View Full Version : Rename

03-09-2007, 02:40 PM
What do you do when you buy a site with a name you do not like? More importantly, a name you feel will hold it down? What if it's already a popular and well-linked website?


03-09-2007, 02:59 PM
I assume you plan on keeping the domain name, so I'd say rename the site. If the domain name remains the same renaming should only help.

03-09-2007, 03:03 PM
Sorry, I should have elaborated. Let's say the domain is the same as the current name of the website -- and you feel that the domain, in some ways, will hinder the growth of the website (even though it's already a fairly successful website).

What would you do?

03-09-2007, 03:15 PM
It depends upon how bad the existing domain name is and how good the new domain name is. It also depends upon how well linked to the existing domain is.

You could always shift to a new domain and use .htaccess on the old domain to remap all requests to their proper place on the new domain via 301 redirects.

03-09-2007, 06:04 PM
Well, it's more or less a hypothetical situation so I don't have many specifics; I'm just wondering if this is something you would consider, if you were in this situation.

03-10-2007, 08:20 AM
I did exactly this to one of my sites back in 2000. In the early days of my website and before it gained focus I registered the name KLBProductions.com, which I planned on using to promote my web development services and put what is now my environmental chemistry site on that domain (it had been on a EDU domain as I was in college). Then I decided to mirror my site (as was common back in the late 90's), which is when I registered EnvironmentalChemistry.com. In the beginning I was calling my site "YOGI'S Behemoth" as I was adding lots of stuff on different topics (in 1998 it had 300 pages which was a lot for back then).

The section of the site that was attracting the most attention was the chemistry stuff so I kept my focus on that section and phased out other areas that weren't very popular. Eventually I decided that the name "YOGI'S Behemoth", while cute wasn't descriptive nor useful for helping people remember how to find my site. As a result, shortly after registering EnvironmentalChemistry.com I renamed my site EnvironmentalChemistry.com, but kept the original mirror for about six months. About the same time the SE's started to take a dislike to duplicate content so I decided to eliminate the original mirror and move the site entirely to its new domain by putting in redirects from the old domain.

To this day one can actually get to any page on my new site using the old domain name as I use .htaccess to simply redirect requests to the new domain. This ensured that people didn't get lost if they used a link to the old domain.

Although I worked diligently over the years to find old links and request that they be updated, I'm sure I lost some traffic and some links out of the move.
At the same time I think the improved marketability of the new domain name and site name has probably generated more traffic than would have been generated using the old poorly thought out names.

Really you need to weigh the cost of losing the history of the old domain against the value of the improved marketability of the new domain.

05-28-2007, 06:23 PM
It's a tough situation. The website has a ton of backlinks, as is.

Technorati reports it has about 50,000 links from blogs. It should be noted that a substantial amount of them are from the same websites; myspace, livejournal, etc. For what it matters, it has a Pagerank of 6.

I think in the long run, years away, it would certainly help. That said, moving an already successful website to a new domain is practically suicide. It holds a few #1 spots on search engines, all of which would be lost. There are competitors that would love the opportunity.

05-28-2007, 08:30 PM
Hmm I'd be adamant moving, especially 50,000 links/PR6 site. However you're going to have treat it as an investment, e.g. take the loss now, and hope for payback in a few years time.

Can you afford the hit financially? Is it worth the time/hassle? Is there anyway you can build this new site up by its own?

05-28-2007, 09:00 PM
I can certainly afford the hit, but that doesn't mean I'll enjoy it.

That's what I'm thinking ZigE, maybe I'll build it separately -- then cross-promote it.