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Research Custom Domain Name Changes, First

As custom domain publishing becomes simply one more feature to add to your Blogger blog, some blog owners decide that the domain that they are using, right now, is not to their liking.

Fortunately, with a Blogger blog, the process of changing your domain to another is not complicated - hoping that you have the right tools, and make the right decisions.
  • Buy (as required), and setup, a new domain URL.
  • Publish the blog back to BlogSpot.
  • Publish the blog to the new domain.
All that considered, there is a fourth step which many blog owners manage to overlook - until long after they have completed the third.

One of the features of custom domain publishing is to increase page rank / reputation / visibility.

Try to retain reputation from the old domain.

When publishing the blog to a non BlogSpot URL, the vast majority of all Blogger blog owners, when changing the blog from one custom domain to another, will do well to plan a third step.

  • Forward the current domain to the new published URL.

Too many times we see the plaintive cry in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.
I just bought a new domain for my blog - but the previous URL is now 404!
This is a common complaint, for some blog owners who do not think the process through, before starting the domain swap.

Retaining reputation, acquired to date, is not going to be easy.

For too many blog owners, the third step is not, at all, obvious.

But how do I forward the domain?

Too many custom domain owners don't know how to use the Domain Manager wizard provided by the registrar - or (in the case of "Buy a domain" customers) have not even setup the Google Apps domain manager desktop account, which provides access to the Enom or GoDaddy Domain Manager.

For these blog owners - and any blog owners contemplating a domain change - I'll add a fourth step to the process.

You'll need to use tools provided by the registrar.

  • Do some basic research - find out how to access, and how to use, the Domain Manager wizard.

And do this new First Step before you need to report

I just bought a new domain for my blog - but the previous URL - and all my search engine hits - are now 404!

and preferably before starting

  • Publish the blog back to BlogSpot.
  • Use "Buy a domain" (if possible), and publish the blog to the new domain.

A "301 Moved Permanently" redirect - which is what you will need - is setup differently, for different registrars. Some registrars, such as GoDaddy, even have different nameservers which are setup differently - and which require redirection to be setup differently.

Try to get the proper instructions from your registrar - so the individual post URLs are properly redirected - if your registrar will support such redirection.

You're going to lose search reputation - at least, temporarily.

After you properly complete the above procedures, don't expect to see an immediate transfer of page rank, reputation, and visibility to the new published URL.

You need to plan ahead, and consider the issues, when changing domains - just as you would plan the rename of the blog, and as you would plan the custom domain migration. You'll find that changing the custom domain published URL involves issues from both of the latter changes.

Too many #Blogger blog owners, with blogs published to custom domains, decide that a different domain name would be better for the blog. They buy the new domain, and rename the blog, without doing any planning for the change.

They find that the old domain URL is still referenced, after the change - and the blog is not being re indexed, under the new domain URL, quickly enough. As search position drops, they discover that they failed to plan the URL change.

Before Changing Your Custom Domain Published Blog, To Another Custom Domain, Do Some Research
Research Custom Domain Name Changes, First


Unknown said…
I've lost my search functionality after doing this - any ideas as to why or fixes?

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