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>>georged, and the (trademark) defense of "Primedia" cost you a bit, too, I expect. Now, about those broken SE links this move might generate... what are you doing about those?"
>Yup, lawyers are not cheap, there's plenty of travelling to and fro, and it's a stressful situation: Avoid!!!!!
Been there, done that. And, like you, I won. But you are right, winning takes its toll and you start to think defensively. You or your boss says that part of that defense mean a strategic move while there is still time. Now we're talking a slo-mo nightmare, which is why I opened this as a new thread.
>Broken links? As far as I know, most SEs have a "remove URL" bit, and you give them a 404 to bite, end of story. Having said that, I've never done it before, any advice? Or am I on the right lines? I've got a couple of months to get it right, so any suggestions will be gratefully accepted.
My first advice is one of strategy. Acquire 2 domains, one as a "splash" domain and another as a "content" domain. Presumably, the splash domain will be more intuitively named (and therefore more likely to run afoul of future trademark disputes). You need this as your advertising masthead, literature, etc. but it is NOT the focus of your attention when it comes to SEO. The second domain name should be meaningful, but not necessarily attractive or intuitive, the purpose is to keep it free of trademark disputes and therefore not having to move it again.
When selecting the new domains, run long, deep searches on the words or anagrams in the prospective urls as well as a big list of your keywords. You are looking for those businesses that might cause you trouble in the future.
Apply for trademark on both of these domains. Wait for the tm search return from the lawyer before trudging ahead --you may be very surprised at the long list of potential disputes.
Secondly, start running down third-party links TO your current site, these are going to be a great challenge. You can start making the list now, but obviously you can't act on it until you launch the new content site. When you do contact the other webmaster, remember to give them as much information as possible, including the url of his page and the url of your new replacement. You had also better have a recip link page with his site listed (and mention this in your request).
> Apply for trademark on both of these domains. Wait for the tm search return from the lawyer before trudging ahead --you may be very surprised at the long list of potential disputes. <
We're trudging down this path already. We're waiting for news as I write.
> Secondly, start running down third-party links TO your current site <
I love the Google facility for this. For those that don't know, type in the full URL of a site and on the result screen there's some lovely tools, including view cache and view pages with URL name in them. Most of you know this, I'm sure.
These are good tips, I hadn't considered two different domains but it makes a million kinds of sense. Our designers can Flash away to their hearts content, and show off on the one, and I can properly sort out the SEO for the other. Lovely.
Again, thanks for the help. Since we learn from our mistakes, I'll update this every week or so with whatever's happened. If anyone else has any tales of nightmare or success in this area (changing name of your business and making new site) or useful tips, please keep them coming.