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How long to keep a 301 in place after domain move?

Discussion in 'Search Engine Optimization' started by smokey99, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. #1
    Hi,
    I have to change a domain name and will create a 301 from old to new domain.
    With thousands of links in, I will never be able to request webmasters change them all.

    Question 1 - Should I create a 301 for whole domain and individual pages as well?

    Question 2 - How long do I have to continue to leave those 301's in place, to keep all the link juice from the old domain? I'm thinking that I will have to continue to pay for hosting the original domain so I can keep my 301 there for as long as I want the juice.

    Question 3 - I guess there is no way to do this from the DNS level and still maintain PR, right?

    Thanks for any advice
     
    smokey99, Jan 26, 2010 IP
  2. hans

    hans Well-Known Member

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    #2
    Question 1: YES because some may have linked to inner pages

    Question 2: you are absolutely right to assume that NO webmaster will change their links to your old domain. If anyone changes his domain - the maximum I do is delete all links and ban/blacklist that domain for all future.

    hence if for totally unknown illogical reasons you change domain - then my suggestions is to eternally (or as long ass you keep a web site ) keep the 301 unless you are willing to loose all links
    or unless you offer $ for link corrections to all webmasters
    though I would never correct links even for $ no matter the amount!

    Question 3. you are right.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
    hans, Jan 26, 2010 IP
    smokey99 likes this.
  3. smokey99

    smokey99 Guest

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    #3
    Thanks Hans,
    I appreciate the fast and helpful reply
    I would not change the domain if I had a choice, it is a company branding issue.

    Have a great day
     
    smokey99, Jan 26, 2010 IP
  4. trosquin

    trosquin Active Member

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    #4
    I agree...do a entire domain 301 redirect, and as long as you want to keep the juice flowing, you will have to pay for that redirected domain.
     
    trosquin, Jan 26, 2010 IP
  5. hans

    hans Well-Known Member

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    #5
    1.
    you may check with some domain name registrars to see if you get a discount for pre-paying the old domain name for a LONG period - like 20 or so years

    2.
    then you may host of course the same old domain on same server as new domain if you need to budget your expenses
    and since some hosts offer a number of FREE domain names with a hosting package - you may be able to combine all into one package and even get old domain for free on new host in the best of all solutions or at least just a very few $ / year for additional domain name.
    you may have to go through the procedure of registrar change for above benefits ...

    Good luck
     
    hans, Jan 26, 2010 IP
  6. Canonical

    Canonical Well-Known Member

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    #6
    When redirecting web pages with 301 redirects, you'll typically want to keep the redirects in place indefinitely if you want your new URLs to continue to get credit for inbound links to the old URLs.

    In the case of a new domain, you'll need to continue to keep the old domain registered and hosted somewhere so that the 301s can remain in place. There is typically no additional cost for the hosting since now days you can usually host as many domains as you'd like under a single hosting account with no additional fees as long as you don't exceed your maximum transfer amount.

    If you're changing hosting companies as part of going to a new domain, you can transfer your old domain to your new hosting company so that you only have to pay for one hosting account w/ both domains rather than two hosting accounts. This will require DNS changes... But you cannot get around implementing the 301s if you want to continue to pass your old site's PR over to the new site.

    If 99% of your links to the old site are pointing to your old site's home page then I would simply 301 redirect ALL requests for pages on the old domain to the new domain's home page. If your old site is hosted on an Apache web server then you can accomplish this by placing the following in the .htaccess in your old site's root folder:

    However, if you have lots of links to your inner pages of the old site then you should implement 301 redirects on a page-by-page basis, redirecting each page on the old site to the URL on the new site whose content most closely resembles the content of the old page.

    You may want to check out my post on redesigning web sites and SEO. It has a lot of useful tips you could use since EVERY URL on your site will be changing, similar to a site redesign.
     
