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Moving aged authority website to a new domain: any SEO danger?

Discussion in 'Search Engine Optimization' started by sdwordpress, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. #1
    Domain is 9 years old .com, PR4, tremendous authority with lots of traffic. Company name is changing and the new name .com is being held by a domain squatter who won't sell (the squatter's .com is 11 years old). I purchased a .us domain instead which never existed before, so it has no aging or authority whatsoever.

    The new company name does have an important keyword in it that we don't currently have. This keyword is directly related to our service and shows up in most searches and on competitor sites.
    SEMrush
    Will moving to this new .us domain destroy the site authority or impact it negatively in any way? Even the slightest negative impact will be significant. I will be using 301 redirects for every page and webmaster tools to let google know of the new URL. Again, the new keyword in the domain should bring a boost to SERPs.
     
    sdwordpress, Feb 17, 2012 IP
    SEMrush
  2. RadioBounce

    RadioBounce Banned

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    #2
    When moving to a new domain name, there's always the danger of doing damage to SEO.

    Make sure you 301 redirect EVERYTHING, also tell Google and other major search engines about it. For Google use Google Webmaster.

    Don't 301 redirect everything to the new homepage. Make sure they are directed to their respective pages.

    It should go smoothly if you do it properly.
     
    RadioBounce, Feb 18, 2012 IP
  3. sdwordpress

    sdwordpress Greenhorn

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    #3
    Thank you for the reply. Yes, the physical process will go perfectly, it's more a question of, will the new .us domain cause a rank drop because of its lack of domain age. Or will google factor the old domain into the algorithm as it is now.
     
    sdwordpress, Feb 18, 2012 IP
  4. stellaandreapark

    stellaandreapark Peon

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    #4
    It will be fine. just do normal SEO again on the new domain. Also, don't forget to remind your viewers about this transfer. Loyal followers will follow you wherever you go =)
     
    stellaandreapark, Feb 18, 2012 IP
  5. Crimson Penguin

    Crimson Penguin Peon

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    #5
    I guess you have to ask yourself whether the change is really necessary? Of course when creating a new site it is more beneficial to have your keyword in the domain and any SEO would recommend you to secure a domain with your keyword in it. However, having your keyword in the domain is not the be all and end all to SEO. Although it makes SEO easier, you can still rank well without the keyword in the domain and several sites already achieve this. My point is this, do you still rank well without the keyword in your domain? Do you still gain valuable traffic to your site without the keyword in your domain? If the answer to both is yes then regardless of the company name changing, it might not be necessary to acquire a new domain. Especially if you can't get the .com. If your keywords for the business are still the same then I would be reluctant to create a new site under a new domain.
     
    Crimson Penguin, Feb 18, 2012 IP
  6. rena

    rena Peon

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    #6
    u r correct but the SE traffic will damage...Google give good position and traffic for like those sites.. very hard to get it and will be treated as new site
     
    rena, Feb 18, 2012 IP
  7. rgblogs

    rgblogs Active Member

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    #7
    Short Answer: Yes

    Long Answer: What your old domain got in 9 years, new domain will be able to reach in just 1 year. So for 1 year you will see a drop, then everything will be normal.
     
    rgblogs, Feb 18, 2012 IP
  8. xenon121

    xenon121 Active Member

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    #8
    do not worry your site is a old one. changing domain will have a little impact but everything will be fine within a short time.
     
    xenon121, Feb 18, 2012 IP
  9. sdwordpress

    sdwordpress Greenhorn

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    #9
    Wow, so many varied responses, such as:

    Damage for one year
    Don't do it at all
    It will be fine, no worries

    The problem is, the company name is changing, therefore the domain (ultimately) HAS to change. The new company name IS the new keywords. They are one and the same. Question:

    Is the .com really necessary? Why is .us not acceptable.
    Why would google punish me for the new domain when it sees I'm just redirecting the old domain that has authority and age?
    Has anyone actually done this in the real world and have some documented effects? There must be a way to accurately answer this question with 100% confidence.

