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We are seriously contemplating moving an old 5/6yr old site to a new domain. The current one does not fit the direction we want to take this community site but I'm worried about the move from an old trusted domain to a brand spanking new one.
The technical side of this is easy, every page would have a perfect 301 but...
Do you have any recent experience of a 301 move with Google?
Here's an account from March 2009 - 7 days and some of the main keywords started ranking on the new domain: [webmasterworld.com...]
Note: Almost negligible SEO was done on the TLD domain till Oct-08, but due to big brand, it attracted links for every possible authority site and many PR sites in the niche.
[edited by: tedster at 5:55 pm (utc) on Oct. 6, 2009]
Just been through this process. It's been 4 weeks. One thing i wish we dud a batter job accounting for was "timing". Are your worried about seasonal issues - say selling for Christmas 09? be prepare for the lag. Our PR didn't fall, but our dip in SERP was obvious. I'd say 15%. I would also say it hasn't normalized yet.
Obviously, since you stated it's a long term direction then take the hit and re-plan the SEO efforts.