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Changing domain names?

2:55 pm on Jul 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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joined:May 11, 2012
posts: 225
votes: 3

I am about to loose myself, as I struggle to make my site relevant again with Google. Last summer, it was hit by changes made by the search engine and literally feel off the map. It took me a few months to educate myself about toxic links and after running several cleanses and submitting disavow lists to Google, I've dropped my percentage of toxic links from 40% down to less than 10%.

Still, even though I rank a lot better for top keywords, I'm nowhere near where I was. Before this past summer, I was #1 to #3 for my top 5 keywords... now, I'm basically hovering around page 5 to 6. The ranking is actually very sporadic. Some mornings, we are on page 5 for top keywords... next day, back to the bottom of 6. The whole thing baffles me.

I've spoken to a ton of so-called "SEO experts" which talk about title tags, alt tags, words per articles, etc, and while I try my hardest to clean up the code on my site (not having multiple title tags, making sure all images have alt tags), my competitors use no alt tags, title tags or even update their website for that matter! Fact is, this one competitor according to whois hasn't touched his site since April 2013. He is flying high above me, with 4 150 word articles who keyword rich inbound links only link to his own url (this is what experts tell me is a no-no). I instead have 40 1,000 word articles, professionally written and have limited internal links down to 3 across the entire site.

I'm starting to wonder if it's my domain, and if the domain is somehow damaged goods? The fact that I can't push past this 4th page threshold, leads me to believe that I have not been banned by Google but severely limited? I just don't want to keep writing 1,000 word articles against my competitors 50 word articles that go against everything you learn in SEO 101.

Let's say I decide to change my domain url, is that a smart move? I was going to basically clone site A and call it site B, change all the links from A to B, tell Analytics about the new name and then 301 redirect all site A traffic to B.

My question is, will I get the good and the bad? Meaning, if I do a 301 redirect, will I get benefits of Site A including what may be hurting it like redirecting old toxic links? Would it be wise to just start over and maybe instead of going a 301 redirect, creating a page on site A that says click here for our new Site B?

I notice that some site redirect to hash tags. For instance, a website once called "getsomecoolstuff.com" is now just "coolstuff.com", but the redirect takes "getsomecoolstuff.com" visitors to "coolstuff.com/#gscs". Is the hash tag url, the same thing as forwarding people to a page on the new site about changes to the url? Why doesn't "getsomecoolstuff.com" just send folks to the new url and forget the hash tag?

4:05 pm on July 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 27, 2006
votes: 48

Moving to a new domain does not help, the profile travels with it. You have done pretty good to get back to page 5 - 6 considering that many can't get anywhere near human view again. Since the original position was obtained using links that are disavowed and gone now, you can't get back there again without considerable work on content and genuine links. Forget whatever you learned in SEO 101 and get your tips at Google Webmaster Guidelines.

As far as the hash tags redirect, it sounds like a new way to try to game things. It could be a tracking parameter or it could lead to content kept off the radar. Unless you are only looking for short term gains with no plans to keep the domain, I wouldn't do that. If your site offers a good user experience, you have a better chance to move up without moving it to a new name domain.
8:01 pm on July 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 9, 2011
votes: 244

literally feel off the map

:: detour to Google Earth to look for suspicious gaps ::

Why doesn't "getsomecoolstuff.com" just send folks to the new url and forget the hash tag?

Because a redirect target is a message sent by a server to a browser. You can't redirect from a hashtag ("fragment identifier"), because the server never sees the # part of the link. But the server can tell the browser to, in effect, "Go to 123 Main Street and ask for John". It is then up to the browser whether to ask for John or just ignore the # part. It can be useful if, for example, you've merged two or three pages and want to point people straight at the content they originally asked for.

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