You can cite plenty of reasons why you want to change the domain name of your website. It could be that the domain name contains a more generic keyword, and you hope to make it more personal by using the business name. It is also possible you want to institute a total makeover, and you begin by doing something into your URLs. Another plausible reason is you simply do not appreciate the domain anymore.
Changing URLs and domains is actually easier said than done. In fact, it carries several issues that you need to seriously consider before you try to do something about them.
Search engines, most especially Google, prefer aged domains. The fact that they have been around for years only means that the owner is a serious online businessman, is real, and has proven himself relevant to the keywords he has chosen. Old domain names also signify that the website is helpful and / or is applicable to several Internet users.
Old domains find it much easier to penetrate search engines, especially if there are new URLs created. They also tend to appear at the first, second, and third SERPs (search engine result page).
When you change your domain, there is a huge possibility you will no longer enjoy this privilege. Search engines are very blunt. If your domain is new, your website will be treated as a beginner entrant to the World Wide Web. It will take some time to have newer pages indexed. Most of the time, you may not even find your business URL in the top five page-search results.
If you are trying to increase your global reach, you know that this is going to be bad for you.
Another potential problem will be the links. Considering your old domain has been around for years, there could be multitudes of inbound links, which, unfortunately, you cannot carry over to your new URL. This can have a profound effect to your search engine rankings as links going to your website are significant to getting a good page rank.
Creating redirects is also not easy. You may have to rely on the expertise of people who are into HTML coding and PHP programming. The most common remedial steps when applying redirects include the following:
First, you need to send special instructions to the search engines, which are called 301. This means when someone clicks on your old URL, he or she will be redirected to the new one.
Second, you have to manually inform your visitors to delete the old URLs in their bookmarks and use the newer ones.
These processes can be such a hassle. If the redirects are not done right, this can result to search engine and user issues. The latter may find themselves opening a page that reads “Content Not Found.” They may be forced to look for the information they need elsewhere, such as to your competitors. Dead links can also pull down the value of your webpages in search engines. Unless you can correct these inactive links, it will be difficult for you to gain a better page rank for your new domain.
If branding is your main reason of why you are changing your domain, you are better off with creating a blog and have it included among your webpages.