We run a website about "big fast widgets". Our domain name is not fantastic though, something like bigquickswidgets.com - it's not even correct in English. We purchased it in 2003 because no other suitable domain names with keywords in them were available then.
The site is doing reasonably well, ranking in top 4 for all major keywords and #1 for most secondary key phrases in Google. We're not performing well in other search engines though.
Anyway, we now have a chance to buy bigfastwidgets.com. It's not cheap, a 5-digit sum in USD, roughly 3 months worth of website's net revenue. We can afford it.
I can see the new domain name was first registered in 2006 which I doubt since I remember it was taken in 2003. It has PR5. It's a parked domain name with plenty of ads on it, no content and no internal pages.
The question is - should we do it? Should we buy the new domain name and do 301 redirects from the old one?
Here are the benefits:
- Website's branding would match the domain name
- Domain name will be easier to remember
- We're redesigning the site right now so the new site with different architecture and different URLs would be launched under a new domain name. We're changing the architecture and URLs of the current site anyway so the risk of disappearing from search results is present even if we keep the domain name.
My main worry:
- We will drop from top positions in search results and we can't afford that
What else should we consider? What would you do - keep the ugly domain name just to be safe or take a risk and purchase the new domain name?
Has anyone done a similar domain name migration? Did the site disappear from search results? Thanks.