What’s in a name, a domain name at least?

Posted on September 10, 2009

 

Just how important is your domain name? Some companies agonise over it for days, weeks, even months before actually deciding on a domain for their business. Some even take the misguided step of rebranding their business some way down the line and then swapping their domain for the new one.

We say misguided because depending on the age and established nature of your website, changing your domain to reflect a business change or because you want a more keyword focused domain could be a monumentally bad idea.

Let’s say you have a website. You have a domain name and it has been registered to you since around 1999. In that time it will have acquired plenty of natural links and much of its content will have been indexed. How important is all of this?

Firstly, the age of your domain (or rather the age of the website that sits on your domain) is an important factor in its SEO. The number of links you have attracted would be very difficult to recreate, and impossible to recreate in terms of their age. You see, while links are important, the age of those links is also important. If your website has had links from websites for the past six, seven or even ten years, their value is infinitely more than any links you could build today.

If your website is established, with links and content, changing it could be a very bad idea indeed. Rebranding your ‘domain name’ isn’t as easy as rebranding your company image. You can throw money at your company image, and through mail shots, advertising and press releases you might make people aware of the transition.

Doing that online with the search engines is a whole different proposition.

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