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Questions about domain mapping redirection, PageRank, and more

  1. walkingbetween
    Member

    I'm thinking of buying the domain and domain mapping here on wp.com (the $15/year option) and have a few questions. I did search the forum and still I'm left with some question unanswered.

    1. from what I understand, after I've bought the new domain (say walkingbetween.com) and put my blog there, all visits to my original posts will be redirected to walkingbetween.com and the address bar will show walkingbetween.com/10/27/mypost instead of the original url. And this will go on forever (the old urls will always work). Is that correct?

    2. Will this redirection help my new url's Google PageRank or I will have to start from 0? My current url has a PR 5. With all the traffic redirected to the new url, will it boost the new url's PageRank? Is there anything else I can do to help my new url's PR? Shall I ask everyone who links me on their blogroll to change the url, or does it make any difference since it will be redirected anyway?

    3. I understand the old feed URLs will continue to work. Other than asking people to manually change their feed reader to point to walkingbetween.com/feed, there is not much I can do, is there? I also have FeedBurner subscribers for that all I need to do is to "edit feed details" on FeedBurner My Feed page, correct?

    That's a lot questions. Thank you in advance to anyone who cares to answer.

  2. Will this redirection help my new url's Google PageRank or I will have to start from 0? ...

    (1) The redirection you pay for by purchasing domain mapping is good for one year and then it has to be renewed. You are paying for a service. You own the domain and it also has to be renewed at the end of the year. http://faq.wordpress.com/2006/11/10/domain-mapping/

    (2) The links your blog has gained will remain but your page rank will plummet to zero because the rank is assigned to the original url. The "new" url will have a zero page rank and it will take about 6 months for your rank to recover. Although the re-direct will be there there's nothing to be lost by asking your readers to take note of the change and to update the url.

    (3) Yes.

    P.S. You will find other forum threads in the searchbox where raincoaster has addressed this issue.

  3. walkingbetween
    Member

    thanks.
    I forgot another question: if I purchase my domain here at wp.com, and someday in the future I want to move to a self-hosted wp.org site, would it be difficult, if possible, and what'll be involved?

  4. Yes you can "re-direct" a domain after 60 days (ICANN rules). http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic.php?id=15782&page&replies=17#post-116367

    You will find that information covered in the information at this link http://faq.wordpress.com/2006/11/10/domain-mapping/

    Q: I purchased a domain through WordPress.com and now want to point it elsewhere. How can I do that?
    A: If you purchased the domain through WordPress.com, under Options –> Domains from your blog’s dashboard, you will see a link that says “Manage Domains”. If you click on this link you will be able to receive access to a control panel that allows you to change your domains nameservers and point it elsewhere.

  5. I'll clarify the domain mapping.

    Nameservers (DNS)
    As soon as you purchase a domain name from us you can set the nameservers for anywhere. So you could buy the domain name here but set the domain to appear at GoDaddy. The nameservers are automatically set to point at wordpress.com (because we assume most people will be buying to map their domain). So the nameserver changes can be immediate and there are no restrictions

    Transfers.
    If you buy the domain with us we are the registrar. This means you come to us to set the nameservers (see above) and it means you pay here to renew the domain.
    You can transfer the domain name to another registrar. This can only happen if the domain is at least 60 days old. That's the ICANN ruling - it's not us being difficult :) When you transfer the receiving registrar will charge you - normally the cost of a renewal - around $10 for most domains.

    For anyone who has a domain - do NOT delay when you see a reminder about renewal.
    You will not save money by waiting.
    You could end up losing the domain.

  6. I went through this step six months ago.

    There's a full discussion with ellaella of http://foodpluspolitics.com in this thread:

    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic.php?id=11639&page&replies=4

    ella subsequently changed her url in August.

    Based on her experience as well as mine, there's a couple more things you need to know.

    Firstly that you can make your new blog url visible to Google within just a few hours if you verify the new url and add a sitemap for it in Google webmaster tools (- see numerous threads here and search the forums under 'tigredefogo').

    Secondly it's very important that once your new url shows up on Google, you should unvalidate the old url and remove the sitemap for it.

    That's because Google seems to penalise any material which consistently appears on multiple websites - apparently since this is viewed as an attempt on 'gaming' the Google page rankings.

    The effect on traffic of this last and seemingly insignificant step is dramatic. My site traffic and PR lagged for several months after the domain mapping. But once I'd done this, traffic surged around 300%. ella reported the same effect.

  7. Mark, thanks so much, I appreciate the explanation. If I understand correctly, in the event of a possible future move (e.g. to a new webhost with wp.org), I should be able to keep using the same domain name (which I purchased/renewed here) on my new self-hosted blog.

    The only thing I'm not clear is from what Andy said in his "New Features: Domain" post here at http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic.php?id=4766&page&replies=140, where he said "If you register a new domain with us, your domain will be usable for your blog only". What does that mean?

    roadsofstone26, those are great advices I'll definitely follow. Really appreciate your help

    I'm very close to buying this (probably will do right after I get my answer above). Is Saturday night a bad time to do it (when support is closed)? I can't think of any possible trouble except for maybe some delay for the new domain to work (vaguely remember someone mentioned weekend could take longer)... ?

  8. "he said "If you register a new domain with us, your domain will be usable for your blog only". What does that mean?"
    It means if you register example.com then your blog can only be at example.com

    If you registered a domain elsewhere and had it hosted elsewhere you could map the blog so a subdomain - http://blog.exampple.com

    And yes you are free to move the domain hosting or name anytime.

    If you have a name in mind, just buy it :)

  9. alright I did.
    I'm now looking at this message
    "Domain purchased! Wait until it is redirecting properly, then feel free to put your blog there."

    not sure what "it is redirecting properly" means... how do I know when "it is redirecting properly", by typing new site address to see if my blog shows up?

    i hope that's not a dumb question

  10. I see it! about 5 minutes later I typed my new walkingbetween.com and it was redirected to walkingbetween.wordpress.com. So i will "put my blog there" next...

    thanks and sorry for the impatience ;-p

  11. roadsofstone26, in that thread you mentioned http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic.php?id=11639&page&replies=4 I saw you said

    "I put up a post to advise people on the day of the change - in retrospect, I would better have done that one week before activating the domain mapping, but the re-direct works both ways, so it doesn't really matter."

    would you care to explain why it's better to tell people one week before activating the mapping (which i assume you mean before putting the blog at the new domain)?

    thank you

  12. it's very important that once your new url shows up on Google, you should unvalidate the old url and remove the sitemap for it. That's because Google seems to penalise any material which consistently appears on multiple websites - apparently since this is viewed as an attempt on 'gaming' the Google page rankings.

    Innnnnneresting. I haven't done that, and my google juice has been really flat. Well, though, since I never specifically validated and sitemapped the old URL, would it be necessary? Does Google do the validation etc even if you don't ask them to?

  13. sorry for butting in, but how do you unvalidate the old url and remove the sitemap for it ?

    thanks.

  14. @rain - 'does Google validate and create a sitemap for my site url, even if I haven't ?'

    No, I don't expect it would. If you only have one validated url and sitemap showing in Google webmaster tools, then that won't be the reason.

    @vietlam - 'how do I unvalidate my old wp.com address and deactivate my old Google sitemap ?'

    That's straightforward to do. Go into Google webmaster tools. In the dashboard there is a link to a table showing your validated urls and sitemaps. You can uncheck the ones you want to deactivate.

    The key step (I think) is to only have one validated url and one active sitemap for each blog.

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