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Gradually Moving To New Domain/site. Is This The Way To Do It?


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#1 Pete

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:36 PM

This is not a straightforward site move.

I am moving a directory to a new domain, reason being I plan it to become international, so need a .com instead of .co.uk

The old site is static html, the new site is a dynamic directory software.

I have asked the current people listed to register and relist at the new site, but I think that will take a few weeks possibly.

However I want the new site to take on the SERPS of the old (which is very good) one as soon as possible to encourage new people to list.

What I did therefore, instead of a redirect was to put a rel canonical on every page of the old site, aimed at the root of the new site.

So I'm hoping this means the new site will take over from the old site in Google listings, without losing the old site until all the old directory entries have transferred.

As each entry transfers, I delete that specific page on the old site and add a 301 redirect for that page and sooner or later I can take down the old site.

Does this make sense? Thanks.

#2 jonbey

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:52 PM

If I was doing such a move I'd recreate all the listings on the new site exactly as they are on old and Redirect 301 all the pages. The time between losing the old pages and having clients create new ones could lose you your rankings, I think.

#3 Pete

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:59 PM

If I was doing such a move I'd recreate all the listings on the new site exactly as they are on old and Redirect 301 all the pages. The time between losing the old pages and having clients create new ones could lose you your rankings, I think.


Hmmm, I was thinking of doing that after a while for any people that hadn't relisted. It would be very time consuming but may be the only solution if every one else is too lazy!

However, I thought with the rel=canonicals I wouldn't lose any rankings.

#4 bobbb

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:42 PM

I would do the same. Upload the old site to the new name hosting area then 301 globally. Time consuming? It's a one liner.

The only problem I see with that is if you have internal links that are absolute like
<a href="http://www.TheOldName.co.uk/ThisFile.html"
instead of <a href="/ThisFile.html" then there is lots of fixing to do.

Edited by bobbb, 17 January 2013 - 05:43 PM.


#5 tam

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:03 PM

I imagine the big issue you're having is hard coded html files becoming database driven entries. So it's not a straight case of just switching the page. How many are we talking about? Might be worth paying someone to copy them by hand - looking at one of the bidding/outsourcing sites and you might get someone that won't cost to much.

How neat is your html? The other option is to write a script that parses your html pages, grabs the text and inserts it in the database - the same way spammers mine for email addresses. So for the email, you'd look on the page for the @ sign, find the space before and the space after and extract the text between as the email.

I don't know if it would be worth copying the html files over and doing a 301 redirect to the html file on the new server and then once you have the new entries a 301 to the new entry (and update the previous 301 too). It wouldn't be as good for people though, if you want new signups then they'll want to see a nice busy/well populated site for which you need entries.

Do you need to move the co.uk version to the .com or can you use the .com for the international and co.uk for UK? Same as google uses two different domains?

#6 Pete

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:26 AM

Thanks everyone, I decided to manually transfer the pages. Similar URL structure was not possible as friendly URLs of the CMS appended a unique user ID to URLs, which was necessary or there would be duplicates if two users choose the same friendly URL (quite possible where localities are used)

It didn't take too long, however it seems there is a bit of a disaster with the root URL in SERPS.

Previously the .co.uk domain ranked between 1 an 5 in Google for the main search term i was testing.

While the domain.co.uk site was still up, but with a rel =canonical to the new .com site, after a while it was fine, domain.com took over the same rankings.

But now the transfer of pages is complete with 301 redirects it has dropped off altogether.

Here is what I did in .htaccess


Redirect 301 /index.html http://domain.com/

Redirect 301 /page1.html http://domain/page1a.html
Redirect 301 /page2.html http://domain/page2xxx.html
Redirect 301 /page3.html http://domain/page2yy.html

etc.

This works in that the root domain.co.uk is redirected to domain.com and each page is redirected to its new page,

so why has Google dropped the root? (each of individual pages still seem to be fine in SERPS)

Can anyone help? Urgent (please please please) I can't advertise for new listings until I can show the great SERPS it was getting.

EDIT:

Am now trying this for the root redirect:

Redirect 301 / http://domain.com/

Redirect 301 /page1.html http://domain/page1a.html
Redirect 301 /page2.html http://domain/page2xxx.html
Redirect 301 /page3.html http://domain/page2yy.html

etc.

Edited by Pete, 24 January 2013 - 04:37 AM.


#7 tam

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:57 AM

Do you mean the co.uk or the .com has vanished?

There is a change of address option in google webmaster tools, not sure if that would help any, but might be worth a try.

Googles tips here: https://support.goog...en&answer=83105

Edited by tam, 24 January 2013 - 11:58 AM.


