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Moving from UK domain, to Libyan one. Effect on SERPs?

Should i risk it, for a biscuit?

9:52 am on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hello Everyone!

Firstly, great forum - im a LONG long long time reader, but never really needed to sign up, until now!

I've had a .co.uk domain name with my personal blog on it for about 9 years now..

Its got amazing placement in google for some stupidly high traffic terms and if i post something its spidered and ranking within a few hours..


Thanks to the twitter revolution, short URLS like bit.ly and is.gd are becoming more popular, and can look amazing!

I have the opportunity to acquire a Libyan domain name to spell out my name in a very short way, and i was thinking of putting my blog on it, and 301'ing my old site and pages to the new one..

My concern is, will the big G not like my site as much in the UK SERPs as its no longer a UK domain?

Has anyone any experience migrating a site from UK to an international domain, in respect of its placement in SERPs?

Please advise - and thank you in advance :)
10:31 am on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Just to clarify, the Libyan domain name has been registered about a year or two and has never been in the SERP's and hasnt ever had a website on it..
1:22 pm on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

No-one has any experience moving a UK site to a non-uk domain name? :'(


p.s. sorry for posting this in the wrong place, i thought this would have been more of a domain name related thread..

3:23 pm on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

No-one has any experience moving a UK site to a non-uk domain name?

Nope however I have moved a .cn to a .asia and .eu to a .co.uk.

Both went extremely well however they were straight replacements in that all urls remained the same, only the extension changed.

In the case of the .cn to .asia I left the 301 in place for 9 months before using it again, by that time all the SERPs had adjusted everything to the new url and that site has actually improved its ranking considerably to the first page.

The .eu to .co.uk was done at much shorter notice only a few months ago before non-renewal of the .eu name. All search engines picked up on it quickly and that site is ranking easily on the first pages.

Is your current site hosted in the UK?

Are your registration details in the UK?

Currently from where does most of your traffic come?

My instinct would be that if you're hosted in the UK and if your registration details are open and you 301 it, that it probably stands a fair chance of retaining good rankings however, as you probably know, .co.uk sites tend to dominate many UK SERPs and especially so with Google.

The one good thing is that if it fails miserably that reverting to the .co.uk should not be an issue and should regain rankings rapidly.

An interesting experiment, let us know how it goes.
5:56 pm on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi HuskyPup,

Thanks for your reply!

My server is in the UK, my details are all UK and most of my traffic is indeed UK, although i do get a lot of random traffic bursts like when I publish very unique stuff like song lyrics before anyone else does.. And then the traffic is worldwide..

I'm still trying to negotiate with the guy who owns the domain I want so ill keep you guys posted.

There's a guy < Matt Mullenwegg > who does wordpress stuff, his domain name <uses a .tt extension> - and he appears OK in SERPs

I've checked his whois, there's not much there location wise apart from where his server is

Dont know if he moved from another domain either :(

If anyone has any more experience doing such a domain move then please pipe up :)

Thanks in advance. :)

[edited by: tedster at 4:57 am (utc) on May 20, 2010]
[edit reason] no urls or search results, please [/edit]

5:58 pm on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Also good point RE moving things back if it go's tits up...

Think matt cutts actually did that after moving his didn't he - however i think that was just to a different standard TLD
10:20 pm on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

there should be no difference between a co.uk and .ly domain in google's uk index. the only advantage you'll have with the .ly is that you get found for libyan searches.

if you want international traffic (specifically us) then host a .com domain in the uk - that gives best coverage in our experience
1:21 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Google has stated that the strongest signal they receive when determining localization is the ccTLD. Other signals are server location, language, linkage (links originating from the locale), text (currency symbols, addresses, etc.) and more.

The latest thinking on 301s is that there is a bit of PR leakage. If you 301 to the new domain, G then updates its index, then you 301 back you potentially have a leakage stack.

It may be worthwhile owning that domain just to preserve it or perhaps operate both domaines, one in each market, each hosted locally. My opinion, and others here may dispute this, but I'd be reluctant to disrupt a highly-performing site for the sake of shorter URLs.

For the same reasons as above this may not be ideal but you could add a private URL shortening script to your existing site, reducing the URL length for Twitter and use the full URLs elsewhere.

9:00 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


Thanks to you all for your input - its really helpful having experienced people voicing their opinions on things like this!

I went to buy a .ly domain, and my backup one has been purchased from under my nose :(

Looks like my fight to get a .ly is getting tougher!

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