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I created an exact replica of the site with the new domain name.
in the old domain, I created an .htaccess file directing all traffic for the entire domain to the new domain. Basically using this:
Rewriterule ^(.*)$ http://www.newsite.com/$1 [R=301,L]
All of the links are redirecting properly. But how long will it take for G to drop the old links in favor of the new?
I assume the next time they crawl the site, correct?
[edited by: tedster at 6:14 pm (utc) on Nov. 3, 2009]
A second help is getting some of the old backlinks switched over, and also acquiring new backlinks directly to the new domain.
As long as the 301 redirect is technically accurate, it won't truly matter since the visitor finds the correct URL no matter what.