• http://www.poundGetSome.com JasonRubacky

    Same results I received when changing my domain from my personal name to a brand name. Just take your time and MAKE SURE you get every post, category, tag etc.

    I found pulling the sitemap and going line by line was a pretty easy and painless process.

  • http://www.jordansilton.com jsilton

    Since you are 301 redirecting everything one-to-one from nutsonline.com to nuts.com, that should help engines understand that you wish to permanently move all the “authority” of the old domain to the new on. That said, you still have the history of nuts.com to account for.

    Old domain names (especially one-word ones that may or may not have been bought purely to generate cash) don’t necessarily get a clean slate just from a transfer of ownership and/or new site. Sometimes domain history can have an impact. For example, did either engine penalize the nuts.com domain under previous ownership? This does add to the complexity of a domain transfer, but nobody said it was easy!

  • http://legeaz.net dezea

    This is an interesting article. But, have you looked at the queries that the webpage does no longer rank for?

    Imho “online” is a valuable keyword for this niche, mostly because obviously a lot of people want to buy nuts online. Google keywords tool shows 40500 monthly searches only for that keyword combination. I think the ‘online’ in the domain was quite usefull and was helping the site rank better.

    Before moving the domain, the seo firm should have checked the search querie data from the website’s account and check wether nut the domain name plays a role in ranking for specific keywords. In this case I have a hunch it is about keyword combinations with the ‘online’ term ;)

  • http://libertywebmarketingandseo.com/ Scott

    My personal experience in the SEO time lag for Google has changes significantly since Panda. Pre-Panda was about 3-5 days, but now it generally takes anywhere from 1-5 weeks to see anything rebound from significant change. (i.e. Large backlink campaigns, 301 redirect, etc.) However, recently a client changed from a web 2.0 site to the WordPress platform, and with the help of “Fetch as Google-bot I was able to re-index all 9 pages over this past weekend. Despite what people may think, Google has continued to implement substantial changes across the board and changes as significant as that done with the transformation from nutsonline.com to nuts.com may simply call for a little patience…
    I will note, however, that Google Places has been all over the place! I’ve had clients drop from the 1st page to the 3rd page with no changes having been implemented (I think its going through an update?? ;-))

  • http://www.inkode.co.nz Aidan

    Hi Jonah
    Interesting one.
    So other than what you had covered above there were no other changes (design / cms / site structure) – every redirect matched one for one?

  • Paul

    Sorry to hear about your problems, but it seems that you forgot the Number One rule which always have existed when changing domains and is nothing new.

    - Do NOT change anything else

    I have recently changed domain names for 6 websites and 5 of them either had the same or better rankings within one week and the other one took a few weeks more before everything was back to normal.

    IMHO it has always been the case that when either changing ownership of the domain or changing domain name for the same content, the most important rule is to not change anything else until the change has completely settled in and all rankings and number of visitors have returned to normal. As long as that is not the case, do not change anything else.

    But since it is too late already, the best remedy IMHO is now to simply acquire a few high quality backlinks and wait. It sucks, but the way the change has been done just had a way too high risk, a risk that has been here for many years and is nothing new.

  • http://milkmen.com/blog Cody Baird

    Thanks for sharing your experience in detail. I am in the planning stages of a major switch for a client right now. I am going to make sure that I prepare them more for the painstaking task. I wish I knew how much of the penalty was based on social signals.

  • http://www.wyoming-interactive.com Robert Innes

    Nice article, clearly laying out the steps followed. Love these 1st person accounts of projects.

  • Lance Long

    Considering the outcome, what about keeping nutsonline.com as the store and develop nuts.com as a blog/content/corporate domain? Or visa-versa depending on the strength (profitability) of the URLs.

    Certainly wouldn’t be good advice in a perfect world but this obviously requires drastic measures.

  • http://rick.ly/myplusprofile Rick Bucich

    It sounds like all the key steps were taken care of. What nags at me was the per-existing penalty. A reconsideration request only addresses manual penalties, it does not address algorithmic ones and it sounds like there may be some still in place.

  • http://rick.ly/myplusprofile Rick Bucich

    Follow ups to my earlier comment.
    1) When using site command, your home page does not appear first which I find troubling.
    2) most of the existing backlinks to nuts.com go to the www, not the indexed version and look really spammy, I tried to visit one and received a virus warning.
    3) nutsonline.com 301 > http://www.nutsonline.com before 301 > nuts.com

    Sure sounds like you could use some really quality contextual backlinks to overpower the spammy ones.

  • http://rick.ly/myplusprofile Rick Bucich

    OK, one last thing, anytime a user goes to the login page regardless of whether they log in or not, all subsequent navigation is SSL because the links are relative.

    Many of those pages are set to noindex, nofollow, others have a canonical tag back to http. I’d rather see all the navigation set from SSL pages to absolute to avoid the situation.

    Makes me nervous having users navigation on useful pages that are being blocked from the index. What if sharing occurs naturally?

  • jet20

    I don’t think this is due to the change of domain names alone but specifically the domain the client changed to. While it COULD be the bad backlink portfolio the previous site owner has built, Google should be well aware of the change of ownership due to the reconsideration request.

    Due to my own experience, however, I suspect there is a different “handling” (read: algorithmic down-ranking) for domain names which are forms of English language keywords (such as plural form “nuts” from “nut”), maybe due to the wide spread spam abuse of such keyword domains in the past.

    My own domain also is the plural form of an existing English word and has seen a remarkable decline for its primary keyword (domain name) from page 1 to page 5 exactly around that time (January), even without me changing domains! Note this is only on Google and Bing still shows it on pole position! This makes me believe that Google introduced a ranking factor that penalizes such domains for no obvious reason. My reconsideration request is still running…

  • http://connect.icrossing.co.uk/ Modesto Siotos

    I agree with Paul 100%.

    Changing too many things whilst changing domains is too risky. If things go wrong, then it is very difficult to figure out where the problem is.

    Moving a domain of 200,000 indexed pages to one with just 6,000 doesn’t sounds good. All pages (even duplicate ones) pass internal link equity which makes me think that by resolving the duplicate content issues the site’s overall link equity dropped significantly.

    Also, did you you try to contact webmasters of authoritative backlinks to link to the new domain? Given that you’ve lost all likes, tweets etc that must have contributed to the drops.

    Building new, authoritative links and bumping up the social metrics on the new domain is the way forward.