How can I change my URL without losing good google rankings?

  • netribution
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi,

Forum newbie and not sure if this is the best place to ask this.

Basically in 1999 I set up a website - netribution.co.uk - which got good traffic and google rankings (no. 1 for terms like film funding, film network, etc) even now three years after the site was last updated properly in 2002.

I'm now looking at relaunching the site - but would like the domain to be less UK focussed - so have got the domain netribution.org on which I'm planning to build a new php based site (the last one was all html).

So my questions this - is it possible to move the site across in some way so that google recognises the new versions of the old pages (eg netribution.co.uk/interviews/rachel_weisz/1.html will become something like netribution.org/content.php?interviews=rachel_weisz ) with the same interest? ie by using auto redirects or a slow transitional period from one to the other.

Secondly - will google rate this site less favourably. I recently set up http://www.ukfilmfinance.com with a php CMS structure, and this ranks terribly, despite links from the front of netribution, and sites like the BBC.

Hope this is clear - and thanks in advance

n
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  • vetofunk
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I would not recommend it. A big factor in ranking is the length of time a site has been live on the net. If you have done good work with this URL, it could become a real authority site, something you don't want to give up...but if you are going to still start up with a new domain, I think you should read up on 301 redirects.
  • Bompa
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Although I don't completely agree with vetofunk that the time online
plays a huge role in ranking, I do agree that changing your URL is
not going to be an easy, smooth transition.

If you had only a few pages on the first site, you could 301 redirect
each one of them, but more than that is awkward at best.

I suggest that you first rethink your goals here. Is it really that
the .uk bothers you or are you just in the mood to write php?

Personally, I think the .uk adds character to the domain name.


Bompa
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks for the replies.

No I'm not up for PHP programming :D I'm actually only in the process of learning how to code anything with PHP at the moment, so the less new things to learn the better!

It's really the uk thing - good if you think it adds character, but I'm sure there must be people in the rest of the world who will be put off posting news / information local to them if they think it is a British site. Maybe I'm wrong.

The site still gets 5-8,000 page impressions a day of which maybe half comes from engines. There's about 4,000 html pages there (although done with Dreamweaver Templates) so putting redirects in would be a bit tricky.

Is there an easy way to mirror the site at netribution.org and encourage new visitors and links to point to that. Then after 12 months (or however long it takes) netribution.org would be recognised as a serious live and active domain..?

Cheers
Nic
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Bompa wrote:
Although I don't completely agree with vetofunk that the time online plays a huge role in ranking,

You need to do some reading up yourself on Google's Patent application(s) last year. :)

Google's Patent application itself states that site longevity (both how long it's been alive already, and how long it's still registered for) plays a pretty decent part in how well URLs on a particular domain are ranked.
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Axe wrote:
Bompa wrote:
Although I don't completely agree with vetofunk that the time online plays a huge role in ranking,

You need to do some reading up yourself on Google's Patent application(s) last year. :)

Google's Patent application itself states that site longevity (both how long it's been alive already, and how long it's still registered for) plays a pretty decent part in how well URLs on a particular domain are ranked.


Hi Axe,

So are you saying that the very act of applying for a patent is proof
that Google is actively employing everything contained within every
patent application?


Bompa
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netribution wrote:
Is there an easy way to mirror the site at netribution.org ...



Well, if you mean what I think you mean, you could redirect everything
from domain1 to domain2 with

redirectMatch 301 (.*) http://domain2.tld$1

But please do not trust me on the exact syntax of that. please do some
research on '301 redirects'.


Bompa
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Axe wrote:
Bompa wrote:
Although I don't completely agree with vetofunk that the time online plays a huge role in ranking,

You need to do some reading up yourself on Google's Patent application(s) last year. :)

Google's Patent application itself states that site longevity (both how long it's been alive already, and how long it's still registered for) plays a pretty decent part in how well URLs on a particular domain are ranked.


That is just a patent. A patent is on an idea. It does not say that any of the ideas in the patent are actually being used. All large scale testing so far on the time a site has been live have been inconclusive to date.

I can patent any idea to make sure someone else does not beat me to it, but that in itself does not make that idea valid or even viable.

