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Buying another business. Will ownership change hurt Google ranking?

10:11 pm on Oct 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'm looking at buying a smaller competitor. He has excellent rankings in Google, and therefore doesn't pay for advertising at all.

If I buy this company, and transfer the ownership of the domain over to myself, will Google somehow sense the change and erase the PR and history attached to the site?

The Google rankings are pretty key to the purchase, so my decision and/or the price I pay will largely hang on this issue. Any help/experience is much appreciated!

9:02 am on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I wouldn't think that a change of domain ownership would harm a site's rankings. I would be careful buying a business on the strength of its Google rankings - as we all know things can change quickly - I would check where all the links to this site come from.
4:14 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've sold a few sites with number one rankings, and the change to the whois/server/ip etc. has had no effect, they still rank perfectly after many months. I see no proof to suggest otherwise.

Problems could happen if the domain expires, is offline for a long period or onpage and/or offpage (ibl) change noticeably.

Just my experience!

10:48 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the replies.

There was a situation about six months ago where I was looking to pick up an expired domain name, and I saw that I would likely get nothing out of it since the backlinks wouldn't be counted. In fact, the previous registrant re-registered the domain name, and now has no backlinks in Google. I guess I was confusing this situation with that one.

Thanks again.