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Safest method to rebrand? [change domain name]

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by burgertime, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. burgertime

    burgertime Registered Member

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    I've got a niche site(well, it started out that way) and it has become a good bit broader than what it was born as. I'd like to set up a domain name that's a little less specific.

    For example, let's say it started as blueleathershoes.com Now, it has all sorts of shoes, boots, specialty socks, you name it. So, I wanted to rename the site to something a little more general like foryourfeet.com

    How can I do this and not shoot myself in the foot?(no pun intended).

    What steps would you ​take to do this?
     
  2. Draphoelix

    Draphoelix Newbie

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    This really depends alot on your nische. If it's a growing/popular community site, I'd really advice against rebranding. But since you are talking about shoes I assume it's some sort of E-commerce/CPA site? I don't have any experience of running those, but speaking as a customer I really wouldn't care about your domain name as long as I can get my hands on a nice pair of shoes.

    Make sure that your old domain redirects to your new site correctly. I'd also keep the theme so returning visitors know that it's the same site with a different name. If you have any logo, keeping that for a while would be a good idea for the same reason.
     
  3. burgertime

    burgertime Registered Member

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    Well, it's obviously not shoes but that was the only thing I could think of for comparison. If it were shoes, it would be "blueshoesguide.com" but now, I've got articles about blue shoes, red shoes, specialty shoes, special socks, methods for treating athlete's foot, proper way to clip your toe nails, etc... So it's really become more of a site that's based on feet, foot care and footwear. Make sense?

    So, what you're saying is that as long as the look and feel of the site remain the same, I could change the domain and site name without affecting rankings? I mean, in terms of Google and such?
    I'm not holding you to this. I just really want to do this in the future because I feel like it would help my site to more accurately self-associate and might make more sense to my visitors but I will NOT do it if it is going to make a bad situation monetarily.

    Thanks!
     
  4. upstarter

    upstarter Regular Member

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    What you would be doing is buy foryourfeet.com (example only), and no-index that entire site as it is still empty.

    Now on your blueshoesguide.com (again, example only), transfer every post. Prioritize the ranking articles first so that you can do a redirect to the new url without losing rankings.

    EX: IF "blueshoesguide.com/socks/blue-socks/" has a very high ranking, transfer that article to "foryourfeet.com/socks/blue-socks".

    Now 301 redirect (I hope you know how to do a 301 redirect) "blueshoesguide.com/socks/blue-socks/" to "foryourfeet.com/socks/blue-socks"
    That way you don't lose that article's ranking. Rinse and repeat for the other articles.

    After you transfer all the articles and pages of "blueshoesguide" to "foryourfeet", 301 redirect blueshoesguide.com to foryourfeet.com. After that, you can now remove the no-index status of the site so that google will know that foryourfeet.com exists.

    Basically, you have to redirect to not lose rankings.
     
  5. burgertime

    burgertime Registered Member

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    Ok, good info - thank you very much. I definitely know how to 301 so no problem there. I just wasn't sure about the correct order of operations. Thanks!