SEO Factors To Consider When Changing Domains
Domain Names and SEO go hand in hand. Today we are going to take a look at when you want to switch a domain name from an old one to a new one. There is a lot to consider before making this BIG decision and hopefully the information below can help you make your decision.
Always ask yourself these questions to better understand the situation:
- Is the domain a brand new domain or an existing domain?
- Who controls the domain?
- Will you be forwarding the old domain to the new domain?
Reason behind question #1: Most experts agree that you should register your domain for a long time, because search engines factor domain “stability” when looking at your pages. So, it’s possible that the old domain you want to move away from is older & more stable than the new one. In such a case you would want to stay with the old domain name. You can look up a domain age at whois.net and do a WHOIS search.
If it’s a brand new domain name it’s important to realize that it’s going to take a long time to build stability and trust with the search engines. Google does not want to place fly-by-night domains in its index. Google wants to provide it’s users with stable, quality domain names that are reputable.
It’s also possible that the old domain has far better organic rankings already than the new one. Ask Search Optics to run an SEO ranking report on the old & new domains so you have as much information possible.
Reason behind question #2: Where is the domain name registered? This is important because in order to make changes to the domain you’ll need to access the domain control panel. It’s very possible than in switching domain names you are also switching where the domain name is hosted. For example, you might be switching your domain name & website from one hosting environment to another. In this case you would have to change the name servers of the domain name. This is also important in case you need to forward the domain to a new location (see below for more information on domain forwarding).
Reason behind question #3: From an SEO perspective you always want the old domain to forward to the new domain. You can accomplish this using a 301 redirect. A 301 redirect is a method of telling web browsers and search engines that a web page or site has been permanently moved to a new location. A 301 redirect should be used whenever a website is moved to a new domain name (URL) so that search engines will quickly change their indices and, in theory, preserve the search engine rankings that the site had at the previous domain. If you want to keep both domains live and active, you’re risk losing search engine rankings and are essentially starting the SEO process all over again on the new domain.
There are many things to consider when you want to switch your current domain name to a new domain name. If you have any additional questions on this subject please email firstname.lastname@example.org.