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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Altering domain name for SEO purposes

    I have two domain names, one which is already indexed and has been up and running for 4-5 years (abc.com), the other is a better name that is more SEO friendy (xyz.com).

    I understood simply hosting the sites using aliases is not good as Google interprets this as duplicate sites? Therefore I have creating a separate hosting account for xyz.com and removed ALL the abc.com website files apart from the home page, which I have coded a 302 Permanent redirect (using asp.net). I have also ensured asp.net files not found redirect to the home page.

    This all works well, but I am concerned that visitors who have bookmarked the abc.com website pages will simply be redirect to xyz.com without knowing why? How can I solve this problem?

    Have I dealt with this domain name moved correctly?

  2. #2
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    Well, you have no power over the backlinks. If people linked to ABC.com, the link will stay that way until they manually change it. Besides a permament redirect (301) there is nothing you can do.

  3. #3
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    Put a 301 redirect from all of your pages in the previous domin to the new site not just homepage, when a visitor arrives to your new site, check for the referrer and put up a small notification on your site stating that you have moved the site to new domain. Thats all you can do.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Thanks for the info guys, much appreciated.

  5. #5
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    One thing about 301 redirects, Microsoft Live / MSN don't support them. Only Yahoo and Google do But luckily most traffic is from Google anyways Cheers.
    Daryl Quenet, Web Developer / SEO Consultant
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  6. #6
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Not only that, but you shouldn't just move the site over to the other domain name just because the other one is more "SEO friendly" unless you're willing to accept the short-term hit that will accompany moving an established site in the first place. And even with the 301 redirects, there's always the chance the "short term hit" may end up becoming "long term suicide" anyway.

  7. #7
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    I agree with Dan. If your site is even just moderately successful in the search engines you shouldn't be messing with it. A new site can consider this option. An older site really should think twice about doing something like this. It usually isn't necessary or helpful anyway.

  8. #8
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    The backlinks to the old domain name are most likely worth a lot more for SEO purposes than a better domain name would be. You could of course park one domain on top of the other and then set up the appropriate rewrite rules to replace all the references to the one domain with the other for when the page actually loads.
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  9. #9
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    Question keyword domain redirects

    So the thinking behind penalising duplicate content is to stop webmasters from buying in keyword domains and have them all redirect to one site? Am I right in thinking that?

    So I have found a fab domain which will get me high up in the google search results (top 5) but I need to redirect it to my existing site and just doing that will cause how much damage?

    Has anyone really tested this out or have any advice?

    BTW - Hi, I'm totally new to this forum - looks good so far.

  10. #10
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mummygeek View Post
    So the thinking behind penalising duplicate content is to stop webmasters from buying in keyword domains and have them all redirect to one site? Am I right in thinking that?
    The purpose of eliminating duplicate content is to:

    1) Have webmasters actually publish useful content instead of polluting the Internet with stuff that already exists

    2) Allow the search engines to serve up more relevant results

    Search engines don't care about domain names other then possibly deriving a page's meaning by clues within it. But they do that with all sorts of things like the entire URL, page content, markup, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mummygeek View Post
    So I have found a fab domain which will get me high up in the google search results (top 5) but I need to redirect it to my existing site and just doing that will cause how much damage?
    1) Unless you are targeting a very long tail/uncompetitive keyword a domain will never get you into the top 5. I think you are giving domains way more value then they really have.

    2) Redirecting an extra domain to the existing site will not help or hurt your SEO.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bigalreturns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mummygeek View Post
    So the thinking behind penalising duplicate content is to stop webmasters from buying in keyword domains and have them all redirect to one site? Am I right in thinking that?
    Welcome to SP Mummygeek!
    Redirecting another domain to your website will do absolutely no harm - if it did then you could buy domains and redirect them to your competitors to hurt their rankings.
    And I hate to disappoint you, but a fab domain, while it will help, pales into insignificance when compared with the content of the site (and hence the links it will receive). For example, even if you owned news.com, you're going to struggle to displace the BBC, Google News etc. from the top of the search results for news!
    Last edited by bigalreturns; Jan 22, 2008 at 11:38. Reason: hmm feel I may have just repeated what Stymiee said - note to self, read posts more carefully!
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  12. #12
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    Thanks for the replies.

    Now I have read a whole load more on redirects and SEO I realise that my question was kind of irrelevant - I'll ask a more pertinent question next time.

    In any case:

    I have found a domain that would get me a good google position since there just isn't that much competition. I have checked out the other top 5 sites and seen their google/yahoo/altavista ranks and links etc... and they do not seem to be working too hard at their SEO (low numbers of links to get high search results) Their domains are good keywords and it is this that makes me think that buying a good keyword domain would be a great step up the SEO ladder.

    This domain "greatkeywords.eu" seems like a great place to start even tho' our business name is different. As the competition is not fierce I'm planning on establishing our site and its popularity and then I can perhaps 301 redirect to "ourcompanyname.com" domain at a later date whilst keeping the rankings and indexing that we've built up with greatkeywords.eu

    Does this sound like a reasonable course of action?

    Mummy

  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bigalreturns's Avatar
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    I would do it the other way round - 301 your companyname.com to greatkeywords.eu. Although your option is probably less confusing for users, which is an issue, I'm pretty certain the SEO benefits of 301ing a good domain to your site will be minimal, even if its well established and ranks well.
    My course of action would be to decide which domain I want to use, and direct all my SEO efforts at that domain. Sell off/forget the other one. If the competition is not fierce I'd stick with ourcompanyname.com, as you don't need a keywordy domain to rank well.
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  14. #14
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    If the competition really is that weak then you don't even need to worry about the domain name as good markup and a decent link campaign will solidify a high ranking. That way they don't have to worry about switching the domain name or having a domain that doesn't match their business name. Don't go out of your way for SEO. You're chasing the wrong thing if you are.

  15. #15
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    The only major benefit with having keyword domain is that when people link to a site, they generally use the name of a site i.e. domain name as anchor text and when your domain is a keyword in itself, you'll naturally get backlink with those keywords, hence higher position in search engines for those keyword.

  16. #16
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dman_2007 View Post
    The only major benefit with having keyword domain is that when people link to a site, they generally use the name of a site i.e. domain name as anchor text and when your domain is a keyword in itself, you'll naturally get backlink with those keywords, hence higher position in search engines for those keyword.
    That's not the only benefit. Having the keyword in the domain also influences the search engines directly just as if that word was in the page title or content.


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