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Renaming a domain question

Discussion in 'Domain Names & Parking' started by techfan, May 25, 2012.

  1. techfan

    techfan Junior Member

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    Hello I have an eCommerce website. The site has grown and the original name of the website has nothing to do with they keyword.

    I was wondering if I make a new domain name, will that effect its search engine ranking and clicks? I get about 400 a day for free which im happy with. I need a domain with a broader name. But im afraid since it will be a new domiain the rankings will decrease. I dont know what will happen wiht my old domain name. Please someone explain.

    thanks
     
  2. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Senior Member

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    Changing domain name would result in disturbed rankings. However, you could recover if done properly. My advise would be not to change the domain unless its quite necessary(i.e. If it ain't broke, don't fix it)
     
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  3. techfan

    techfan Junior Member

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    thanks bro. Im guessing I will have to purchase a domain with my keywords instead.
     
  4. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    The particular scenario you described is the original intent and is considered by google to be about the most legitimate use of 301 redirects. There's never any guaranty, but if it's something you really want to do for some reason such as using the new domain name for branding purposes then there is at least a chance you could do so and still maintain your serp position.

    If you decide to try it then the steps would be:
    1. Purchase the new domain name, set up a hosting account for it. Just setting it up as an addon domain on your existing host account would be sufficient (and if anything might even be benificial).
    2. Mirror your e-commerce site. (back-up your old site and reinstall it on the new domain.)
    3. Test it to be sure the new site works with no glitches.
    4. set up a 301 redirect on the old domain to the new domain.
    5. don't make any drastic layout or content changes to the site on the new domain until google has had plenty of time to reindex the site and you're certain the transition is complete.

    In order to maintain the seo from all the backlinks to the old site you will need to keep the old domain indefinitely and keep the 301 redirect in place permanently for as long you have the new site. Any new backlinks you build after the transition should all be made to the new domain name.

    Doing it in this manner is fully within google's guidelines and has the best chance of maintaining your position in the serps. Within a few days or weeks the new domain name should pretty much just replace the old domain name in the same position in the serps.

    A few years ago it was pretty much guaranteed that you could do this with no problems at all. In an effort to combat some black hat 301 exploits, more recently google started "watering down" the link juice passed through a 301, but for the situation just described it was still fairly certain that most, if not all, link juice would be passed and the new site would still replace the old site in the serps.

    It is still a very whitehat method if the intention is just to change the name of your site, and definitely the most legitimate use of a 301 redirect there is. It's completely within the google guidelines, and the recommended way for changing a sites domain name.

    However, with all the most recent algo updates in the last year though, I would be much more hesitant to say there is any certainty about it.

    If there is any loss in position from the change it will most likely be a short term problem which can be overcome as you continue your seo for the new domain name. Whether it's worth the risk or not is hard to say, you just have to weigh the risks against the benefits. It really depends on how important the name change is to you and how beneficial you think it will be for your site in the long run.
     
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