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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot ComposerRyan's Avatar
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    Changed my website domain name to a new one. What steps do I need to take now...

    Hello, I changed my domain name to a new one a couple of days ago. I still own my old domain but it is pointing to my new domain.

    Here are my questions:

    1) What steps do I need to take to "alert" google on the new domain name?

    2) Also, should my old domain remain pointing to the new one or should I "park" it until it expires?

    Any other advice please let me know! Thanks for your help out here as always,

    Ryan

  2. #2
    Non-Member Waraas's Avatar
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    Does the other domain have a lot of backlinks? If so dont let it expire.

    To change the domain, do this:

    RewriteEngine On

    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^(.*)

    RewriteRule ^(.*) http://www.site.com [L,R=301]

    Also, 301 all of your old pages to the new page on the new domain. If you have a lot of pages, than just get the important ones.

    Add this too:

    php_flag register_globals on

    ErrorDocument 404 /index.php

    You can either send the 404 traffic to your index (which I do) or make a 404 page.

    Also make sure ALL your links have the new domain url.

    I did this a few times and I never lost my rankings, maybe for a few days, but other than that the new domain went right back to where the old domain used to be.

  3. #3
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    From the Search Engine Optimization FAQ:

    I just changed my domain name. How can I switch without losing my rankings?

    You'll need to do a 301 redirect from the old domain to the new domain. Fortunately this is not difficult to do. You'll need to add the following lines of code to a file called .htaccess and place it in the root directory of the old domain:
    Code:
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(www\.)?old-domain\.com$ [NC]
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.new-domain.com/$1 [R=301,L]

  4. #4
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waraas View Post
    Add this too:

    php_flag register_globals on

    ErrorDocument 404 /index.php

    You can either send the 404 traffic to your index (which I do) or make a 404 page.
    Not so much an SEO nitpick (since it's not), but just redirecting your 404 errors to the home page can confuse your site's visitors. However, as you said, you could also create a 404 error page explaining what happened (in this case switching the domain name) and ask people to update their links and bookmarks accordingly.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard
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    having done the redirect, how does your earned se position influence your se position of the new domain? does it get carried over, or do you lose what you had and start over?

  6. #6
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    It gets carried over, like with everything else. It basically works the same way as leaving a forwarding address when you move.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard
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    that's good to know. thanks.


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