Change Domain Names Without Losing Your Rankings
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Change Domain Names Without Losing Your Rankings

31/07/2016

Your domain name affects your SEO, so changing it might damage your rankings, even if the new option is better optimised. This can cause lots of problems and require a major investment in marketing to improve the situation.

Professionals can use a variety of tools in order to change domain name and retain your original positions in search results. Some of them are:

Purchasing an old domain

This would be a good way to get a domain with a decent ranking right from the start. It’s imperative to check its current status, though, as some domains that are for sale are banned by search engines. There are specific tools that allow checking the history and of the domain with major companies (Google, Bing, etc.) and you can even look up the way the website used to look like in the past.

Even an ex-banned domain can be rehabilitated when purchased. To do this, you’ll need to file a reconsideration request with search engines. After the matter is settled, you can start transferring your website.

Setting up a ‘Coming Soon’ page

Do this as soon as you purchase a domain and before actually moving your website over. This will allow search engines to find it and start indexing right away. This also helps the AI running the search engines to understand that your coming page is real and not a ‘parked’ one.

Transferring small parts of the website first

When you decide to change domain names, you don’t necessarily have to lose all the good points associated with your current website. You can extend the transfer and move only a portion of the pages first.

This way, you get to test the transition process and observe your new website to spot any problems. Use the time to check how much the move affects your rankings and if everything works out, transfer the rest of the pages.

Redirecting old pages to new ones

This process entails changing URLs and it would be much simpler to accomplish if you keep your current website structure. If not, you’ll need to note down all changes so that the URLs are replaced correctly.

It’s possible to use a page redirect that allows to keep the majority of relevant metrics attached to the page, including links, PageRank values, etc. However, it’s important to update backlinks anyway as no service is perfect, and you need to be sure that they remain active. You can focus only on the most relevant links to save time. A specialised Backlink Analyzer tool can be used to track all the links back to your pages.

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