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Moving A Site From One Domain To Another

Written By Samrat| 14 July 2009| 9 Comments

Moving a site from one domain to another is not an easy job. Moreover, even if you do it, it has many damages attached to it. Here is a tip of how to move it with minimum damage.

Lets us start with Process Overview

Before moving make sure the following few steps are taken seriously:

  • Give a thought on Need Vs. Risk in Switching Domain Names.
  • Give a quick look on the nature of the move either whole or partial transfer or anything else.
  • Also give a thought on what you are going to expect in terms of indexing time and rankings.
  • More to this, take care of the registration of the domain and also the IP neighbourhood.

Now let us check The Move

  • Prepping XML sitemaps
  • Duplicate content issues during the move
  • Nature of URL / URI changes
  • Moving the content – Caveats for databases
  • 301 Redirections

Next consider the Post-Move check

  • Review the referring sites and also the backlink profile
  • Even think on what to do with the old site

Understanding Moving Site In Details

NEED VS. RISK

Mostly domain name changes takes place for due business reasons. If the reason is weaker than the previous domain or the business relies on search engines then be prepared for the following:

  • Rankings will drop temporarily
  • The restored rankings may not be as strong as before.
  • Increase in work
  • Increase in risk
  • If everything is not done perfectly then rankings might tank for months and months

NATURE OF THE MOVE

Work involved in moving are as mentioned below:

  • Shifting to new domain and also transferring all or partial content
  • Splitting some content to new domain for either PR purpose or marketing purpose
  • Shifting to new domain and also changing URI structure
  • Shifting to new domain and also changing the content.

EXACT EXPECTATION

The time taken for indexing for a new domain after it has been redirected:

  • Google – May be at least one month
  • Yahoo – It can be between 1 to 3 months
  • MSN – Within a month

The time that is expected to achieve competitive rankings:

  • Google – 2 and 4 months or more
  • Yahoo – 1month
  • MSN – 1 month

NEW DOMAIN REGISTRATION

While registering make sure the following:

  • Use Archive.org to ensure whether the domain is entirely new or not
  • Use: http://www.seoegghead.com/tools/what-is-hosted-on-that-ip.seo to ensure that the IP address is exclusive or not.

THE MOVE

  • Temporarily block the indexing from search engine with Robots.txt before any content is moved:

User Agent: *
Disallow: /

  • Be sure that the old as well as the new domains are registered and verified with Google Webmaster Tools
  • Also be sure that the two sites have complete XML sitemaps submitted andverified in Google Webmaster Tools
  • Don’t forget to remove the Robots.txt block on crawlers after the move

POST MOVE

  • The top referring sites should be examined via your analytics package and then contact the site owners of your important referrers to update their links
  • Next do examine backlinks with Yahoo Site Explorer and contact the webmasters to update their links.

DO KEEP READING AND DO KEEP COMMENTING. WE WILL COME BACK WITH SOME MORE IMPROTANT AND USEFUL TIPS.



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