The Effects Of Changing Site Details
  • Some people, regarded as experts, have said in the past that it is not a good idea to change the whois or hosting on a site, as this can affect search engine rankings.

    My only experience has been that a couple of years ago I changed the hosting on two sites and they immediately went in the sandbox.

    Now, I notice domains being resurrected after they have dropped, and I get requests for links from people that are "propping up" such sites for resale.

    What I see is that the search engines treat a dropped site as "down", and maintain pages in their cache. When the domain is re-registered, people can build a site on that domain, and if they keep the page names close to the original and use similar content, a little link building will bring the site traffic back and keep the page rank close to what was there when the domain dropped.

    I have been told that, as long as the rebuild happens quickly, the site ratings can be regained in at least two-thirds of cases.

    Given that a resurrected site built on a dropped domain has unquestionably changed its whois data and probably a different host, I have to ask how important it is not to change whois and hosting?

    In the same vein, a lot of people say "old" Adsense works best - what's the truth in this?
    Post edited by Unknown User at 2011-10-10 10:16:46
  • 1.) Regarding changing whois/hosting.

    When we buy sites, we almost always change the whois and hosting and it hasn't affected our search engine ranking. However, we are very careful that the switch is seamless with no down time. If you get down time or Google starts seeing a bunch of 404 errors, that can definitely hurt you. If you buy a domain and never change the whois info, you run a major risk of the old owner getting control of it.

    2.) Regarding expired domains.

    What you said is true. If you move quickly and make sure every old page has similar content and the same name, you can most likely keep decent ranking. Especially if the domain has a lot of backlinks in place and/or is listed in dmoz.

    3.) Regarding adsense.

    Are you referring to the old vs. new adsense interface or something different? Can you clarify? I personally don't have any experience with this.
  • In the same vein, a lot of people say "old" Adsense works best - what's the truth in this?



    Clarification:
    What those people mean is that Adsense blocks that have remained untouched and unchanged on the page appear to get "tuned" in some way by Google, so that they produce higher earnings than newer Adsense blocks.

    I am told that if you replaced them with new Adsense units, effectively the same but with channel tracking installed, you would experience a drop in earnings.
  • Very interesting. I'd be curious to get more details on this as well. Let me know if you have any links where people are discussing/writing about this.
  • [quote="chrismyates"]
    1.) Regarding changing whois/hosting.

    When we buy sites, we almost always change the whois and hosting and it hasn't affected our search engine ranking. However, we are very careful that the switch is seamless with no down time. If you get down time or Google starts seeing a bunch of 404 errors, that can definitely hurt you. If you buy a domain and never change the whois info, you run a major risk of the old owner getting control of it.

    2.) Regarding expired domains.

    What you said is true. If you move quickly and make sure every old page has similar content and the same name, you can most likely keep decent ranking. Especially if the domain has a lot of backlinks in place and/or is listed in dmoz.

    3.) Regarding adsense.

    Are you referring to the old vs. new adsense interface or something different? Can you clarify? I personally don't have any experience with this.


    So it seems like an expired domain with just a few backlinks might actually be better than one with a whole lot of backlinks, because if there are 1000 former backlinks then that would be pretty tough to rebuild but if there were 20 then you could rebuild those pages fairly easily.

    Is there any trick to get those links to resolve somewhere other than a 404 error?
  • [quote="David"]
    So it seems like an expired domain with just a few backlinks might actually be better than one with a whole lot of backlinks, because if there are 1000 former backlinks then that would be pretty tough to rebuild but if there were 20 then you could rebuild those pages fairly easily.

    Is there any trick to get those links to resolve somewhere other than a 404 error?


    1.) It's not so much the number of backlinks, but the number of pages that existed on the old site that causes the need to rebuild.

    2.) You can search archive.org or google's cache to see what pages existed on the site before you got the domain. I'd also recommend that you set your web server to treat all 404 errors as a 503 error. This tells the search engines the site is only temporarily down. Here's an article on that http://25yearsofprogramming.com/blog/20070704.htm. That gives you a little time to get the old pages back up. You could also set up a 404 notifier (i.e. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/404-notifier/) to email you when pages get hit that don't exist on the server.

    That should get you started!