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I’m just after a bit of advice please?

I have a company that has rebranded recently. There is currently two seperate domains set up for them where the content is fundamentally the same apart from where the company name is mentioned.

The newer site has therefore been created with the new branding with the intention of taking down the old site at some point. However, I’ve always been reluctant to do this as the old site does very well for particular keywords (probably because of the age)

I’ve read a few things but just wanted to ask what is the best way to go about decommissioning the old site? Is it a case of going through 301 redirects. If the original domain ceases to exist will these be read?




  1. 301 is the best way i could think of.

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  2. 301 Redirects are an excellent 1st step. When search spiders crawl your old site, they will see & remember the redirect. Because of this, the relevance of your old site to certain search terms will be applied to your new site.

    Great. Now that you’ve handled traffic coming in from search engines, what do you do about other sources of traffic? Remember that 301 Redirects will only work on non-search-engine traffic for as long as you maintain the old site…

    Next you’ll want to contact the web masters of any sites that link to your old site & inform them of the change. This way when you retire the old site their links don’t go dead, loosing you traffic. Keep an eye on the “Referrer” field in your logs to see who is currently linking to you.

    Lastly, you’ll want to keep the old site doing redirects for a while longer so that folks who have bookmarked your old site will have the redirect cached by their browser. “How long?” you ask… Well I’d keep an eye on the web logs of the old site. When the non-spider traffic drops off to near 0, you’ll know you’ve done your job right…

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  3. I think 301 redirects are definitely the best place to start off – it is an easy way of letting the Google spiders know that they should travel to your new site instead, which means you will still have the benefits of the old site for keywords, but they will move to the new content you are setting up.

    But the downside of this, of course, is that if you completely take down the old site, you get nothing, and the same with if you don’t maintain its SEO updates.

    This ends up being a lot of hassle, so what we tend to do is we go through an overlap period of a few months so the new site can be better established and then remove the old one.

    While you are doing that, you want to be moving your links over too – so contact web masters and get them on board with the move so that you can keep all that ‘link-juice’ flowing.

    Ultimately though, the age of your website does have a bit of an impact on your SEO, but if you are starting from scratch with the new one, you can craft it with SEO in mind and make it more attuned to it right from the outset.

    If you fail to implement proper redirects when migrating a website from one domain to another you will instantly lose any traffic to your website you currently enjoy.

    It is also important to convey your old domain’s search engine rankings to the new web address – or your website will effectively be starting from zero visibility, in search engines at any rate.

    Buying old domains and redirecting them to similar content shouldn’t be a problem. Even when redirecting pages, I usually make sure page titles and content are very similar on both pages if I want to keep particular rankings.

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