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To Swap Or Not To Swap Domains


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#1 tam

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 04:59 PM

I've a lovely customer (who you've helped before) who runs a childrens toy shop here: www.cottontailsbaby.co.uk When she started she focused a lot more on baby things but it's now for slightly old children. She's wondering about swapping the domain to www.cottontailstoyshop.co.uk (already brought) as part of some rebranding she's doing.

But changing a domain is kind of a big deal, isn't it? I wasn't sure so she suggested we ask you guys. Is it something that should be completely avoided or is it okay if you do certain things... if so what? Obviously we'd 301 and try to get links changed.

Tam

#2 bobbb

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 05:40 PM

If you copy the OLD site to the NEW site (keeping the filenames as is) then it's basically a one liner 301 to the new site.

The only caveat I can see is if you move a site from a *nix platform to a Windows platform then care must be taken with upper/lower case filenames.

Edited by bobbb, 09 July 2012 - 05:45 PM.


#3 EGOL

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 07:38 PM

About two years ago I had a key-word.com and did a 301 redirect to an exact copy of the site on keyword.com (which had been a spammy site about six years previously). Rankings shot up impressively. Amazingly. That key-word.com had less than one year of history in the SERPs and not a lot of offpage SEO.

About one year ago I did the same thing with a key-word.com that had a ten year history at #1 in the SERPs for its main KW and a lot of traffic. Rankings dropped a place or two almost across the site. I got the important ones back but it took over six months and a lot of lost income. (I honestly think that domain queries brought the site back. The original was getting about 1000 domaiin queries per month in google and that dropped to zero... as soon as they recrossed the 1000/month barrier, the rankings came back. I am not saying that 1000 is a magic number but since I did zero link building, added zero content and spent my time working on other sites... I think that the queries played a part but might be wrong).

#4 glyn

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 02:27 AM

Egol thanks for sharing this.

I remember seing a programme on television a while ago where an italian engineer had done a query bot in Google which was simply clicking links to a website and the results were that it completely ranked his site.
  • Bounce rates, can be captured with Analytics and aggregated.
  • Click Back to search results can also be captured (making it impossible for people to go back was not just about keeping them on the site, but nailing this factor if it ever existed).
I've rebranded domains although not with KW domains, but with established online brands and I usually give myself a 3-month window for full correction.

I'm going to setup a few processes to do a little R&D while I'm on the beach in August :)

#5 EGOL

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 06:27 AM

I'm going to setup a few processes to do a little R&D while I'm on the beach in August :)

Great.... let us know how it works.

#6 tam

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:13 AM

You've lost me a little. We do get searches for Cottontails, more than CottontailsBaby, actually. Are these what would drop? The current domain is established it's been in use about 7 years, the new one is brand new.

The files/pages/server etc. would all be the same.



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