Search Engine Marketing Q&A - 2
By Jill Whalen - April 01, 2004
Question 2: Switching to a New Domain Name
I have always enjoyed your newsletter and personal email responses because they are so direct and easy to understand. I am hoping you can continue that precedent with this question.
I have a customer that has been known by Google for quite awhile. We have had moderate success with SEO.
However, the customer now wants to drop the domain name in favor of a new one.
Do you have any advice on how to "swap" domain names for a website in Google without adversely affecting rankings? My fear is that if we suddenly drop the old domain name, Google will take a while to catch up and continue ranking the site effectively. Thank you so much in advance for any insight.
P.S. This feels like that episode on Seinfeld where Jerry is attempting the roommate swap and George keeps yelling "No! No! It's impossible, don't even think it!"
LOL at the Seinfeld reference!
All you've gotta do is set up a 301-permanent redirect (at the server level) from the old domain name to the new and it should work itself out with Google in about 2 or 3 months. The other engines aren't so great at following the redirects and will probably use the old domain name, but there's not much you can do about that. At least people will get to the new domain once they click on the link from the engine.
Question 3: Submission Services
I have been a longtime fan of your newsletter and appreciate your help with many issues. I have a question which I am sure is not new to you. I have been using Inktomi for all my URL submissions and have been quite happy with their programs. Now the new Overture Site Match is in place and we have no choice but to use this service when adding new URLs. I DO NOT want to use this new service; I think it is unproven and way too expensive for my taste and for my customers.
Are there any other services for submitting your URLs at a basic cost per page (relatively cheap like $25 per page) out there? And what search engines do they subscribe to?
Whatever you decide, do NOT subscribe to any automated submission service or buy any automated submission software. You will be throwing your money completely down the drain if you do.
However, the good news is (as I mentioned last week) that you absolutely do NOT need to submit your URLs to Yahoo at all. They will find and index all your pages for free if you just give them a crawler-friendly site and the time to do so.
Remember, most of you don't need Overture Site Match for your sites. Chances are your pages are already securely listed for free.
Question 4: Importance of a Site Map
I've read that a site map is a very important aid to search engine spiders to help them navigate your site. Is it necessary to have the site map on all pages of your site, or is just the home page sufficient? (We have a fairly small site -- less than 20 pages.) Thanks for your input!
For a small site it really doesn't matter. I would assume your site is easily navigable by the search engine spiders and people. If it is, then you really don't need a site map at all. If you already have one, that's fine too. A link from every page to the site map certainly won't hurt.
Site maps are a great way to make your pages accessible through fewer clicks, plus they're a wonderful opportunity for you to create nice, descriptive keyword-rich hyperlinks pointing to every page of your site.
Jill Whalen of High Rankings is an internationally recognized search engine optimization consultant and editor of the free weekly High Rankings Advisor search engine marketing newsletter. She specializes in search engine optimization, SEO consultations and seminars.
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