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Thread: How to change your domain without losing your search engine ranking

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    How to change your domain without losing your search engine ranking

    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
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    Diet Fads

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    Aquarezz (16 June, 2009), dmi (16 June, 2009), Shenron (16 June, 2009), stickycarrots (7 August, 2009)

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    Thanks a lot, for one of the projects coming up in September I'll need this!

    *Bookmarked*

    Thanks m42
    |Nico Lawsons

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    *laugh* Thank the resourceful Ms. Jacob! She did all of the work!

    Good luck with your migration!
    (

    Diet Fads

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    Thx Alex!
    In fact this is exactly what I've done with my last 2 moves and still lost all the rankings and indexed pages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shenron View Post
    Thx Alex!
    In fact this is exactly what I've done with my last 2 moves and still lost all the rankings and indexed pages.
    Glad you mentioned that, Shenron. I personally haven't tried this. How quickly did you migrate everything?

    Anyone else try this and actually not lose their position in the SERPs?
    Last edited by m42; 16 June, 2009 at 18:29 PM. Reason: Curiousity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by m42 View Post
    *laugh* Thank the resourceful Ms. Jacob! She did all of the work!

    Good luck with your migration!
    Yeah, but you posted the story here, so without this post I would never have seen that

    And if I check Shenrons' post I'd better wait to hear some of the other point of views from other members before moving
    |Nico Lawsons

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarezz View Post
    Yeah, but you posted the story here, so without this post I would never have seen that

    And if I check Shenrons' post I'd better wait to hear some of the other point of views from other members before moving
    You know, I edited my response to him because I've been thinking about it. There's should be no reason a migration via 301 redirects would kill you in the SERPs unless you don't keep the old domain or the redirects up long enough.

    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.
    (

    Diet Fads

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    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shenron View Post
    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.
    Odd. Did you verify your redirect statements were correct? i.e. 301's with and without the www if you chose not to use a wildcard statement? Did you look at your physical logfiles and determine that everything was being redirected?

    Something doesn't seem quite right with this....
    (

    Diet Fads

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    I did everything properly, in fact this was the second site I've redirected and the same thing happened with the other one.

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