1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Is changing a site's main URL a DUMB move?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by ThopHayt, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,396
    Likes Received:
    1,644
    Here is my situation:

    Theres a site, it's been around about 10 years and is STILL only a PR2 even on it's main page. I'm giving it a graphical facelift. It has a DUMB abbreviation for it's URL however... so what I've done is purchased a better sounding domain with a much better sounding URL that is VERY similar to the old one.

    Obviously they're gonna map to the same place no matter what people type in the browser but I have two choices:

    1) Keep using the old URL as the main one (the one it defaults to when you go to the site no matter how you get there) and use the new better sounding one as a backup one for misspellings.

    2) Run with the new slicker URL and just map the old one to it. Making this new domain URL the new face.

    My Questions though: Will switching to a new main URL lose this site's age-status and what little PR it has, or is there a way to use the newer spelling URL for the domain while still keeping the site's age status etc etc etc?

    What should I do????? :(
     
  2. mrdexter

    mrdexter Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    63
    If you use a 301 permanent redirect in a .htaccess file from the old domain to the new one then it will take some time for the new one to rank appropriately etc, but you will eventually get the credit for the backlinks and PR.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. Mezzeric

    Mezzeric Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2010
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Outer space!
    I already did this thing and it took 2-3 months recovery. You will lose all the backlinks and the PR status. I agree with mrdexter.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. DustinX

    DustinX Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    30
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    United States
    I wouldn't do it honestly unless it's something that you think is affecting conversions or whatever which I doubt it is. I didn't even change the URL in the way you want to.. I went from http://doman ->http://www.domain and I suffered a huge hit actually. Everything went 'almost' back to normal now that it's back to http:// (rankings)

    The WWW version of my URL had a Moz score of 20 and the HTTP 73 so.. Would probably agree with above statements that it would take a few months to get all of the stuff passed over link-wise
     
  5. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,396
    Likes Received:
    1,644
    Yeah, I'm essentially going from www ,domainname2 to www ,domainname (although not quite that straightforward.

    Is there is no way of avoiding that hit or getting it back eventually?

    One last big question though: Is a 10 year aged PR2 domain even worth the trouble of worrying about keeping? Is there any real value there to keep?
     
  6. wannabie

    wannabie Elite Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    3,807
    Likes Received:
    2,954
    Occupation:
    Seo and Marketing Suprisingly
    Location:
    Your bedroom window
    Home Page:
    Well with a 10 year old domain you could get a it more frisky about building links and its "alleged" that Google will give it a bit more slack! Other than that not really much different to a new domain in a small way! In my experience I find that Google does give a little bit of slack but I have also seen a 8 year old domain go into the box, and a 5 year old domain get a slap from Google

    In your case, if you have a site that would benefit from the name change then go ahead and put up a 301 to the new domain - Make sure you take the steps to remove the old content from the search engines otherwise you'll end up with both domains looking like duplicate content! = slap and back to square one

    I would suggest not doing it but I can see why you would, I certainly would in your situation if it meant that I could benefit from more business
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  7. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,396
    Likes Received:
    1,644

    Thanks for the insight!

    What steps can I take to remove the old content from the search engines BTW???
     
  8. wannabie

    wannabie Elite Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    3,807
    Likes Received:
    2,954
    Occupation:
    Seo and Marketing Suprisingly
    Location:
    Your bedroom window
    Home Page:
    Well the easiest way is to go to webmaster tools in Google but sometimes have to wait a while

    http://www.google.com/search?aq=f&s...=url+removal+tool+google+webmaster+tool&hl=en

    After you have done that then bookmark some of the old URLS or chuck the urls through a pinger like linklicious or pingfarm so the URLS get crawled by Google (hopefully noticing your 301 quicker)
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  9. Whitegold

    Whitegold Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    26
    as far as I am concerned .. yup . .it's dumb ...
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  10. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,396
    Likes Received:
    1,644
    Awesome, thanks man!


