it hyphenated

Have the same with my main site. I already thought about buying keyword1minuskeyword2 com as some people I spoke to tried this :D

Seb7




msg:3989752
 4:01 pm on Sep 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Personally, keep building the new site, and keep the old website up. Dont rush in to loosing the old site.

Start adding some links from the pages in the old website to the new updated pages in the website.

Once the new website gets good PR, and you see traffic over take your old website, then put the redirects in place. Which could be in a year or two.

Your old domain name is probably what has helped you get lots of traffic, and it would likely to have lots of back links. You dont want loose all that PR in your old website.

old_expat




msg:3990098
 4:12 am on Sep 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

All this helpful advice got me to thinking .. a miracle indeed .. and what came out of it was:

1 - Keep Site1 .. watch it carefully, and as Seb7 recommends, add links to Site 2. I may decide to rewrite some of the content to be a bit more contemporary.

2 - I found and registered a new 9-letter, non-hyphenated .com domain name that actually may be brandable and, because of some play on words .. depending on how the SE's look at it .. could have 2 very strong keywords.

I have the participants in this thread to thank for leading me in the right direction .. and I really do appreciate your recommendations! :)

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