As you know, I had rebranded my old blog domain to Blognamic dot com. I did some research and of course, gathered a few advices from the experienced web guys before i actually did the correct way. Doing the correct way is important as it ensures that you will not lose any SERP rankings and get blacklisted by the big “G”.
The Wrong Way
This is what i have done wrong and is NOT recommended. My old blog name is derek-ang.com, therefore to rebrand the blog, my initial thoughts was to parked my new domain, blognamic.com to the directory in my server that my files is located. So for example, derek-ang.com and blognamic.com will be parked to /sites/blog ( the same directory path). However, this is a big mistake in terms of SEO. For technical aspects, it works perfectly fine. However, in SEO, search engines DO NOT LIKE duplicate content. Parking the 2 domains to the directory will results in duplicate listing in the search engine when they spidered your site. And this ultimately can result in your website being blacklisted by search engines.
The Recommended Way
The following steps are the best practices when moving your website to a new url; rebranding
1) Sign up for Google Webmaster Tool
2) Verify the ownership of both your website.
3) Create 301 redirects from old url to new url.
4) Submit change of address to inform Google webmaster team that you have change your url.
5) Submit sitemap for new url so that Google can index your new url pages.
How to create a 301 redirect
This is where some technical parts come into issue. Configuring 301 redirects is a relatively simple process that consist of only 2 steps. ( However, configuring 301 redirects differs from different webservers).
Step 1 - Edit your httpd.conf file to allow 301 redirects
Add “AllowOverride All” to the end of the configuration file. After all save the file and restart webserver ( apache) to allows changes to take effect.
Step 2 - Adding .htaccess file for adding 301 redirect entries
To redirect from old site to a new website. Below are entries that you need to enter.
redirect 301 / http://www.newsite.com/
redirect 301 /about/ http://www.newsite.com/about/
So what the above entries do is to rediect http://www.oldsite.com to http://www.newsite.com and http://www.oldsite.com/about/ to http://www.newsite.com/about/
After you have create all entries for your page, save the .htaccess file ( name the file as .htaccess) and upload into the root directory of your old website location.
It is recommended to create page by page redirects so that you can ensure that all pages in your old website are redirected to the new website successfully. After one day, login to Google webmaster tool to see if there’s any crawlers errors.