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How to change a domain name without loosing a SE position and Google rank.

Posted on 2004-10-26
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Last Modified: 2012-03-28
Hi ppl,
I'm wondering if I can change a domain name and hosting provider for a website and all this will not affect current search engines positioning and Google rank. I'm really new in this area an need an advise from someone that already did it or really knows how to do that. Please, provide as much details as you can.
Oh, almost forgot, it's URGENT! Very urgent.

Thanx.
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Question by:mikosha
    7 Comments
     
    LVL 33

    Expert Comment

    by:humeniuk
    There will definitely be an adjustment period, but the way to set it up so that Page Rank is to use a 301 Redirect (a permantent redirect - the proper way to signify to the search engines that your site has been moved permanently).  This will work better if your are simply changing domain names, but the website is essentially the same.

    How to do it properly depends on what server platform you are using.  In Apache, you configure it in the .htaccess file.  In IIS, you can configure it in your website config.  There are also PHP and ASP solutions to accomplish this.  The most important thing is that the http header for a moved page must come up as "HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently" - that is what you want the search engines to see.

    If you can provide more details about your configuration, we can help you find the right solution.
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    LVL 24

    Expert Comment

    by:duz
    mikosha  -

    You should be ok if you do things in this order:

    1. Put a copy of your site on the new server

    2. Update your dns to point to the new IP address

    3. Redirect your old site with a 301 to the new IP address.

    4. Leave your existing site up on the old server until you have been deep-crawled by the search engines that you are concerned about and you are sure that they have updated their databases.

    5. Take the old site down.

    Be patient - it is better to pay an extra months hosting than have your site disappear from the index!

    - duz
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    LVL 4

    Author Comment

    by:mikosha
    Thank you ,guys and sorry for delay...
    So the situation is like this : some company has a static website with domain name A. Pages from the website A have not bad posiition on search engines and good PR. Now company wants to launch another website :dynamic(PHP), db support, automatic mailing lists and much more stuff .
    Domain name of the new website will be also new (lat say B). So finaly, this company will have a new domain name and new hosting.
    What do you thik will be the best strategy to maintain this : to replace old website as you mentioned above ,to keep old one with links to new one till PR and SE position of new website will be ok or something else .

    After comments on this post, I promiss not to disappear and share quick good points :)

    Thanx a bunch.
       
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    LVL 33

    Assisted Solution

    by:humeniuk
    It will be harder to pass the benefits if the site is entirely different.  As mentioned, it works better when the directory structure, etc. is the same, but you're making a positive step in terms of functionality by moving from a static site to a dynamic site so don't worry about that.  In terms of how best to proceed, the clear step-by-step plan that duz provided is the best bet.
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    Accepted Solution

    by:
    mikosha  -

    >...comments on this post...

    As this is a totally new domain you will need an additional step between 3 and 4 above:

    3b. Contact all sites providing inbound links and ask them to change them for the new domain. (The best way to do this is actually provide them with the code snippet you want them to use).

    You had better warn your client that since Google will see (correctly) the new domain as a completely new site you may find the new site is nowhere in the SERPs for a few months.  If the new site is being deep crawled after a few days and you have followed the steps above then it's the best you can do and should work itself out ok.

    - duz
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    LVL 4

    Author Comment

    by:mikosha
    thank you both:)
    I hope nobody  will be offended by my ponts split.

    Michael
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    LVL 33

    Expert Comment

    by:humeniuk
    Just happy to be able to contribute :)   Good luck with your update.
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