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Website doing great. Is it safe to change domain?

     
9:28 am on Aug 30, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Hey guys, so I have a website that has fantastic SERPS with tons of google traffic.
Since the site is doing so good, I want to change it to a premium domain name.

How safe is it? Would the new domain gain same ranks if i redirect the old domain to it?
What about the backlinks that have been acquired overtime, would the linkjuice from them be redirected to the new domain?
10:51 am on Aug 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member themadscientist is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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It should be fine if it's done correctly.

That said: In "the day of the long-lasting penalty (aka 'algorithmic ranking decrease', or 'ranking adjustment', or 'algorithm tweak that just happens to coincide directly with a change made to a site', or whatever else we're calling 'a site not ranking as well for some unknown, unpublished, Google whim' today)", I try to remember: "Do not fix that which is not broken."

So, personally, I probably wouldn't do it just to change from a name that's working to another one that can, should probably, will most likely work as well, but might not for some reason -- It could "all go as planned" and "smooth as silk", but if for some reason it doesn't you can't uncook an egg, so I don't think it would be worth the risk to me.
11:15 am on Aug 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Run both, not in parallel to avoid the deadly duplicate content penalty, but go on and open the new site with the "better name", devote appropriate and quality content TO THAT SITE and test the waters. See if it takes off. If it does, then you can gradually add links from old to new (and we're talking up to six months of reasonable, gradual linkage) and see how that works out.

You have to have time to test this kind of thing... a year or more. Try to do it all at once and, as noted above, something unforeseen might kibosh the whole thing.

The reason for the long time change is that some parts of G's algo update quarterly or even longer periods of time.... and you might not learn you've "done wrong" until after a long term update/indexing has occurred.