The fact is, I have a site that is 4 months old ranking better than sites that started in this sphere years ago. So until large scale tests are conclusive, I have to disagree that time is a factor also.
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I did say the time factor played a role...but that was if you have done good work with this URL, it could become a real authority site, something you don't want to give up. If the site was put up, but no seo work was done as far as related links, quality directories, it would only make a up a small factor. But if you did good seo for the past 6 years, I bet any one-two year old site would have a hard time matching the positioning in the engines of a 6 year old site.

For a new site, your going to get sucked into this "sandbox" of Google. This has been debated time and time again, but something is there, that delays any new site from getting good positioning for a long time, depending on the industry.

I don't think to many people get turned off by the domain name. Of course I would never recommend keyword-keyword-keywords-kewords-online.com. If you have good prices and can show that you are a trusted site, your good to go.
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Bompa wrote:
Hi Axe,

So are you saying that the very act of applying for a patent is proof
that Google is actively employing everything contained within every
patent application?


That may have been how it looked, but no, that's not what I meant. People were been seeing possible evidence of this before the patent was submitted, and people have seen the evidence through experimentation since the patent was submitted.

I've got about 35 domain names right now, and the ones that I've had for several years (basically just parked with a single "Under Construction" page until I get around to creating the site), generally get Google exposure much quicker than those I've registered recently.

I've also seen that even with new domains, those that are registered for 4-5 years in advance also get more exposure quicker than those I register for just 1-2 years.

Search engines like to see that you've been around a while, and they also like to see that you're going to be around for a while. If you don't have faith enough in your own site to register the domain for a few years, why should the search engines show faith in your site?
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Axe wrote:
I've got about 35 domain names right now, and the ones that I've had for several years (basically just parked with a single "Under Construction" page until I get around to creating the site), generally get Google exposure much quicker than those I've registered recently.

I've also seen that even with new domains, those that are registered for 4-5 years in advance also get more exposure quicker than those I register for just 1-2 years.

Search engines like to see that you've been around a while, and they also like to see that you're going to be around for a while. If you don't have faith enough in your own site to register the domain for a few years, why should the search engines show faith in your site?


Good debatable comments, and i understand your thinking on this, but as far as I have seen and any large scale testing has shown it just is not the case currently. Whether it will be in the future is anyones guess.

We registered a site 5 days ago, launched it yesterday officially. Today it is sitting at #11 for one of its main 2 keywords, and #160 for its other already.
  • Axe
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But what's the competition like on those keywords? And is your site going to stay there?

New sites do get bumped up short-term, I've seen this too often in some of my domains when I register them for the first time, they start off on page one of my chosen keyword results, then they disappear into oblivion within a couple of weeks. Then out of the blue after a year or so, they'll start ranking highly again (with minimal page changes or additions - and without soliciting any backlinks).

And, like I said, then there's the domains I've just had sitting around for a couple of years, that rank highly when I actually get a site on them, then continue to rank highly, none of the effects I've noticed in the above example.

Short-term, the only real solution is regularly adding new content (new PAGES of content, new URLs), so that those URLs are getting the "new content effect" and coming up highly for a week or two before being bumped down.

Like you said, the observations are debatable, but I've never seen any of the large scale testing you've mentioned that confirms beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is not the case.

If you can show me with some reputable reports, I'd be really interested in having a look at them. :)
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Axe wrote:
...If you don't have faith enough in your own site to register the domain for a few years, why should the search engines show faith in your site?


No offense Axe, but I don't think SERPs are about faith.
  • Axe
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Let me rephrase.

The fact that you register your domain for several years shows the search engines that you are serious about your website. Google sees this as a positive sign and thus influences how Google positions your site accordingly.

That better for you?
  • nuclei
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Axe wrote:
But what's the competition like on those keywords?


very competitive.

Quote:
And is your site going to stay there?


Damnit, my google crystal ball broke!!

Quote:
New sites do get bumped up short-term, I've seen this too often in some of my domains when I register them for the first time, they start off on page one of my chosen keyword results, then they disappear into oblivion within a couple of weeks.



Yes, we have seen this also on quite a few sites, but never forreally competitive keywords. Only semi competitive and lower.

Quote:
Like you said, the observations are debatable, but I've never seen any of the large scale testing you've mentioned that confirms beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is not the case.


