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My site is not UK specific, in fact it is probably more US specific. I recently bought the domain exxmple.com which is currently set up as 301 redirect to example.co.uk
My site ranks very well in Google.co.uk (top 10 for most important keywords) whereas it ranks top 50 - 100 for the same keywords in Google.com
My theory is that because it is a .co.uk domain it is ranked down in google.com and up in google.co.uk as they assume the content is UK specific.
I am thinking about using the google "change of address" tool to change my domain from example.co.uk to example.com in the hope that it will improve my rankings in Google.com which will in turn get me more traffic as their are more people using that version of Google.
So I have two questions
1) Do you think this is a good idea, do you think changing my domain from exxmple.co.uk to exxmple.com will improve my ranking in Google.com
2) Has anyone used the "change of address" tool and can they report their experience specifically referring to the affect that it had on their rankings before and after the change.
3) Has anyone ever used the change of address, then not liked the results, then changed back? if so what happened.
Thansk for the help.
[edited by: tedster at 1:28 pm (utc) on Jan. 6, 2010]
[edit reason] switch to example.com [/edit]
Don't just depend on the change of address form, however - definitely use a 301 redirect from the old domain to the new as well. I have not used the change of address form personally, but I had hear from others that it seems to help make the period of lost rankings shorter.It is also a good idea to contact the webmasters who are linking to the old domain, let them know about the new domain and ask them to change their link.
I have only been able to find only one example of someone who has actually tried the "Change of Address" tool:
I have been researching site migration / changing of address for a while now, and I am still not extremely comfortable about moving forward. After reading about the experience above, I am hesitant to try the Change of Address tool.
In Google's official "moving your site" guide ( [google.com...] ) they recommend that
you move and redirect a section or directory first, and then test to make sure that your redirects are working correctly before moving all your content
So far the advice that makes the most sense to me came from a thread here ( [webmasterworld.com...] ) where sandyeggo mentioned in the last post
matt [cutts] told me at pubcon to move the site (301) one directory at a time over a period of time so not to cause a big disruption
Again, making the change one directory at a time seems like the safest approach to me, but if you look at the directions just above the Change of Address tool, they seem to suggest that I use it only after I have completely moved my site and redirected all traffic via 301.
For best results, follow these steps:
1.Set up the new site Review our guidelines for moving your site to a new domain. Set up your content on your new domain, then make sure all internal links point to the new domain.
2.Redirect all traffic from the old site Use a 301 redirect to permanently redirect the pages on your old site to your new site. This tells users and search engines that your site has permanently moved. Ask webmasters to update their links to point to your new domain and make sure incoming links to your old site are redirected correctly using the 301 redirects.
3.Add your new site to Webmaster Tools Make sure you have added and verified your new domain.
4.Tell us the URL of your new domain
This doesn't seem to square with Google's (Matt Cutt's) advice to move to new domain gradually, in batches of files does it?
Given the choice of using the COA tool or not - I'd certainly opt for former.
The advantage to you in moving one directory at a time (which can be a pain) is that you don't risk the entire business in one shot. If anything goes wrong technically, either on your side or on Google's side, you haven't taken a major body blow. And after you move a few directories, you learn the process well and are less likely to generate problems.
At the moment:
- example.co.uk points to my site
- example.com is a 301 redirect to example.co.uk
I plan to:
- update DNS for example.com so that it points to same directory as example.co.uk
- re-point example.co.uk to another directory which contains 301 redirect to example.com
that way my site becomes example.com and example.co.uk is 301 redirected to example.com
Then I use the CoA tool
To me this seems like the simplest way to do it.
Does this seem logical?
Turned out pretty succesful and obviously the UK targetted site maintained it's positions. It was more work, two sites to maintain of course, but I'm pleased with the results.