Handling A Domain Name Brand Change
Posted 12 June 2009 - 08:11 AM
I have been thinking about three possible approaches.
Approach one: Create a copy of the site.
In this approach I will copy the existing website to a new folder on the webserver. I will then map the new domain name to that folder and create 301 redirects from every page of the old website. I see the benefit of this approach as being that any references to the old website domain are always found, and that any Page Rank or all the other non measuable factors get passed to the new domain, and the fact the old site is still there (even if it's not actually accessed) is a safety measure.
That is because
olddomain.com/aboutus.html 301's to newdomain.com/aboutus.html.
Approach two: Use a blanket redirect.
In this approach I setup a redirect all traffic to olddomain.com to newdomain.com. The problem with this approach is that if a website has created a specific link to a page on my website, the user will click that link and be sent through to newdomain.com instead of newdomain.com/specificpage.html
Approach three: Just change the domain and leave it.
In this approach I setup a redirect which forces any requests for olddomain.com/aboutus.html to be rewritten newdomain.com/aboutus.html. It's not clear to me whether using this approach allows for a clear signal to the Search Engines that the domain has now changed. In other words is there still the ability to inform the requester that the domain is now newdomain.com.
At the end of the day any one of the above approaches will be fine when left over time. I'm more keen on "Approach one" as it kind of removes any doubt, but I'd like to know if I'm missing any approaches or whether you've had similar experiences.
Server type: Microsoft IIS/6.00
Posted 12 June 2009 - 08:23 AM
However all those human visitors won't necessarily be aware of the change and may not change their bookmarks. I presume this brand change is supposed to bring new and exciting changes. So as part of the marketing launch (including lots of blog notices) make this a very visible change to all those who are interested.
Posted 12 June 2009 - 09:20 AM
1) Claim both domains at Google Webmaster tools.
2) Add a few signs for visitors that you are changing address on specified date
3) Place the contents of the old domain on the new domain without modification. Keep content and file names the same - but change the signs to say "this is our new address... we used to be olddomain.com" (don't make big content changes yet.. you want google to know that only the domain has changed.)
4) Go to Google webmaster tools under Dashboard >> Site Configuration >> Change of Address and let them know you are moving
5) Do a page-by-page redirect of old domain to new domain with 301 redirect
6) Watch the SERPs for new domain to assume old domain ranking
7) When SERPs are stable under new domain gently start making any content changes
8) Keep 301 redirect on the old domain
Edited by EGOL, 12 June 2009 - 09:21 AM.
Posted 12 June 2009 - 09:21 AM
Here's the Help Center article on it: http://google.com/su...py?answer=83104
Posted 12 June 2009 - 09:58 AM
EGOL I follow your thinking but let's say I'm looking beyond Google towards search engines such as Bing? What I want to do is ensure that I'm providing all the right indicators to the search engines. I'm assuming that the important ones will accept a 301 as a clear server side signage that the domain has now changed.
To avoid a redirect loop on the server using redirects (which could happen if I just switch out the domain names and then try and redirect /aboutus.html to http://www.newdomain.com/aboutus.html - which is still the same folder as before) - I think that's right - I figured on a copy of the website to another folder to allow me to redirect on a page by page basis and avoid the loops. I'm pretty sure that you can only redirect /file.html and not olddomain.com/page.html to newdomain.com/page.html?
Posted 12 June 2009 - 10:35 AM
Just created a new account, 301 / in htaccess(es) for each subdomain also.
I still get Google alerts for tranquillizer links, so def. keep the old account running forever and a day.
Posted 14 June 2009 - 11:12 PM
Am I right to suspect that they mean 'don't redirect to a 3d site immediately', not ever?
If you submit a change of address notice redirecting traffic to your new site (www.example.com), you can't then submit another change of address notice specifying that the content on www.example.com has moved to a third site.
Posted 15 June 2009 - 02:01 AM
The idea behind that is that if you transfer A -> B, you shouldn't set up an additional transfer from B -> C, instead you should just cancel the transfer A->B and set up A->C directly.
FWIW This is just a requirement for this tool, it's not a general requirement for redirects. It's fine to have a 301 redirect from ancientsite -> oldsite -> currentsite, we'll pick that up with no problems (technically, it's similar to www.oldsite -> oldsite -> currentsite, which is very common). However, the fewer redirects you use, the faster everything will go, especially for users who can save yet another domain name lookup with all the latency involved with that. Users love fast websites . I imagine that also works better for most search engines as well, the fewer intermediate steps, the easier it is to correlate old URLs with new ones.
Posted 15 June 2009 - 02:16 AM
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