The ones I have seen done in bulk by DP, seochat, and webworkshop members have all been inconclusive. They didnt prove or disprove. Thats why I said above that I dont feel it is there yet. That was my opinion based on what I saw. Just as yours is yours. Either case is prolly debatable, but with the majority of tests inconclusive, it wouldnt last too long :P

Inconclusive = majority go with unknown, which means not an issue to worry about yet.
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Axe wrote:
The fact that you register your domain for several years shows the search engines that you are serious about your website. Google sees this as a positive sign and thus influences how Google positions your site accordingly.


Or they could get a patent which says they *could* use that data, then watch all the SEO's scramble to register their domains for another 5 years and hit em all in one shot :P

The arguement for them using it has too many holes to exploit.
  • Bompa
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Axe wrote:
[
...generally get Google exposure much quicker than those I've registered recently...

I've also seen that even with new domains, those that are registered for 4-5 years in advance also get more exposure quicker than those I register for just 1-2 years.


Hi Axe,

Hope you don't think I'm attacking you, I'm just trying to understand
and clarify what you are saying. In your previous post, you said:
"...plays a pretty decent part in how well URLs on a particular domain are ranked."

In the above quotes you seem to be talking about
'quickness of exposure'. I don't mean to nickpick, but did you mean
the same thing with those two expressions?

I mean, quick exposure is different from ranking, right?


Bompa
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Yes, quickness of exposure is different from rankings, but if you're not showing up in SERPs at any decent rank, you're not going to get any useful level of exposure through the search engines.

By exposure, I mean people actually seeing your site coming up in the results.
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"We registered a site 5 days ago, launched it yesterday officially. Today it is sitting at #11 for one of its main 2 keywords..."

I'd like know what competitive keywords you saw jump up to #11 in 5 days and remain there.
  • nuclei
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Btw what are you asking for a side button on phpsector?

Nice site btw. You obviously put a lot of work into it.
  • Axe
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Nope, I'm seeing it at #10, reg'd only like 3 days ago.

BUT! let's see how long it stays there :)
  • nuclei
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Axe wrote:
Nope, I'm seeing it at #10, reg'd only like 3 days ago.

BUT! let's see how long it stays there :)


Oh I agree 100% on that. As I said above, my google crystal ball broke, it may be there a few days, it may stick and stay. But it can be done again, which hasn't been possible in awhile now.
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If it sticks at #10, somehow you got past the "sandbox", which is very rare.
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It actually is now #26, however I know why. I lost a prominent link when a well known blog entry got moved off the front page. I expect it will be back on first page in a couple days :)
  • vetofunk
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Well, keep us updated.

I would like to still see this on a pretty competitve keyword. This keyword has about 119,000 results, but seeing this in the 500,000+ results range would be pretty amazing.
  • nuclei
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Maybe you didnt read it right :P

Results 1 - 10 of about 95,600,000

95 million results is not a bad number at all :P
  • vetofunk
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You need to put them in quotes to get the correct amount of results for the individual term.
  • nuclei
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True enough. That would give a better identifier. Still not bad for competitiveness tho.
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Yeah, I am still amazed that is was able to get that high in such a short term. But as Aex said, we need to see if it stays there.
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vetofunk wrote:
If it sticks at #10, somehow you got past the "sandbox", which is very rare.


Okay, I promise, (fingers crossed behind back), this is the last time
that I will try to wake up my fellow webmasters that have been
mezmerized by the term "sandbox".

Have you heard of the SERP contest they had at searchguild?


They annouced a term "nigritude ultramarine" that had zero
results with a Google search at that time, and told all those interested
to try for the #1 SERP.

There would be a #1 winner after one month and another #1
winner after two months.

All the participating webmasters knew that the particpant with the
most links would win, (most links with high PR actually). There was
no debate about that.

They had a winner after one month and they had a winner after
two months. The contest ended in July this year and both those
winner's pages are still in the top ten.


Give it up. There is no such thing as a Google "sandbox".

Stop living in an illusion.

Snap out of the hypnotic affect of that term.

If ten people or 100 people say it true, that does not make it true.

Stand on your own feet. Take your brain out of neutral.


Bompa
/end rant
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