Maintain SEO While Redirecting Your Domain [How-To]
Though redirecting domains is rare, during the transition, you run the risk of weakening your SEO. Sometime entire domain is redirected and this can severely affect your SEO.
Having said that, it does not mean that you shy away from a domain redirect, especially if it essential to your organization’s needs and requirements.
Here are some ways to ensure that your SEO efforts of old domains utilized and PageRank maintained.
1. Registration of old and new domains with Webmaster Tools
This is a good way to ensure that your website is crawled, indexed and cached. Ensure your earlier domain is registered in Google Web Master Tools. If not, provide the current XML sitemap. Then, under the same login, include your new domain and repeat the same procedures.
2. Ensure corresponding domain pages for consistency
After deciding the pages to be retained, create URLs. Have a related page for every page on the old domain. Excluded pages can be set as a redirect to an error page.
3. New domain XML and HTML Sitemap
Submitting an XML sitemap for your new domain will give Google a list of the new pages on your website. This will quickly get your new website crawled and featured in the index. HTML sitemaps facilitate easy crawling and relevance for search engine bots on your website.
4. Build 404 Error Pages to redirect visitors to your site
The custom 404 error message as opposed to the “Page Not Found” error message, allows you to redirects visitors to a page on your new domain and will guide them that they are on the your site.
5. Provide fresh links to new domain
While Page Rank is passed on during 301 redirects, finding indicate that 1%-15% of a web page’s PageRank is lost in the process, which impinges, SERPs rankings. Providing links will help draw to more visits to your domain.
6. Permanent 301 redirects where needed only
At the time of migration, incorporate permanent 301 redirects on a need basis. Direct the un-wanted pages to a custom 404 error page.
7. Notify GWT of new address and monitor error pages
Confirming the new address within GWT notifies search engines about your new domain. It should be done after the launch of your new domain.
8. Update with web directories
Update both the free and paid web directories with your new domain details.
With these points, you now have a reliable checklist of things to watch for when transiting domains. So cast your deepest SEO fears aside and get moving on your plans to redirect your web domain – some thing you’ve been wanting to do for a very long time, but not sure about because of the fear of loosing your page rank.
Kaushal Gandhi is Director at Aaris Internet Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Aaris is SEO company in India. Kaushal has conceptualized SEO Traingulation Method to get desired ranking. In addition, he is also a passionate blogger and writes on diverse topics such as Search Engine Optimization, PPC Management and Social Media.
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