#8 Pete

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:29 PM

Do you mean the co.uk or the .com has vanished?


Both.

The individual page redirects are fine, just the site root has gone.

.com surfaced briefly when I had the rel=canonical, now the old site is gone and there is a 301 the .com has gone.

Both from google.co.uk and google.com

Really annoying after all that work rewriting the pages.

I'll try the webmaster tools, thanks.

#9 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:39 PM

It may just be a timing thing, but I would definitely look in webmaster tools to see if there are any notices.

Also, what does a site:domain.com return (and site:domain.co.uk)?

#10 Pete

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:42 PM

Also, what does a site:domain.com return (and site:domain.co.uk)?


What do mean 'return?'

#11 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:45 PM

When you search for [site:yourdomain.com] or [site:yourdomain.co.uk], is the home page listed? Is it the top listing or anywhere on the first page?

#12 Pete

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:06 PM

When you search for [site:yourdomain.com] or [site:yourdomain.co.uk], is the home page listed? Is it the top listing or anywhere on the first page?


No this is the problem

domain.co.uk used to be between 1 and 5.

domain.com too that over nicely for a while, when I had rel=canonical pointed to it, then dropped off completely when sometime after I switched to a 301. I can't see how that would make a difference

#13 Pete

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:46 PM

Different issue now. It seems this doesn't work

Redirect 301 / http://domain.com/

Redirect 301 /page1.html http://domain/page1a.html
Redirect 301 /page2.html http://domain/page2xxx.html
Redirect 301 /page3.html http://domain/page2yy.html

etc.


As all the pages attempt to redirect as if the site structure is the same,

e.g. domain.co.uk/page1.html goes to domain.co.uk/page1.html

So I am back to this, ie redirecting domain.co.uk/index.html http://domain.com/


Redirect 301 /index.html http://domain.com/

Redirect 301 /page1.html http://domain/page1a.html
Redirect 301 /page2.html http://domain/page2xxx.html
Redirect 301 /page3.html http://domain/page2yy.html

etc.

Is this the best way?

#14 Webnauts

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:41 PM

Pete if you are asking about the homepage redirect, I need a clarification.

 

Before you added the redirects, when you typed in your browser domain.co.uk/index.html did it redirect to the root? Like i.e, domain.co.uk/? Or if you typed domain.co.uk/ did it redirect to domain.co.uk/index.html?



#15 Pete

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:44 PM

It went to the root, I think I had 

 

 

DirectoryIndex index.html
 

in the .htaccess

 

Currently I am back to:

 

 

 

Redirect 301 / http://domain.com/
 

 

but adding it after all the individual page redirects, seems to work that way.



#16 Webnauts

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:58 PM

Pete, to be honest I do not really understand what you mean.

 

Still wanted to say the following:

 

If your old domain had 2 canonical versions "/" and "/index.html" and you are redirecting to the new site "/" or "/index.html, you may have a loss of PageRank.

 

And what do you mean with that the homepage dropped off? From Google's index? If you type in Google's search box: site:domain.com doesn't the homepage show up? If yes, in which position?

 

If it does not show up as #1, type in Google's search box: site:domain.com "your main targeted keyphrase" and tell if the homepage shows up and in which position.

 

Just want to figure out if you are hit from an over-optimization filter and if you are probably looking in the wrong direction.


Edited by Webnauts, 28 January 2013 - 02:59 PM.


#17 Pete

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:38 PM

Sorry the forum is not allowing me to quote you, I get this error:
 
You have posted more than the allowed number of quoted blocks of text
 
So I'll use italics/bold for your quotes
 
If your old domain had 2 canonical versions "/" and "/index.html" and you are redirecting to the new site "/" or "/index.html, you may have a loss of PageRank.
 
No, it was only ever redirecting to domain.com .
 
I very briefly had a redirect from index.html to domain.com as it was the only way I could get  the old homepage to redirect to the new one and still have the individual page redirects, but then I found that if a put Redirct301 / htpp:newdomain.com sfter the individual redirects, then it worked nicely.
I'm aware not to have links/redirects to index.html, only to the root /
 
And what do you mean with that the homepage dropped off? From Google's index? If you type in Google's search box: site:domain.com doesn't the homepage show up? If yes, in which position?
 
Yes, the site shows fine for site:domain.com 
 
What I mean is when the new site first showed in Google, it was no 1 in the SERPS for a couple of main keywords search. Exactly the same as the old site, so that was good. But the next day it disappeared for that search phrase, or at least it is not on the first few pages.
 
So basically the old site was getting great SERPS, now it's moved, it briefly took on the same SERPS then disappeared. Bit of a disaster really.
 
 
 

Edited by Pete, 28 January 2013 - 03:40 PM.




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