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Moving blog to new domain : Advice and welcome feedback

Many lawyers and other professionals start a blog on blogger or typepad and then wish to have a blog with more features, a better design and its own domain name. Most often they are looking looking to upgrade to Moveable Type or WordPress. At the same time, they do not want to start over in getting good search engine results as is apt to happen with Google’s penalizing new domains and losing links to your current blog.

Darren Rowse at problogger has a nice post and follow up comments on the subject. Darren cited a post from Matt Cutts at Google where Matt discussed changing domains using his own domain as an example of the domain being changed:

All other things being equal, I would recommend to stay with the original domain if possible. But if you need to move, the recommended way to do it is to put a 301 (permanent) redirect on every page on mattcutts.com to point to the corresponding page on someotherdomain.com. If you can map mattcutts.com/url1.html to someotherdomain.com/url1.html, that’s better than doing a redirect just to the root page (that is, from mattcutts.com/url1.html to someotherdomain.com). In the olden days, Googlebot would immediately follow a 301 redirect as soon as it found it. These days, I believe Googlebot sees the 301 and puts the destination url back in the queue, so it gets crawled a little later. I have heard some reports of people having issues with doing a 301 from olddomain.com to newdomain.com. I’m happy to hear those reports in the comments and I can pass them on to the crawl/indexing team, but we may be due to replace the code that handles that in the next couple months or so. If it’s really easy for you to wait a couple months or so, you may want to do that; it’s always easier to ask crawl/index folks to examine newer code than code that will be turned off in a while.

A good deal of discussion on the subject follows via comments to Matt’s post.

Not something the average professional non tech person is equipped to handle but something that can be considered and acted upon by development companies. I’ll be discussing Matt’s advice with LexBlog’s IT Manger and Web Producer – better yet, I’ll ask them to add a comment here.

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