HELP! We Switched Brokerages and Can't Use the Same Domain Anymore! ~ Email Challenge
This is a tough one. As an SEO professional I have spent a couple years building up a reputation for a certain real estate site. Their domain was their brokerage name and area. I have spent hundreds of hours over the past few years linking to the site, tagging the site, creating pages, articles and everything else for the site. Not to mention the hundreds of back links spread literally all over timbucktoo pointing back to this specific URL.
Then comes the email. We are no longer affiliated with said brokerage and here is our new domain name, please optimize accordingly. Sccreeeccchhhh...... go the brakes. We were going along almost on auto-pilot with the site keeping up with blogs, articles and links at a wonderfully consistent pace when this puts the entire system at a halt.
So we tried the 301 redirect attempt only to learn that the previous brokerage will not allow any further use of the domain including any redirects. The domain literally is to be shut off, no longer to use, wiped from existence. Trust me, I tried every which way to save that domain and direct it to the new site. NOPE.... finito!
So where do you go from here?
If we can not redirect the old domain then unfortunately yes we will have to start all over.
We will have to go through all of the sites that are linking to the old domain and change them to the new which is 100's of sites and we only control a certain amount.
A link counts as a vote for your site so you are going from a lot of votes to none at all and this will have an effect. A 301 redirect will "redirect" all of your old votes to your new site" (this is as simple as I can explain it) Google only likes "trusted" sites and your new site will be un-trusted for a while and this will set back all rankings.
I will work extra hard on your site to get it trusted again by adding new content and pages but there still is a penalty that you should be aware of. Since we also need to redo the title and description of the site. I will research new and up to date keywords for the meta tags and go through as many links as we have to reset them.
Thank you for your patience during this transition."
So there it is. Not something any broker, agent or website owner wants to hear.
My advice for the future? Don't limit your domain to something that MAY change. Although domains with cities in them are great for the search engines, if you move to another area, you will have to start all over - as in Don Reinhard's case moving from the Chelan WA area to Lake Havasu City.
Your name probably won't change. Finding the right domain can be trickier than you think. It helps to consider future moves, name changes or brokerage changes. It's an uphill battle for sure but the good news is with this site, in two months we are already up to the 2nd page of Google with almost 1000 visitors a month. Not bad for a complete reset of the system, eh?
Consider the dedicated agents with Premier Properties Enterprise. As experts in Enterprise real estate they help buyers, sellers and investings get in or out of any Enterprise or Dothan AL real estate.