How do I change the name and URL of my website without losing visitors and Google search placement?
September 14, 2008 7:39 AM   Subscribe

How do I change the name and URL of my website without losing visitors and Google search placement?

I want to change the name and URL of my website. It currently receives 3000 uniques a day. About 90% of my traffic is from outside sources such as Google, or others that have linked to my content. How do I change the name and URL so that my visitors can continue to come find my site, and so I don't lose my top 1-3 positions on the Google search pages for my terms?
posted by rintako to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Do you still have control over the "old" URL? You could leave it there, search terms intact, with a redirect to your new site, encouraging people to update their bookmarks...
posted by jozxyqk at 7:56 AM on September 14, 2008


I've gone through this. You want a 302 Permanent Redirect at your old URL. Google will catch on pretty quickly, and then you can take down your old URL. Are you using a CMS to manage your content? What web server?
posted by AaRdVarK at 7:59 AM on September 14, 2008


I'm using Wordpress 2.6, what do you mean by web server? The domain is a dot com.
posted by rintako at 8:24 AM on September 14, 2008


Where do you host it?
posted by AaRdVarK at 8:25 AM on September 14, 2008


AaRdVarK is right, except that a permanent redirect is a 301.
posted by theichibun at 8:34 AM on September 14, 2008


You could leave it there, search terms intact

Don't do this. The duplicate content penalty is brutal.
posted by mendel at 9:21 AM on September 14, 2008


As someone who has done this before under the supervision of someone much more technical....you need to do a 301 redirect on every page of your old website to the relevant page of your new website. You write the 301 redirect code in your .htaccess file - either write one line of code for each individual page like so:

redirect 301 /old/old.htm http://www.you.com/new.htm

or be a lot smarter than me and find the formula for doing many pages at once. If you're using wordpress you may not have a .htaccess file, so create one in notepad and upload it to your server using your ftp. You upload it to your root domain folder.

I think by web server AaRdVarK meant who you're hosted with (?) If you're really not technical it's worth finding a friend who is to do this for you!
posted by cardamine at 1:18 PM on September 14, 2008


Whoops, my bad. Yes, you want the 301 Permanent Redirect.

Do NOT duplicate the content. Google will brutally punish your PageRank.
posted by AaRdVarK at 7:24 PM on September 14, 2008


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