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Changing a domain name on an existing website

  1. Marisa Wright profile image100
    Marisa Wrightposted 7 years ago

    Can anyone tell me, if you see a chance to get a good domain name for an existing site, is it worth changing?

    I chose "shoes pointe" for my ballet website because I thought it was a good search term - but that was before I learned to use the "exact" match on Google Keywords.  Now I realise it's not that good after all - and much better names are available.

    The trouble is, of course, that I've done a fair bit of backlinking and all that would be wasted if I change the domain.  I started the site in February - do you think it's worth making a switch?

    None of the available domain names are exact search terms, but I do have a choice of URL's that include an exact search term.

  2. WryLilt profile image91
    WryLiltposted 7 years ago

    Take anything I say with a grain of salt big_smile - but:

    Is there any way of keeping your old domain and either redirecting it to a new one OR somehow using both in a way that allows the second one to bring you more traffic? I know a lot of people who register the .com, .net, .org versions of their name and redirect them all to their sites. Could you do something along those lines?

    How good is it, really? Are we talking a few hundred views a month or a few thousands? And how many of those buy/click? I guess if you work out the exact dollar value that it would be worth to you, you could decide if all your SEO work is worth losing or not.

    Interested to hear what others say on the topic...

    1. Marisa Wright profile image100
      Marisa Wrightposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      You and I are thinking along the same lines!  Since the site has only been around since February, it's not doing much yet.  That's why I'm thinking it might not be a huge loss to change it.  I'm just not sure how much a redirect affects page rank.  I mean, should I buy the new domain and redirect it to the existing one, or vice versa?   Does that mean I need to keep both names going forever?

  3. TerryGl profile image60
    TerryGlposted 7 years ago

    I would suggest selling the original domain and then start all over again with the new one.

    Refresh the content, original theme, good solid back links etc..

    1. Marisa Wright profile image100
      Marisa Wrightposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I wish I was one of those people who could keep on spitting out new versions of existing content.

      The articles on the site are there to help buyers, I have nothing to add.  If I were to create a new site on the same topic, I wouldn't feel comfortable regurgitating exactly the same information in different words.

  4. TerryGl profile image60
    TerryGlposted 7 years ago

    I see your point.

    I have never been in favour of site redirects. When ever you put your site through a seo checklist, it often has a section if the site redirects or not.

  5. lrohner profile image82
    lrohnerposted 7 years ago

    You've already got 136 backlinks to the site, or something like that. Are you sure you want to redo all of that? Granted, a bunch are from HP and a bunch are from that other site whose name I refuse to utter smile --but that's a whole lot of work to change those, and way too many to throw away.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image100
      Marisa Wrightposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Kinda what I was thinking.  Mind you, almost half of them are on my articles and Hubs so I could go and change them. 

      It's just that I can see some much better domain names now - tempted, tempted...

      1. lrohner profile image82
        lrohnerposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        I'm not saying don't grab the better names. Just seriously weigh the pros and cons of redirects vs starting all over again.

        Edited to add: And you're right, about half of your backlinks are from two sites--but doesn't Google only see those 60 or 70 backlinks as two? Doesn't Google only count one link from each domain?

        1. Marisa Wright profile image100
          Marisa Wrightposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          Very good question!   I've often wondered whether there's any point writing multiple Hubs to promote my websites.

          I haven't worried too much about it, because I also write the Hubs for their own sake, so they're double duty.  I'd be interested to know the answer, though.

  6. lrohner profile image82
    lrohnerposted 7 years ago

    For what it's worth, here's a discussion about it on the Warrior Forum: http://www.warriorforum.com/adsense-ppc … klink.html

  7. Marisa Wright profile image100
    Marisa Wrightposted 7 years ago

    Thanks, you're a gem!

  8. profile image0
    Tilecleaninghubposted 7 years ago

    Domain name is so important that this is a no brainer especially for a site that has only been around 6 months.  Change it asap and 20 years from now you will thank yourself for it.

  9. timorous profile image84
    timorousposted 7 years ago

    Hey Marisa;
    I changed my domain name to match the most popular keyword(s) [according to Google's Keyword Tool], for my website, after 4 months.  I didn't have more than a handful of backlinks, so it was no big deal as far as that goes.

    However, in order to make the new domain name the 'top-level' domain, I had to have my webhosting service wipe out all my pages and folders for the old domain name.  They created a new set of empty folders under the new name.  I then uploaded the old stuff to the new domain (after changing the top of page graphics, and any other instances of the old domain name of course).

    By the way, my web host didn't charge anything to do all this, but you might want to check with your host first.  Unless you're moving the old domain to a new host server, you don't need to change the domain registration for the old one.

    I then created a second domain folder using the old name, and uploaded all the old pages to that domain.  I then wrote a re-direct file to point all the old pages and images to the new domain:

    redirect 301 / http://www.[your new domain name]

    You save that file as .htaccess  and put it in your root folder.

    Oh yeah...you also need to write a new robots.txt file, and a new sitemap.xml file.

    After a bit of trial and error, it worked fine.  It did result in a bit more traffic for a while, and moved my website up to the 2nd page of Google search results, and #1 at Yahoo.  However, I've been busy with other things and haven't put as much time into as I ought to.

    If you use Google Analytics, you can keep track of both domains and see how the traffic for the old one drops off.  I've only had one hit for the old domain name in the last 2 months.  I'll just let it lapse until the year runs out on that domain name.

    Hope that helps a bit.  It's a bit of a bother, so you'll have to weigh the pros and cons for your own situation.

    Best of luck. smile