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Domains, WP and SEO

Sep. 29, 2014

A year or two ago, I bought webdesignblog.co, because I thought it was a good domain name, and I went at it. The site has grown well, and I came across webdesignblog.org a day or 2 ago. I bid (The price was low) and I won. This is kind of a multi-part question:

Will it benefit me more to go by webdesignblog.org? Does .org carry any more weight than .co? I have heard so much bs on SEO, like using 301 redirects, that my head is spinning.

I have 100s of posts on webdesignblog.co - If .org is better, how would I handle existing posts? Is there a plugin that will make this a snap? Should I leave things alone and just have webdesignblog.org point to webdesignblog.co? I could really use some good advice here. Thanks ManageWP community!

9 votes   Flag
Olaf Lederer

I don't think that one of the domain extension get's more trust by Google. For the .co extension it's possible that people put an "m" at the end and this .com domain points to a domain parking page. That could be a reason to use the .org variant. But how about links to the .co site do you have a lot of them? I'm sure a complete a move to the new domain will cost a view places in Google. If the .org domain is new and doesn't earned any trust it's another point to not use that domain. Sure you can redirect the traffic from that new domain to the old one.

Tim Nash

Hi James, let me start by prefacing my comments, with I use to run a company that provided tools to SEO companies, as well as doing risk analysis for large underwriters on peoples SEO campaigns. I.E I use to tell the people, underwriting loans, to companies, if that companies SEO strategy would work.

If you have a question that says 'will this effect my SEO' it's safe to assume you are doing it wrong.

If you migrate from 1 domain to another, it will inevitably have some impact on rankings, both in the short and long term. That's even the case from sub domains, for example moving from www.example.com to example.com. So if you move, expect a period of uncertainty, during the migration, you may actually see rankings and traffic go up (For a brief period, some new content will rank higher then old due to freshness, and two identical pieces may rank on same page etc etc), then down.

When migrating posts you need to make sure the redirects are handled correctly, this is where you need to do a lot of reading, installing a plugin and praying is not an answer. The simplest method, is to migrate the entire site onto the new domain, with the same url structure as before, and then 301 redirect the entire domain. so www.example.com/posts/ is 301 redirected to www.example.org/posts this sort of thing is done at the server level to be efficient.

The critical thing with any migration, is a user landing on the old site, should seamlessly be transferred to the new site and land on the same page so as to provide a consistent user experience.

With regard to links as Olaf suggested, links going to one domain, might not be valued on the second domain, normally with a 301 redirect (which is a way for a server to say this is permanent) the links are valued, but perhaps slightly diminished, so if you are migrating, you will want to keep both domains, and that redirect up, and make attempts to get new links to the new domain, along with maybe trying to see if you can get old links point to the new one as well.

However the big question, does moving help your users, it can be a lot of work, you need to get it right, screw it up and it effects your users experience AND your ability to reach new users. So unless their is a compelling reason to go through this heart ache, you might want to not make the move.

That said .co domains, are nice and short, but always look like they should be .com or .co.uk and so a lot of peeps maybe mistyping, as you don't have the .com that might be a reason to look at migrating. If you r rebranding, or perhaps thinking of selling content etc, you may want to weigh up trust factors surrounding the domain.

301'ing entire domain, probably safest option
However think carefully before doing that, you shouldn't migrate just for SEO.

Creative Beacon

Wow, thank you both! I knew that I would get a real answer here and not just SEO blubber. Thank you Olaf and thank you Tim, especially for the in-depth answer.


I am a new man in seo. Hope your help.