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Changing Domains and SEO Implications

00:00 on Mon, 8 Jun 2009 | SEO | 0 Comments

A common but fairly difficult question to answer is, "I want to change my domain name, will I lose my rankings?". The answer is, "it depends".

There are a lot of factors that come into play when changing domain names and how successfully you manage to rescue existing search traffic. Sometimes things don't go so well.

I thought it would be interesting to log changes we've made and determine how positively / negatively the move from furtheronline.co.uk to further.co.uk has impacted us.

The action we have taken so far:


Domain moving checklist

1) The URL structure was kept the same, so we have used wildcard 301 Redirects from old pages to new.

2) Internal links were initially set up as relational, so there was no need to change these.

3) Removed the old URL from Google Webmaster Console and added new domain.

4) Removed old XML sitemap and recrawled site with new domain, uploaded and verified.

5) Changed domain over in Google Analytics.

6) Changed domain over on Feedburner.

7) Remembered to repoint the e-mail.

8) Tested and fixed a few URL dependent things (such as our search position check tool).


Current situation

Currently when searching on Google, the old URL www.furtheronline.co.uk is still being displayed. However, using a site: query we can see that the new www.further.co.uk is indeed, indexed.

With the amount of trickery, tom-foolery and general nasty tricks SEOs have played on Google using 301s and 302s, it is not surprising that Google is very cautious when changing over search results.

So far, no traffic change / disasters. I'll keep you updated.

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