I want to move to a new domain, but I worked hard to get my site where it is today — how badly will my SEO suffer if I move to a new URL?

Debating a domain name move is a lot like debating a move in real life. You’ve put a lot of hard work into your current abode…but you’re eyeing a sparkling piece of real estate that looks too good to pass up.

Is it possible to make the leap without ruining all your past SEO efforts? In other words: can you have your domain name cake and eat your SEO, too?

Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about switching domains.

1.) Will moving to a new domain affect my search engine rankings?


Sorry, folks, but there’s no way around it: your rankings will be affected by a domain change. Your URL plays a huge part in your rankings, and switching it up is bound to change things. An online marketing company can help you jump-start your new site with link building or social seeding campaigns, but it’ll take some time before the search engines can recognize the switch and index your new site. However, there are some important steps you can take to minimize the damage.

The most important step is to set up a 301 permanent redirect for your old site that redirects traffic to your new site. According to SEOMoz, a 301 redirect passes anywhere from 90 to 99 percent of your link juice to your new URL.

2.) Will it hurt my SEO to keep both domains?

Well, it certainly won’t help. You’re diluting your efforts by having two domains. Other sites will have to choose between linking to your new site or your old one, and they certainly won’t choose both. Giving yourself a 301 redirect will concentrate your efforts on one site.

However, you don’t want to redirect straight out of the gate. Get your new domain up and running and post some content before you give your old site a 301. For more information, Danny Dover wrote a terrific guide covering everything you need to know before moving your site to a new domain.

3.) What about moving a blog? Why can’t I just keep both blogs running?

Ouch. That’s a mighty big task you’re trying to pull off. Here’s why that’s not such a good idea:

  • It’s confusing to your audience. Which site should they bookmark? Which blog is the “official” blog?
  • It divides your efforts. Unless you’re trying to run two blogs with two separate audiences, you’re better off concentrating on just one blog.
  • The search engines hate duplicate content. If you’re planning on writing one piece of content and posting it on both blogs, don’t. The search engines frown upon duplicate content, and you’re diluting your link building potential.

Moving in the digital world sucks just as much as moving in the real ones. Take heart: with a lot of care and a little 301 bubble wrap, you’ll be enjoying the perks of your new digs in no time.

Whether you have an established domain, or you’re just starting something new, let us help! Enter to win a free link audit from us before January 31st.