    Nervous!!!!!
     
    sdwordpress, Feb 19, 2012 IP
  10. forumhookers

    forumhookers Peon

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    #10
    .com has high SEO than anyother TLD
     
    forumhookers, Feb 19, 2012 IP
  11. lapseo

    lapseo Member

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    #11
    It's very likely that it will do some damage to your SEO. All you can do is 301 direct everything correctly. Eventually your new domain will stabilise but this may take some time.
     
    lapseo, Feb 19, 2012 IP
  12. revium

    revium Member

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    #12
    Be aware that when you 301 redirect a site all of the link juice does not transfer to the new domain.

    http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/021832.html

    It is difficult to say if this drop alone will have an impact on your rankings, but I think it is very likely you will notice a drop in rankings in traffic for at least the short term.
     
    revium, Feb 19, 2012 IP
  13. sdwordpress

    sdwordpress Greenhorn

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    #13
    Thanks again for all the replies, very, very interesting, especially the thread at seroundtable, such as:

    "I have personal experience on the matter. I think it really depends what the new domain name is that you are redirecting to. I would say you lose about 20-30 percent unless the names are almost identical and of the same age. If you are ranked really well for say magic tricks and your name has that in the domain and then you 301 to a domain name that does not have magic in it then you will lose keyword rankings that were ranking well because of the keywords specifically in you domain. It will not transfer the rank very well."

    and:

    "You definitely don't get all the PR passed to your new domain...and the old PR shows up on the old domain even after a couple of PR updates. Had to do this a couple of times and it's best to avoid the problem altogether if at all possible."

    and:

    "I've 301 redirected quite a few sites and in every instance they lose their rankings after about 4 weeks. This is due to 'domain age' which is a google ranking factor. Google don't tell us this, but if you do a 301 to a new domain you WILL lose all your rankings, IF you domain was previously ranking due to it's age. I've seen this time and time again. Don't do it unless you have to."

    and:

    "Losing links is one side, you also lose domain age which can hurt your Google rankings. Unless your company name changes and you really need to change the domain name, I'd rather just stick to the original name."

    My conclusion is not to change the company name unless I can get the .com with the new domain, which is an old domain, even older than the one I have now. Also the new domain and the old domain are somewhat similar (two of three keywords are the same). If I can't get the .com then the company name will have to stay the same. It's not worth the risk.
     
    sdwordpress, Feb 19, 2012 IP
  14. revium

    revium Member

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    #14
    I would agree that unless it is entirely unavoidable, I would try and stick with the existing domain.
     
    revium, Feb 19, 2012 IP
  15. Canonical

    Canonical Well-Known Member

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    #15
    If done correctly by 301 redirecting each old URL to the URL on the new domain with equivalent content, you will "minimize" the damage. But you will take a hit. Even Cutts and others from Google have admitted that with each redirect, you lose some PageRank/link juice. It's due to the damping factor in the PageRank formula.

    I would however highly recommend you NOT go with a .us domain. While theoretically a .us domain "should" rank as well as a .com domain... it likely will NOT for many reasons. Not because the ranking algorithms treat them differently... at least Google will treat them the same. But a .us domain will never be seen as legitimate as a .com. Most people expect business sites to be .com and figure the only time people even buy .net, .org (unless a nonprofit or informational site), .info, .biz, .us, etc. domains is because someone else (presumably the "original" company with that name) already owns the .com. And other webmasters are going to be MUCH less likely to link to a .us domain for the same reason.

    Why does your domain name have to be your company name anyway. There is nothing that says just because your Austin, Texas company is named "Joe's Roofing" that your web site has to be joesroofing.com. If that one is taken, why not use something else like AustinRoofing.com, AustinRoofers.com, QualityRoofing.com, QualityRoofingAustin.com, etc.? Do a little keyword research and find an exact match domain that describes what you do that gets a decent amount of search traffic. It will benefit you more in the long run than any .us domain ever could.
     
    Canonical, Feb 19, 2012 IP
  16. Web Outsourcing Gateway

    Web Outsourcing Gateway Member

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    #16
    Somehow it will have an effect in your SEO. But I recommend that before you change the domain, the group (your organization) must have a carefully planning to lay your strategies. Anticipate what are the SEO problems you might encounter then have a prepared solution on that. In that sense, SEO crisis will be prevented or at least diminish its impact.
     
    Web Outsourcing Gateway, Feb 19, 2012 IP
  17. revium

    revium Member

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    #17
    revium, Feb 20, 2012 IP