Don't Let Your New Domain Hurt Your SEO

Jan 15, 2008 • 9:31 am | comments (4) by twitter | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization
 

Some webmasters don't understand the value of SEO. How many times have you gone to a website and seen a notification saying "This website address has changed. Please update your bookmarks." Why not implement a 301 redirect instead?

The issue is that you should implement a 301 redirect. Otherwise, if both sites rank (as in this case), your redirected site might outrank the site with all the content. In this particular user's case, an .edu site is outranking a .com. Chances are, the .com was also below the fold and the .edu wasn't. You certainly don't want to do it that way.

When you create a new site, 301 redirect the old site. Don't assume that users care to change their bookmarks. It's not good for search engines, and a lot of users don't rely on the "please change your bookmarks" request because they trust that the redirected page will be there all the time. Just eliminate the guesswork and go with the 301.

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Comments:

Michael Martinez

01/16/2008 11:44 pm

It could be argued (and perhaps should be) that the 301 redirect is simply hiding a lack of SEO expertise. Unless someone is deliberately pointing a lot of links at the "old' domain, it should be relatively simple to outrank it with the "new" domain, even if the old domain has a large natural link profile. 301 Redirects are for final closure on a dead URL. It's not for search engine optimization. There are plenty of things you could do with old sites without redirecting them to new sites.

xylon doyon

01/17/2008 01:36 am

"There are plenty of things you could do with old sites without redirecting them to new sites." -- like how? can you give me at least 3 points on this. this is what i did to our site, since we have lots of subdomain, what i did was i used the 301 redirection.

Dude

02/21/2008 05:38 am

Just a question about having a new domain name added to an existing site... e.g. I have a site with www.1.com as a domain name. And a forum within that site simply enjoys an html link to an index file within a folder in the dump. If I wanted to give that forum a separate domain name - www.2.com, would that hurt my SEO at all? e.g. www.1.com links to www.2.com when the forum link is clicked. I am just concnerned that Google might be overwhelmed with the many content of the forum, under a new dname, and that it could blacklist the dname. Your thoughts please...

Jan

11/29/2008 07:04 am

Well... the 301 redirect may be good, but it also may cause damage. A couple of months ago I suggested to switch from thrusites.com to web-developers.net which we bought in auction. Then I set-up a 301 redirect and from the day when Google recrawled the homepage, all positions were gone! I don't know what happened exactly, but about a two months later rankings did return. In fact, I am not sure what's in the background of this (positive) change, but from that moment I know that moving one domain to another is risky. I even submitted a reconsideration request to Google because we had some top positions which brought us clients. So... maybe it was a manual "update", maybe it was completely natural. One thing that I know the 301 redirect works for is moving documents within one domain. For example, when you move something.com/forum to forum.something.com, then it is unlikely to lose rankings. I tried this and it works well. On another site I heard about 302 redirect which should be used for moving from one domain to another, but I didn't try it myself... yet. Also the last thing from my own experiences: Google's algorithms consider all links that point to an old domain which is 301-ed as links to the new domain. Hope this helps someone before changing a domain :) .

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