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What to do if you have to give-up a domain?

     
9:15 pm on Mar 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Hello! A friend of mine has a problem: He has a domain and was sued by a company to release this domain. The domain is old, has a good linking-structure and ranks well. Normally you would say: 301-redirect all the links to you new site. But he has to fully give up the domain, so he has no controll and cannot install a 301 or whatever.

What should I advice him? I tend to say that he should try to get all links changed to the new domain, but if he really does this he would get a lot of big links to a totaly new domain which will blew up the hole thing if he doesn't do this in a slow way (like 12 to 24 month?!) - which is of course too much time for him.

Any other ideas what he could do?
4:19 am on Mar 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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If he can get legal permission to use a 301 redirect for even a month or two, then a Change of Address in Webmaster Tools might help speed this along. Otherwise all he can do is get the key backlinks to change over (which needs to happen no matter what).

I'm not sure that "rapid backlink growth" would be a problem for the new domain, as long as the content doesn't change. But there is likely to be a significant bump in the road.

[edited by: tedster at 5:15 am (utc) on Mar 12, 2010]

5:03 am on Mar 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

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As tedster suggested, taking legal permission to hold the domain for a a quarter is the best way forward. I have an experience of the same on one of my client's site.

We were able to retain around 75% traffic in this case as we also contacted the webmasters to change the link location for the external links. However, we faced a really hard time getting the changes done.
6:16 am on Mar 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

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From a different perspective, if sued and lost, perhaps it is not wise to continue elsewhere if the CONTENT is also subject to the legal action. This we don't know, just merely pointing out that sometimes there's more involved than just the domain name.
6:35 am on Mar 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Urgent: export all the backlink information from Webmaster Tools while you still have access to the WMT for that domain.

I agree with Tedster, do not worry about backlink growth being too rapid. Get as many links changed as possible, as soon as possible.

This is not a normal situation so "normal" backlink growth is not the right goal here, at least not for a while.
7:16 am on Mar 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for all your replys - very helpfull!

@tangor: "Fortunatly" (as you can talk of "fortune" in such a situation) it only affects the name of the domain not the content.
 

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