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New website - Google Ranking Issues

9:37 am on Mar 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Please can you give me any advice on moving an existing store taking several thousand orders per month via adwords, shopping channels, directories and organic listings from one piece of store software to another AND at the same time relocating it form xyz.net to xyz.co.uk.

The store has 300 products and is presently fully indexed in google as xyz.net with a DNS redirect on the xyz.co.uk to the current xyz.net site. We have links all over pointing to the .net and the .co.uk

One option is to relocate ALL pages from the current site to the new site via a redirect or DNS, which because the filenames will all be different (as will the URLs as they appear) will probably mean redirecting everybody to the home page of the new site. The other option is to redirect the traffic from the .net using .htaccess and 301 redirects to the ‘best new matching page’ on the new site - since product ids are identical and these make up part of the URL I'd be happy that this could be scripted without requiring a page by page translation so to speak.

5:14 pm on Mar 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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oh, that is a tough one. google rankings of a site may be shaky.
Are you sure you need to do it?
1:05 pm on Mar 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If done improperly, will cause a disaster in rankings. In best case, you'll lose because the new domain performs worse than an old domain.

If IP address will also change, ensure that old IP serves the same content for at least 1-2 months after changing DNS config.

All URLs in old domain must be 301 redirected to corresponding URLs in new domain, by best possible match. These redirects must remain as long as possible, preferably forever (some external links will never be updated).

You have to keep backlinks to all old pages for at least several weeks. Probably you didn't have external links to all existing pages, so you must get them now.

You have to build links to new site gradually, and after seeing old pages fading from the index, move old links to new pages (after at least a few weeks after last seeing certain page in Google index, the links to this page may be moved to the new address).

This is my idea of minimizing disaster strategy, it's difficult to implement, but sometimes I managed to preserve traffic this way. If new domain is much worse than previous one (from Google point of view), the traffic loss is unavoidable.

[edited by: Wizard at 1:06 pm (utc) on Mar. 20, 2008]

4:03 pm on Mar 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Pinned to the top of this forum's index page there is a thread called Google Hot Topics - FAQs [webmasterworld.com]. Your question touches on various areas that are covered in several of those discussions:

Moving to a Different Domain [webmasterworld.com] - new or already existing
Changing URL Structure [webmasterworld.com] - take on tasks in a logical order
Site-wide 301 Redirects [webmasterworld.com] - how long for Google to index


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