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I want to change my domain name

What has changed since I was here last?

     
8:59 am on Jun 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hi folks

It must have been 2 years or more since I last popped my head into these forums.

Anyhoop

I want to move my site onto a different domain name but I am now unfamiliar with the necessary moves and grooves to make a seamless changeover. Is there anything special I need to do to avoid any drop in rankings or do I just have to swap it out and suck it and see?

Also, what is the gen with redirecting my existing domain to the new one whilst I go and change my directory listings and advertising links and can that be left as a permanent thing as it'll be a while before I change my stationary and pricebooks etc?

Hope everyone is getting along well and all your businesses are holding up against the ravages of recession.

Thanks in advance and I must say it's refreshing to be back if just for a short time.

Cheers again

Mat
9:59 am on June 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hi Mat,

I assume you must have already got hold of other resources since I see it's close to a month since you posted.

To answer your question, is it just the domain name or does the change also affect the way URLs of individual pages are done? When I moved my wordpress blog from one URL to another, I mirrored the entire folder and database from the old folder to the new folder, and edited the .htaccess file to do a 301 redirect. It is said that once Google has reindexed all your new pages (i.e. doing a site:oldwebsite.com on search returns little to no results), you can let the old domain to expire, but I continue to hold both the domain names.

In any case, I am not an expert on the subject and I would wait till a more experienced hand comes along here.
10:17 am on June 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Best practices when moving your site:
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2008/04/best-practices-when-moving-your-site.html [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com]

i would keep the old domain with 301 redirects going to the equivalent new urls for far longer than the suggested 180 days.
perhaps as long as any valuable inbound links to or external citations of the old domain exist.