WSJ Article on Redirecting a Website


There probably isn't much significant news in the WSJ piece, other than the fact they are writing about it.

[Topix], which is majority owned by media giants Gannett Co., McClatchy Co. and Tribune Co., paid a Canadian company $1 million for the Web address in January. Mr. Skrenta intends to switch his site over to the more popular .com Web address from .net soon to help eliminate confusion and increase credibility with consumers.

Such a simple change, Mr. Skrenta has discovered, could have disastrous short-term results. About 50% of visits to his news site come through a search engine -- and about 90% of the time, that is Google. Some companies say their sites have disappeared from top search results for weeks or months after making address switches, due to quirky rules Google and other search engines have adopted.
Mr. Skrenta is crossing his fingers as the changeover approaches, and he says he has no animosity toward Google. "It's not that they're bad guys," he says. "It's just that they didn't set out to wield this level of influence over the Net."

Anyone TWers move sites recently? How did they fair after the move? Any tips to make the move go smoothly?


It was fine

Each time I move sites the one just replaces the old one in the serps with little to no loss of rankings. I had one last week that went from number 3 to number 12 but that will probably rise back up over the next few weeks.

I reccently moved a site..

Moved my forums site to (where other domain does very well for 'keyword')

After the move the new location/domain still ranks #1 for - keyword forums - just like before the move.

Also though, the move to the singular in the new url means that I rank a lot higher for - keyword forum - than before.

Did nothing more than a 'permanent redirect' via IIS - thought it was worth the risk, and so far, after a week or so, it has only been good :)

That's a Big Site

Topix is a big site to move, even if you do everything right, moving that many pages is bound to cause a bump in the road somewhere. I remember Matt saying something about adding lots of new pages in the past

Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO ยป Scoble visiting the Plex

By the way, it looks like the primary issue with the Windows Live Writer blog was the large-scale migration from to about a month ago. We saw so many urls suddenly showing up on that it triggered a flag in our system which requires more trust in individual urls in order for them to rank (this is despite the crawl guys trying to increase our hostload thresholds and taking similar measures to make the migration go smoothly for Spaces). We cleared that flag, and things look much better now.

So they could always just give them a handjob.

I don't think they're

I don't think they're actually going to be moving the site at all. I would imagine if they bought the domain name all they would need to do is map the domain to where the site that is already up.

You wouldn't need to move the entire site to put a new domain name on it.


I'm not sure I would call a redirect a move exactly as you never lose the original links from the .net during the transition.

I did this a year or so back, had a .net and purchased the .com. Then redirected all .net traffic to the new .com address and moved about 40K pages with no ill effects. However, I've heard others claim they weren't so lucky but who the hell knows how they executed the transition.

I just finished an article

I just finished an article for OMMA magazine that details exactly how to move a site to limit the ill effects potential but it won't be published for 2 or 3 months...maybe I'll send Mr Skrenta an advance copy ;)

isnt it a regular scraper? i

isnt it a regular scraper? i see no value on that site.
my quit smoking blog that i use to run if i have craving and need to find something for my hands seems to have more value.

hehe.. Oilman .. send away...

look at it this way.. what business does a newspaper type company having in doing a move like this.. it's unchartered territory for those types of companies.

They should seriously at least have someone that understands SEO type up a document explaining step by step how their developers need to do it.

Otherwise you will have nothing other than one massive 302 redirect... complete with meta-refreshes and splash pages with a big 'click here' in the middle.

trust me on that, this is going to be one nasty migration...

Topix Commentary

Here's Rich Skrenta's take on the domain sale

I moved to

I moved to because I wanted the advantage of the singular keywords in the domain. A music company has bombshelter singular. I have 30 other domains doing 301's. The move kicked and off the radar for a few months. This was even with google sitemaps. The site had never been optimized so it's not like it lost real ranking, it's still not where I think it should be, not sure why. Perhaps the very newness of the domain.



Do you realize redirects to and not - notice the two slashes in the first url.

This could be your problem.

Oh there are plenty of other

Oh there are plenty of other problems with that bombshelter site.

(ot) bombshelters

wow, thanks for noticing that. :-) !
(feedback always gladly welcomed)

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.