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301 Redirect Problem

Dropped out of G after domain name change



5:16 pm on May 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

About 3 weeks ago we have changed our domain name. Only the domain name has changed and the IP, Name server and owner staid the same. We have added a 301 redirect to the new site in the old domainís .htaccess file.

G indexed the new domain within 2 days and we did not lose too much position in the SEPR (On average about 3 places on our major keywords). But about 10 days later G deep crawl the new domain again. After which most of our pages fell of the G world. Keywords there we were about #4 or 5 can now be found on page #4 or 5. This ďpenaltyĒ is not site wide as new pages we add to the new domain does not have the same problem.

Some of the old domain pages are still indexed in G, although without a title or description. We lost all our backlinks and PRís. When I do a search on the old domainís unique name the new domain is first in the SEPR and then the sites which still links to the old domain. So G does know it is the same site as we do not mention the old unique name on our new domain.

No change in SEPR when I do a search with filter=0.

Does anybody have any insight which they can share and maybe any ideas on how we can fix this?



12:12 pm on May 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

We changed our domain name on the 13 Sept 2004 and things only returned to normal around 20 Feb 2005. Our traffic was around half it's normal level between those times.

I think domain changeovers take rather longer than one month these days.

I am not sure that changing links to your new domain is a good idea. You may just have tripped them into the new link ageing thing. We moved over some links & left some pointing to the old domain.

I hope you are not banking on the traffic coming back anytime soon.


6:00 pm on May 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I think the best advice I have receive is to sit this one out and hopefully in a few months or more we will get our ranking back again. Does anybody know a site where we can buy some patience?

Having said that, I have read G's webmasters guide again and they do not advice webmaster against a domain name change, in facts they give steps one can take to make sure the transition is a smooth one.
Why give webmasters detailed advice if you actually do not want them to do this?

My appreciation to everybody who helped us on this issue specially MHes who spend a lot of time analyzing our problem and give us some specific advice in a sticky.

Maybe one day I can change my Webmaster username to something more cheerful (hopefully I will not get penalized for that)


11:19 am on May 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

We are back in the SERP! Lost about 3 places on most of our keywords, but that was to be expected. I guess we will get our normal ranking back once the new links has aged.

So it took about a month for things to normalize.

Just hope this will last


12:30 pm on May 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Congrats DumpedbyG :)

May be this is related to the new update that many are seeing in another thread? Did you confirm if your site is restored in all the DCs?


1:04 pm on May 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Did you confirm if your site is restored in all the DCs?

Yes, we are back in all of them.

Also G did a deep grawl on the 15th.


11:36 pm on May 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

DumpedbyG - you can change your name now-
this thread is over.


5:15 pm on May 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Let me add a new wrinkle that we are dealing with - what happens if you are moving from domain A to domain B. Domain A has thousands of links, but you are not going to control Domain A more than a few months and then someone else will control the domain (though not the content - just the domain). Will a 301 work or do you have to get your links moved to the new domain. Or would a 301 be a good first step and then move the links?


6:08 pm on May 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

first lets clarify what a 'DOMAIN' is.

1. domain name
2. IP (shared or unique?)
3. host

changing the IP but keeping the name (changing virtual host)

changing domain name and IP to another host

changing name but keeping IP and host

I would like to hear thougts/views about the method by Bruce Clay that i linked to earlier
in this thread.

1. Set up the DNS on your new host to point to your existing (old host) site first.
2. change the TLD (top level domain) information at your domain registrar to point to this new site DNS. Your old site should still show by either by IP or domain name. This step results in "propagation" which commonly takes 72 hours to update servers world-wide, so do not proceed with step 3 for about four days.
3. Copy your existing site to your new site and validate that all files have transferred and the links work.
4. After allowing 4 days for the DNS to be fully propagated, point your new DNS to your new site. Make sure that your old site mailboxes have been emptied before you change any DNS info at this time. Once this DNS change occurs you cannot get to your old mail.
5. *If everything has been validated you should now also point the old DNS to your new site. This is a safety issue in case there is a lingering propagation error.
6. Search Engine listings or bookmarked pages should transfer to your new site with a 301 redirect.


1:27 am on May 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

>> We are back in the SERP!

Congrats! Four weeks was fast :)

>> I would like to hear thougts/views about the method by Bruce Clay

I'm not totally sure I understand what he means. So, i can't really say anything good or bad about it. I would say:

1) Upload your site to your new IP.
2) Test it, test it again, and then test it some more
3) Switch your DNS from your old IP to your new IP, so that your domain now points to your new IP.


This 39 message thread spans 2 pages: 39

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