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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
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    Domain change - how would you handle it?
    I have a domain that includes a vendor's product name (e.g. <ProductName>Journal.com).

    The vendor decided to change the name of their product, and so I've taken out a second domain to match (<NewProductName>Journal.com).

    The site is just a community wateringhole for the folks who use that programming product so it's not exactly a money maker, just a good place to share resources with that community.

    Still, it's been a good learning experience for me to watch the PR and SERPs change over the years, so I gave a bit of thought to how I should handle that transition.

    Seems the worst thing I could do was to have the new domain mirror the old one, since that would show up as duplicate content.

    So instead I bit the bullet and just moved everything to the new domain, and set up the old one to redirect to the new one.

    Well, as expected the SERPs for the new one aren't nearly as good, and since the new product name hasn't been around long I imagine it'll be a while before the new domain is recognized by the SEs as the useful site it is for folks looking for that sort of info.

    Since this isn't a revenue-generator I don't mind the poor SERPs for a while, but should I ever need to do something like this on a site that matters it would be good to know what you folks think.

    How would you handle a domain change like that?
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  2. #2
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    I did exactly what you did when I was faced with a similar situation last year and I am still not near where I was in the serps. Haven't exactly been trying but I lost a ton of backlinks with the switch.
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  3. #3
    SEO: A Specialty - Web Design: Slow or outsourced andbeyond's Avatar
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    That redirect, was it a 301 redirect?
    That is what it was supposed to be if this was permanent.

    But everytime you 301 you will lose some link authority. It is not a direct transfer by design.

    Might want to do some more linkbuilding and/or SEO.

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager
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    Yes, AndBeyond, it's a 301 redirect. The tool at Search Engine Friendly Redirect Checker reports that it's "search engine-friendly", but my experience echoes your tip and Vinny's comment. It seems any redirect is going to lose authority.

    I've begun new SEO and linkbuilding efforts, so I'm confident I can get that back where it was over time.

    Is there anything you would have done differently?

    I even thought about keeping the old domain and just sprinkling the new product name in those pages, but I've noticed Bing and Yahoo give such disproportionate weight to keywords in the domain that I felt it might be good future-proofing to just change the domain and start over.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  5. #5
    SEO: A Specialty - Web Design: Slow or outsourced andbeyond's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FourthWorld View Post

    Is there anything you would have done differently?
    No that sounds about right. Unless you wanted to have 2 domains and write new content.

    But if the old one was going away that would have been a bit of a wasted effort I think.

  6. #6
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    this will really effect on your SERP,S and your back links,, because you are going to change your product name..which matter a lot!!!

  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager Chris D's Avatar
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    I would keep both pages up, just create a new page with the new domain name and change the text around so it does not match your first site. Then just have both sites forward to the vendors site. If you have one site that redirects to your other site and then to the vendor page you really only have one site. If you are paying for two domains might as well have both fowarding to the vendors site. Also, there may be people searching for the product under the old product name. If you keep the old site up you can still get some of that traffic.

  8. #8
    Newbie zire's Avatar
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    I agree with the others about the 301 losing some seo juice, I did one a few years ago and noticed a difference. A lot of guys like to claim you lose nothing but I defiantly think you lose a little.

    like other were saying it would be good to have a small seo campaign set up to regain any lost ground.

  9. #9
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    Domain Change
    well hot about putting some 404 redirects on all pages ? to your new domain ...

  10. #10
    Full Member Lanny's Avatar
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    Google Webmaster Tools - change of address
    Assuming the old domain was registered with Google Webmaster Tools, I would put in a Change of Address there. Below are the first few lines of what they suggest:

    Change of address

    If you're planning to move your site to a new domain, use the Change of Address tool to tell Google about your new URL. This will help us update our index faster and smooth the transition for your users.

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Good advice Lanny.
    well hot about putting some 404 redirects on all pages ?
    404 is a server response to page not found and is not a proper redirect method. I really don't think that the OP is still wondering what route to take after nearly 4 months.

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