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Can a domain change revert back all your rankings?



4:26 am on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

A case study I am working on from past few months to find a quick solution for ranking drops after Panda and Penguin penalization, and at last I found a solution which could work like charm. And the solution is domain change!, yes.

Changing your primary domain, redirecting the old domain and content to new one can revert back all your lost rankings. This case study I did is not just based on a single website, but I did this on around 4 websites of my clients, who faced this kind of issues and it worked and reverted all lost ranks, I know it is very difficult to change a company domain name, it is not that is.

My Case Study goes like this:

First of all, I was hit with algo update on one of small niche website and I started working on fixing it, I did changed a lot of things but still the recovery is not that impressive (I dodn't know what else Google want from me?). However the domain I chose for the niche was not that impressive (I didn't like it that much), so I decided to change it and add more content and designing it with micro-formats etc. And I did it.

I sent the request in Google Webmaster Tools that I moved the domain to new one. After exactly 6 days (probably most of the old website links are moved to new one in SERPs), I see that all the traffic I lost was back in one night and all the rankings of the keywords I lost is also back to the positions where I lost them. Ta da!.

By this experience I understand that the penalization caused to your old domain wont harm your new one, but at least this time you have to start working on your new domain and update your old pages with some great content (seriously, I did this) or else you may face the same conditions after any new algo changes. As you are already out of the penalization headache, you can simply start working on your content fixing job.

Let me know, what do you think?


11:06 am on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

That was great case study, I believe that not just changing has bring back the rankings, but also the improvements you did has. However as you said that you experimented the same on 4 other domains then I think you might be correct, also I too agree that the penalization won't transfer on the new domains, as a new domain is a clean one. Overall I believe it was a great study, but I think it is really difficult to take a decision on company domain names.


12:25 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

As you said, if you change your domain, but not fix the problems on your site (content, links, etc.), probably you will be affected in the next algo update.

But I think if you had a big drop in traffic and you can change your domain, this can be a great solution.


3:33 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Penalization will transfer to the new domain in a week or two, and your new domain will loose all its rankings again.

Been there, done that


4:05 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

@nickutis No it will not pass, I did this almost two months ago

If I am correct, you just moved your domain and that's it. But I didn't do that, I made all those websites well structured (better than old) and updated every possible page with some updated content and make it more useful. Implemented so many things, and got all those rankings back.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 3:10 am (utc) on Nov 8, 2012]
[edit reason] removed link to non-authoritative source [/edit]


4:26 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Penalization will transfer to the new domain in a week or two, and your new domain will loose all its rankings again.

I fully agree. I've had several domains I've forwarded to new domains and they have all failed again very quickly and they are all now nowhere to be seen. The guys at Google are on top of all these little tricks. Sorry!


4:42 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

@arafathhashmi I apologize, maybe I misread your post. I thought you just simple did "301 permanently moved" redirect.

If you transferred all content and DIDN'T do 301 move from the old domain, then of course penalty will not transfer, as google will treat you as a brand new domain.

I have few examples where content from penguinized kw1kw2.com domain was COPIED to kw1kw2.net, without doing 301 redirect. There are only very few links pointing to the .net version. Second domain ranks very well while original (from which all the content was copied) is burried deep in the serps.

Not sure if that's what google was trying to achieve, cause it makes no sense to me.

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