I Screwed Up My Redirect. Can I Get My Rankings Back?

Description: Is everything lost if you try and redirect an old URL to a new one and make an error? Here's the answer.

There are easier things to do online than to create a brand new domain name and try and move your current website so that it's attached to your new domain instead of your old one.

It's possible to do it and hang onto your rankings by redirecting people temporarily from the old address to the new one, but if this process goes wrong you will lose your rankings within the search engines and you'll have to start again from scratch.

Why is this? Despite the fact that your site essentially remains the same, the search engines look at each individual URL as being just that - individual. It seems that although the search engines have plenty of complex algorithms and robots to do their crawling for them, they can't recognize an old site under a new name.

In short, if you mess up when it comes to redirecting people (including the search engine spiders) from your old URL to your new one, the only comfort you will have to fall back on is the fact that your site itself is well established and has all the elements in place to start ranking highly under your new domain name in as short a time as possible, although this can still take a while to achieve.

This is why it's essential to plan ahead when you are thinking of changing your domain name. A good rule of thumb is to only change it if it's absolutely necessary. Don't do it on a whim. And if you do decide to go ahead with it make sure you are familiar with all the steps and you know exactly what to do, because you only really get one shot at getting it right - and there is a lot of traffic and ranking points at stake.

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