We recommend to customers that they do not change their domain name if they already have a website live on the Internet. There are several reasons why we give this advice:
- Many search engines discredit, or at the very least “sandbox” new domain registrations. This is done in an attempt to stop new “spam” websites from appearing in search results. Domains that are at least a year old seem to hold more credence in results; generally the older the better.
- Other sites might already be linking to your old domain name. Changing the domain may render those links invalid costing you valuable inbound link “juice”.
- Most search engines frown upon mirrored websites. That means websites that have identical contact but several addresses. This can get you penalised in Search Engine results.
“I want to change my domain name, what should I do?”
First ask yourself the question “Why?” What is your reason for changing the address you have? If you cannot think of a reasonable answer then don’t do it.
If you do have a valid reason such as your company name has changed then make sure you don’t have duplicate content on the web. Set up a 301 redirect from the old domain to the new one. This tells the search engine that your website has permanently moved to the new address and is regarded as the only way to inform users of the old address that it has moved, any link “juice” will be applied to the new site instead.