This post is in light of my experience with moving from dailyseoblog.com to dailybloggr.com, so whatever I’m talking about here is pure experience, practicality and substance, no blah blah (like you’ll find elsewhere).
As you might have already known, DailySEOblog.com is no more, and the site changed its name to dailybloggr.com, with a complete revamp. DailySEOblog used to enjoy a traffic of roughly 50,000 visits & 73,000 page views per month on an average.
Most of the traffic was search engine referrals (~65%), with Google.com topping the most referred channel followed by Stumbleupon.com, RSS feeds and Twitter.
Two weeks ago (Feb 14th, 2010), the domain change was live with a 301 redirect on the old one redirecting all the old URLs to dailybloggr.com. And here are the stats since then.
And the referral traffic stats.
Alexa too is looking good with a bounce back from the domain change days.
You can clearly see the “transition” around Feb mid when the domain change occurred.
So how did the domain name change and transition happen overnight ?
Well, actually it didn’t happen overnight. Like some of you had noticed (and asked me on Twitter), the 301 redirect had been implemented some 5-7 days prior to the site revamp.
Step 1 – Diverting all the Google traffic via a 301 redirect
I used a htaccess, mod rewrite rule to 301 redirect all the traffic as below.
As you might already know, a 301 redirect is the best way to tell search engines that your site has moved permanently. This might not get done immediately, but the idea is to wait and get all the referrals get stuck with a 301 board and once most of this is done, you’re somewhere close to the transition.
( Things to remember while doing a 301 redirect )
- Make sure you pick a static version of the new site (in my case the www version) and create rules so as to move all the other versions of the old domain (wwww, non www and all other versions) to the static version. This is important or things can get worse later on creating one or more versions of the website.
- Make sure you register the new site on Google Webmasters tool and select the static version of the site as your “preferred domain”. Do NOT leave this option unattended.
- Test the 301 from various IPs, if possible from regions. Get some social media help here, if you have friends elsewhere.
Step 2 – Getting the SERPs right, changing all the old listings to the new domain
You won’t have direct control over this, well neither does Google. So all you got to do is do the steps necessary to help the bots do a neat job.
- Submit a new sitemap, via Webmasters central.
- Get some links via good authority web pages, if you can.
- Wait patiently.
It took me around a week to completely get all the old serps to feature the new site name, and even now the transition isn’t complete. You’ll find the dailyseoblog.com stamp on many SERPs listings, but most of this is done, so I assume the rest is under process. Nothing to worry. Also, this is only a minor issue if you care much about the brand. Because anyways if you have the 301s in place, all the search traffic will be properly redirected.
Step 3 – Getting the ball rolling
This is just an additional step you do just to make sure that everything falls in to place. And not all SEOs would be keen on this but I am. What you do is, create some social media friendly content, and “promote” it on the social media channels. Technically it means nothing to an SEO, but this is sort of a “nailing it down” process. I didn’t have much problem here, but sites that have low traffic and lesser google visit frequency might have a problem in speeding up things and getting the major chunk of URLs redirected right. You can leverage on social media here. What you do is get as many traffic as possible from various social media channels, get your content out there, and get as many “human” clicks in. As I’ve mentioned in one of my older posts, search engines these days take into consideration some amount of “social presence” as a factor in deciding the authority of a website. If not everything, they mean something. I mean, if Google doesn’t know about a website but lots of people around the world are flocking around it, wouldn’t Google jump in and get the site indexed ? It should in my opinion. So this step is all about that. You do it, if you can. No obligations.
Step 4 – Getting your settings & tentacles right
By tentacles I mean all the other things you have for your sites presence. RSS feeds, AdSense ads, Bookmarking Options, Custom search result pages, Email subscription options, Email addresses, Twitter feeds etc.
By now, Dailyseoblog has almost all of its SERPs listings moved to the new domain, and the rest of them are on the way. Backlinks to the old domain have been successfully traced back to the new domain. Things are looking good except with some glitches like being unable to change the facebook fan group name, but you got to live with it I guess.
I might have missed mentioning some crucial info here, but feel free to ask if you have anything for me to clear.