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domain migration risks

4:59 pm on Nov 30, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User from US 

joined:Nov 11, 2015
posts: 11
votes: 3

Hey folks, a company I am working with is asking for an analysis of domain migration. They want to consolidate two brands into a single force. Both of these domains have been around for ~18 years with oodles of strength from head to long-tail, to quickly breaking into first page with new categories that follow trends. However, the engineering team is not the sharpest and releases tend to be sloppy. While at the same time there is enormous amount of work to be done in regards to the brilliant basics of SEO (e.g. let's not string together 8 redirects all responding with 302). My initial response was flat out no, it's too risky in the ecommerce space when competing hand-to-hand with amazon, target, walmart, wayfair and the like. My thoughts based on previous experience in this with similarly competent teams is that recovery to current would take ~6+ months due to age of domain, acquiring new links, fixing likely bugs in redirection. Recovery to last year would take 18+ months on the impressive side, but likely much longer due to complete lack of search volume for the desired brand name and zero direct traffic to desired domain.

I would love to hear from the group experience with large scale migrations and what the impact was on a 1 month timeline, 6 month, 18 et cet. I'm happy to be directed towards articles as well.

8:54 pm on Nov 30, 2017 (gmt 0)

Administrator from US 

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

joined:June 21, 2004
votes: 378

Large scale migrations are all unique. Depends on what problems are getting fixed, how good their internal team is with deploying your plan and how many high ranking idiots who think they have a clue but are really morons accidentally sabotage the whole process.

Besides all of the SEO issues, you need to watch our for some marketplace issues. For example going from one brand to two brands could shrink your backlinks. There are probably some sites linking to both urls. When you combine sites, they might delete the redundant link. In my experience combining two online brands is less like 1+1=2 and closer to 1+1=1.5 in the short term. In the long term (6+ months) it can free up a bunch of resources (time & money) so the remaining single brand does surge forward. BUT and this is a big but, you need to make sure the new time & money is invested wisely. It is also possible to use the brand migration to jumpstart your marketing efforts. I've worked on a few projects were it was 1+1=3 from the 1st day that is rare. There are usually idiots that get involved and screw up the many moving parts with strategies & processes needed to succeed.

Good luck.

PS Dont assume anything and always triple check before flipping the switch on a big move like this.