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Redirecting to a new domain... will I lose link juice?

     
4:15 am on Feb 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I am re-branding and intend transferring content from one domain to another. Nothing will change apart from the domain name. I intend using the cPanel wildcard for the redirects.
My query is about back-links currently pointing at the old domain. If I keep the old website live and hosted for say 2 years prior to extinguishing it will I loose all of the back-links at that poinr or will they magically be attributed to the new domain after the old domain is dead.
9:01 am on Feb 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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No need to keep the old site live. All requests will be redirected. Make sure to add the new property in GSC and submit the new sitemap.xml.

Yes there is a small loss of link juice with any redirect. Usually the benefit outweighs the loss or you wouldn't consider it.
9:20 am on Feb 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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^^ Some loss possible. Valid stuff will follow your redirects, but more importantly, you've established the new location and should consider that Day One and build from there and not worry too much about Yesterday. (Back links change all the time and some of them aren't worth saving)
1:04 pm on Feb 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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you need to keep the old domain name under your control "forever". If you sell it or stop renewing it and someone else takes it, your new site will be doomed. It is the most important rule of any website rebranding/changing domain to keep old domain name with you.
1:38 pm on Feb 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Just to clarify, the thrust of my query relates to whether or not the links pointed to my old domain will effectively be lost if I terminate the old domain and hosting after say two years.or will Google effectively consider them to be pointing to the new domain after termination of the old domain. Do I need to keep the old domain alive forever to retain the benefit of the links or will I still get the benefit even after termination?
3:10 pm on Feb 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Considering a domain is $10 per year, isn't it a no brainer to keep it alive just to calm your nerves and concerns? Even if the domain was $50 a year it's hardly breaking the bank I would hope. People can only guess what the right move is because Google doesn't tell you what they do. At the expense per year this is barely worth talking about. You can redirect via the domain registrar rather than requiring it to be on a server. Personally I would keep it on a server for as long as possible. Moving to a new domain is never a positive if holding onto everything you had in the old domain is so vital. If you did this then live with the outcome. I've moved lots of sites and never once after the fact did I say, "wow, look at how my traffic has improved!". If it's me, I'm doing everything I can do to prove to Google that I own the new domain in order to retain a level of trust which in turn might help in passing value to the new site.
3:45 pm on Feb 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Yes of course keep the old domain under your control, but no need to keep the old site pages on line.
4:42 pm on Feb 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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My specific query is, after two years, will google consider the links to my old domain to be links to the new domain. If that is the case then can I delete the old domain with no consequences.
Perhaps I should say that I have 400 one page domains to redirect to a single domain as a consolidation. I DO want to delete them all after say two years if the incoming links effectively transfer.
5:12 pm on Feb 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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You ask from the perspective that someone here has an exclusive Google insiders handbook that tells all. This is like a "Dear Santa" letter.
6:03 pm on Feb 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Dear Santa,
I've been a good boy all year.
Nice Mr Mueller did mention something about it but I cant quite understand him.
.With the wealth of knowledge that's here I thought that someone might know.

" So from our point of view, when we look at 301 redirects and permanent site move situations, we do expect that 301 redirect to be there for the long run. So that could be something maybe a year, or ideally even longer than a year, so that we can really be sure that everything that was pointing at the old URLs is pointing at the new URLs. And also if users are going to those pages directly, through bookmarks that they might have saved, through old links that are out there on the web, then they might still be kind of clicking on those old links and they expect to land on the final page.

Ideally, you would have that redirect there for a long run, but I know from a practical point of view at some point you have to say oh, itís finished, we canít pay the domain name anymore, the other guy wants to do something else with the domain name, so at some point you are going to cut that off, but Iíd really aim for something at least like a year. And if you have access, you can look at the server logs and see how many people are actually being redirected there. And if you notice after a year thereís still a lot of normal people being redirected, maybe you can figure out how they are reaching the old domain, is it like an important link you forgot to get updated on the web, is it just lots of people with bookmarks and you canít really fix their own bookmarks, thatís kind of what I would aim for there, at least a year."
8:34 pm on Feb 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Look at your own logs and see how many back links you actually have and then make a decision.

The best advice is to keep the old domain redirected to the new. That's the only way to make sure that traffic is redirected (that's the whole purpose of redirection).

Expecting g or any other se to say, "okay, this was redirected here for a year, so it must belong to the new site" is pie in the sky. THAT will never happen.
8:49 pm on Feb 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Its not the traffic that's my issue, its the back-links.
My question is, after a year or so of redirection will Google effectively attribute all the back-links pointing at the old domain to the new domain notwithstanding that the old domain is cancelled?.
9:14 pm on Feb 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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g, like any se worth its salt, deals with WHAT IS, a url. It follows them.

If the redirect eventually disappears (closed down), there's nothing to "follow" as a redirect. So yes, you will lose your backlink THAT IS POINTED TO THAT OLD URL and is not redirected to the new.
1:30 pm on Feb 18, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Judge Jeffries. Your question is suggesting that you're not accepting an important aspect of how 301 redirects work. A 301 redirect is not something that Google, once told about it, comes to remember. You don't simply tell Google once, or even a bunch of times, about the 301. You've got to tell Google every time.

Think of it as an electronic change of address notice, one that's got to be kept on file so Google will know where to forward a request for your old domain. For a 301 redirect to work, each time a request for the old domain is made, a DNS (domain name server) tells a "user agent" (a visitor or search engine) what the current IP address is for the old domain. There are records in your DNS files where you enter your choices.

When you change domains, you will need to change these records to route requests to the new IP. Software modules handling requests on the server at the new IP address then rewrite and redirect the old domain to the new domain. Google's queries for both the old and new domains are sent to your server at the hosting company IP.

Since the domain name server for the old domain has got to be reminded each and every time the old domain is requested, a key requirement in this operation is that you've got to maintain ownership/control over that old domain.

Otherwise, if you drop the old domain, someone else might pick it up... as you clearly understand... and use it for sending visitors and search engines to a site that's not yours.

My rule here is very much the same as NeapTide's, where he says...
you need to keep the old domain name under your control "forever"

I usually tell clients that it's "forever and beyond", just to emphasize the importance of the commitment.

You've asked several times....
My specific query is, after two years, will google consider the links to my old domain to be links to the new domain. If that is the case then can I delete the old domain with no consequences.

No. Again, Google does not remember the old redirects, and if someone else took control of the old domain after two years, they then would control where subsequent requests were sent. It's very likely that a new owner would redirect requests to his/her own property, which I think you understand. Google cannot intrude upon the basic right for a new owner to build links on his own domain.

It is possible, I suppose, though extremely unlikely, that if you decided to hold the old domain only for two years, that you could manage to locate all existing links on the web going to the old domain and have them changed to links to your new domain... but that would be between you and the linking site owners. Google has nothing to do with this. It just follows links it finds on the web. Chances are that Google will find more links to the old domain than you will, which is why it's wise to maintain the 301.

I generally keep an old site up, if I can, for a few weeks before I take it down... but note that, once the DNS has propagated and the new site is working, it is not necessary to maintain the old site or to maintain two website hosting accounts. It is necessary to maintain the changed DNS. I like to keep the DNS with the registrar or with a dedicated DNS service. I don't recommend that the DNS be maintained by the web hosting company.

I should mention that somewhere in Google's guidelines on this, I believe by John Mueller, that he'd said that keeping your old domain for two years is probably enough. I thought it was an unwise suggestion at the time I saw it, and nothing has happened to change my mind.

There are some other approaches you might take that are beyond the scope of this basic question you ask. I hope this clarifies things for you.

 

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