Sherice Jacob at Search Engine Journal has written a pretty nifty article on how to change your domain without compromising your rank in the SERPs. It has in-depth information on how to update both your mod_rewrite components and .htaccess file so you actually have a bit of flexibility in the event you're selling a piece of your site, you're widening the focus of your niche, or a more relevant domain happens to free up!
You’ve had your domain for a long time and it has served you well. Today, though, you’re looking to expand your online business and the old domain just won’t do the trick. You need something new, fresh and exciting and perhaps you’ve already registered the ideal name.
There’s just one problem.
Your old site has earned a good search engine ranking for your best keywords. You’ve got tons of “link juice” to both give and receive - and you don’t want to lose that.
Keep in mind, we’re not just moving files or folders here - but moving an entire site to a new domain name without it affecting your ranking. To do this, you’ll need two tools - .htaccess and mod_rewrite.
How to Change Your Domain While Keeping Your Search Engine Ranking
Thanks a lot, for one of the projects coming up in September I'll need this!
*laugh* Thank the resourceful Ms. Jacob! She did all of the work!
Good luck with your migration!
In fact this is exactly what I've done with my last 2 moves and still lost all the rankings and indexed pages.
Last edited by m42; 16 June, 2009 at 18:29 PM. Reason: Curiousity.
Sure, worst case scenario, some inbound links aren't salvageable, but you should be able to replace them during the designated transition period if you're being forced to disable the old domain, no?
I think I may actually test this at some point soon with one of my blogs.
I've experienced this with palmbeachtravel.org for example.
I had (and still have) the .info version, but then someone dropped the .org and I've grabbed it redirecting the .info version.
Check below what happened a few days after the redirection:
There wasn't a lot of traffic there, yet it's noticeable the drop after January 12; nothing else changed, just the domain name.
BTW, the exact same thing happened with all-in-travel.com
Something doesn't seem quite right with this....
I did everything properly, in fact this was the second site I've redirected and the same thing happened with the other one.