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You really don't want to do what you are thinking about.
First, the new domain will be starting from scratch.
Second, getting people to update links that went to domain A to change is very difficult.
Third, in order to even keep the influence the links to the old domain had you'll have to keep the old domain active and do a 301 to the new domain until all of the old links to that domain are changed.
Fourth, even if you do the second and third parts it is not known with certainty that everything will transfer in a reasonable time frame or if it would all transfer. .
In short you really don't want to do it unless you can stand being down in the serps for a long time.
[edited by: theBear at 6:06 pm (utc) on Nov. 4, 2006]
We can transfer the old domain PR or credit to new domain by 301 redirection. Search engines transfer that but think of the old links you have pointing to deep inside pages of old site. For that we planed to keep the old structure with all pages having unique redirection code pointing to same exact page of new domain. So we planned to create a mirror site at new domain with content and old site with same page structure and 301 redirection.
Anyway we were not sure at the time on duration of this arrangement.
My website has been online under its current domain name for about 6 years and gets about 220 non-robotic visitors/day from Google. I'd like to change domain names at this point to something more general.
How effective would a series of page-by-page 301 redirects be in transferring my old site's search engine rankings to my new site? Would I be better off keeping the old domain and website active, and referring people to the new site with "Click here to visit our new site" links?
[edited by: tedster at 8:57 pm (utc) on Nov. 10, 2006]
I just moved from widgets.olddomain.com to widgets.org, preserving the same structure and 301 redirecting page per page.
The result in Google: old domain vanished immediately, new domain doesn't appear at all. PR has been transferred to the new one, but still with no presence in Google results.
Many sites are now linking to the new domain.
The move was made at the end of August.
This is sandbox in action. I suggest you to keep the new domain online for some months, with some original content. When the new domain is part of google results (so it's out of sandbox), just move the content from the old to the new domain, recirecting visitors with a correct 301.
Three examples :
1) New site launched in a sub-directory of existing site. Related content (a consultancy launching their own software tool). Page 1 rankings for new content. 301 to new site plus extra links (less than 30) - all rankings disappear completely. 3 months on no change.
2) Re-branding. Identical site, new domain. Business online for 5 years. All rankings lost.
3) Switch from .com to .co.uk. No other changes. All rankings lost.
I changed directory structure on one site many, many, many months ago. The old URLs are still showing as indexed and Supplemental at Google, and there's no sign of the new pages. I have half a mind to take the whole site off-line and start over from scratch.
If an existing site is doing fine, IMHO there'd better be a pretty critical reason for making a complete change.
OK, I just checked my records and printouts on another site. I redirected a page to another (combined the two) on May 12, 2006. As of now, the old page is still indexed (Supplemental, it's gone) and the page - an existing one - that it was combined with and redirected to - is still not indexed and still has no PR.
[edited by: Marcia at 2:15 pm (utc) on Nov. 13, 2006]
It sounds like I should keep the old site up indefinitely. I could let people add items to their cart on the old site and when they click checkout they could be redirected to the new site. I suppose the old site could finally be 301'ed some time in the future when the new site is doing fine on its own.
6 months ago I created three new sites and moved some page groups from my main site to these with a 301 redirect for every page. No problems with Google or MSN, but Yahoo is is still giving me problems.
All my old deleted pages are still listed in Yahoo SERPS for my old site, but caches redirect to the new sites. And now all Yahoo traffic has disappeared - I suspect because Yahoo sees the non-existent pages as duplicates of the new ones.
At the moment I am worrying about whether to remove the 301 redirects or not.