    One last question... will the new site ever eventually get the switched URL's age credit back? Will it ever get to show up as a 10 year aged domain again?
     
  11. wannabie

    wannabie Elite Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    3,807
    Likes Received:
    2,954
    Occupation:
    Seo and Marketing Suprisingly
    Location:
    Your bedroom window
    Home Page:

    Short answer NO

    It would get some of the link credit, arguably 301 directs leak some PR/link juice but it would still get the credit !

    The whois detail will show the registered date of the new URL
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  12. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,396
    Likes Received:
    1,644
    So I suppose the decision would have to come down to rather the age-status of the old domain is more valuable than the slightly slicker name of the new one....


    Arrrg. Do I just flip a coin lol
     
  13. wannabie

    wannabie Elite Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    3,807
    Likes Received:
    2,954
    Occupation:
    Seo and Marketing Suprisingly
    Location:
    Your bedroom window
    Home Page:
    If I could earn more money or have a better brand by moving my site to a better domain then I would do it - without a doubt! (most people hate a domain with a number in it, its tacky imo)

    If its in the same niche and you do a 301 and tell Google to remove the old pages then I really don't think you will have many problems to be honest

    You can use that "downtime" to focus on link building and getting ahead!

    I don't like promoting services but I have noticed you are still learning about SEO??(you have another thread asking about links) so I would suggest using a service like linkpushing http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackh...ch-engine-optimization-coupons-available.html to boost your new domain while you're learning, its probably the safest option for a new domain - I tested the LP service on a 3 hour old domain and got some really good results from it, its not a magic SEO trick but it is something that could get Google loving your site and push you up the SERPs - providing you do other linking stuff around it!!

    I would suggest following threads of people like Greywolf, http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/members/62593-greywolf.html he does some great threads about basic SEO

    If your looking into flipping then read threads by Meathead http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/members/18383-meathead1234.html

    To learn how to keyword research then check this thread http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackh...ethod-step-step-keyword-research-newbies.html OR http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/white-hat-seo/333317-keyword-research-btb-way.html

    I hope that helps you out a little bit
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  14. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,396
    Likes Received:
    1,644
    Will Do! You rock... checking out those links and service right away :)

    I think the shift to a new domain would be a moderate upgrade, simple as switching out "mt" in the name for "mtn" because mtn is a better abbreviation for mountain. Pretty small change but better branding... the site's old "mt" domain was a 10 year aged one with a PR of 3 on most pages and a homepage of 2 (weird).

    How long might it take with a little hard work to get a new URL back up to where the old 10/yr pr3 one was? And how much more danger am I in with regards to getting caught blackhatting by google under the new URL?

    And again, thanks for all the awesome answers man!
     
  15. Typlo

    Typlo Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,285
    Likes Received:
    499
    Location:
    New York
    Home Page:
    You are right to make detailed and careful enquiries before embarking on the change to your domain name.

    You need to be sure that you have exhausted all significant possibilities on your current domain.

    If you do move to a new one, you risk losing some of the results performance based on your old domain and all the inbound links it has.

    If you finally decide to move, I suggest:

    1. Get the new site designed and implemented using everyhing you have learned about SEO over the years.

    2. Set up and fully test the new domain and all its pages and functionality, including online ordering, CC authorizations, Paypal etc etc,

    3. Make sure that the new site is found and indexed by google etc; (try to avoid duplicate content as far as possible but don't worry too much about it as it is only a transitional thing);

    4. Gradually 301 redirect from each page on the old site to the nearest equivalent page on the new site; start with the lower level subpages and gradually work updawards.

    5. Thoroughly check that every page (most especially those in your site: SERPs) is properly redirected.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  16. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,396
    Likes Received:
    1,644

    I'm starting to think that maybe I should simply stay with the aged domain and use the new one as a common misspelling mirror. The difference is literally "mt" vs "mtn"