    Canonical, Jan 26, 2010 IP
  7. smokey99

    smokey99 Guest

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    #7
    Thanks for all your great advice, I appreciate it.
     
    smokey99, Jan 29, 2010 IP
  8. Pixelrage

    Pixelrage Peon

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    #8
    If you can edit your backlinks to point to the new site, you can eventually get rid of the 301 redirects, since they won't be referenced in bookmarks or search engines anymore. Then you can simply forward the old domain name to the new one via your domain provider (Godaddy, etc)
     
    Pixelrage, Jan 29, 2010 IP
  9. smokey99

    smokey99 Guest

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    #9
    Not possible - The site has 4K backlinks
    Thanks
     
    smokey99, Jan 29, 2010 IP
  10. Aquarezz

    Aquarezz Notable Member

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    #10
    For your complete website, so individual pages too ;)

    There is hosting for as low as 1$ per 6 months giving you 1GB bandwidth per month. I guess that's enough for a domain redirect :D

    Can't answer this one unfortunately :(
     
    Aquarezz, Jan 29, 2010 IP
  11. KISS

    KISS Active Member

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    #11
    Q. 2: more than 3 months
     
    KISS, Jan 29, 2010 IP
  12. smokey99

    smokey99 Guest

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    #12
    Ok thanks everyone;

    I will be making 301's for all pages and keep them permanently hosted.

    I appreciate all the answers, have a great day.
     
    smokey99, Jan 29, 2010 IP
  13. Pixelrage

    Pixelrage Peon

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    #13
    Yes, but are they all mostly pointing to the home page? If so, just 301 the entire site over to your new home page.

    It's a different story if your deep pages all have 100-200 backlinks each. In that case, the 301 redirect will have to stay up indefinitely.
     
    Pixelrage, Jan 30, 2010 IP
  14. smokey99

    smokey99 Guest

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    #14
    How long before the new domain name acquires the old domains PR, any rough ideas or previous experience?
     
    smokey99, Feb 4, 2010 IP
  15. Canonical

    Canonical Well-Known Member

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    #15
    It depends on the number of inbound links you have and how often the sites linking to you get crawled. You have to wait on Google (and other engines) to recrawl all of your inbound links... As they recrawl each one, they will discover the 301 redirect, and transfer credit for that particular inbound link over to the new URL. This process has to happen for each inbound link on your site.

    And this is ALSO why the 301s must remain in place indefinitely if you want the new URLs to get credit indefinitely for the old URLs' links. It will likely take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple months before all credit is transfered and rankings return.

    If at some point in the future you remove the 301s, the next time the engines recrawl those links to your old URLs they'll either get

    1) a 200 Okay status for the old URL if the page still exists in which case credit for that link will be given back to the old URL... so the new URL will lose credit and the old URL will likely get reindexed or
    2) a 404 Not Found status for the old URL if the page no longer exists in which case the new URL will again lose credit for the link...
     
    Canonical, Feb 4, 2010 IP
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  16. smokey99

    smokey99 Guest

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    #16
    Thanks for the great info.
    So I should make sure to remove old pages from the server?
    And make sure to have a 301 in place for each one.

    "It will likely take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple months before all credit is transfered and rankings return. "

    So I should anticipate a drop in SERPS while my PR builds back up??
    Thanks again, your expertise is appreciated
     
    smokey99, Feb 4, 2010 IP
  17. Canonical

    Canonical Well-Known Member

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    #17
    Once your 301 redirects are in place if you use something like Mod_Rewrite/.htacces, there is no use for the old web pages to remain. However, if you're using server side scripting within those pages (changing the pagename.php code) to return the 301 redirects then the pages WILL need to remain in place. If you're hosted on Apache then I'd highly recommend implementing the redirects in Mod_Rewrite/.htaccess so that you CAN delete the old code.

    You will see a dip in rankings and traffic for a short period while they recrawl all of your inbound links... typically a couple weeks to a month or two. But like I said, it all depends on how often your inbound links (i.e. the URLs that link to you) get recrawled. I implemented a site redesign on a PR7 site with 4.7 million inbound links a year and a half ago. Our rankings and traffic dropped, but within 3 weeks our rankings had returned and actually improved.
     
    Canonical, Feb 4, 2010 IP