Lose Google Ranking By Changing Domain Names?

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Short Version:
What would I need to do to prevent the loss of my hard-earned Google
rankings if I were to change the domain name where I run my ecommerece

Long Version:
I currently run an OSCommerce-based website which is my only source of
income. I would like to update it to a newer version of OSC so that I
can easily add some much needed contributions. This poses several
problems but I would like to discuss the "big one" and get some

Our current website is a top ranked page on Google within the scope of
the search terms you would find on our site. Let's call that website
"wood.com". In the beginning, this website was not an ecommerce site.
It was information only. Part of the website at that time had a list of
tools to use when working with wood and included links to places to buy
the tools online. At some point, I decided to offer these tools myself
instead of giving away free advertising.

So I installed OSCommerce on the wood.com site in a folder called
"catalog". Stay with me. It gets tricky now.

I then decided that wood.com was not a good enough name so I bought a
domain name called "tools.com" figuring it would make the content of
the site more obvious from a search page listing. I simply pointed that
domain to the catalog folder on the wood.com website. Of course, when
you type "tools.com" into the browser, you never see that domain name
again after the first click. Instead you see wood.com/catalog/. The
search engines do not list any products with a URL from the tools.com
website. Instead, they list the wood.com/catalog/products....

Now I want to build an improved OSCommerce website using the tools.com
domain. This would effectively separate the two domains which would be
good. It would mean that wood.com is information only and the tools.com
is ecommerce only.

The problem is that I don't want to lose my Google rankings for the
ecommerce products on the wood.com website. Here are my options...

Option 1) Separate the two websites and lose my ranking with Google.
Tremendous short term loss but in the long run it does make the
tools.com website stand out better if a searcher was looking for tools.
The goal here is to make it known just by looking at the URL from a
search listing, that our store carries tools.

Option 2) Set up a new OSCommerce installation in a different folder on
the original phones.com website. When it is ready, turn off the old
OSCommerce pages and turn on the new site. Then direct tools.com to the
new catalog folder. I would still lose some page ranking within Google
but it should build back pretty quickly since the domain name didn't
change. From the spider's view point, the only thing that happened was
that the product URL's got changed a bit. (The option to run both sites
at the same time is not possible because I may only have one kind of
tool available and once it is sold, assume I cant get another one that
is exactly the same.)

Option 3) Your suggestions?

I'm posting this super long question because the website is my only
income and I can't afford a massive mistake. If you have experience
with a situation like this, please chime in and help a guy out.


Re: Lose Google Ranking By Changing Domain Names?

joe@cambridgecinemas.com wrote:
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AFAIK google can handle 301 redirects rather well. So set a 301 redirect
from the portions of your site that have been transferred to the new
domain, and a lot will be remembered.
Rik Wasmus

Re: Lose Google Ranking By Changing Domain Names?


Quoted text here. Click to load it

You might be able the catch the rest too if you can figure out how to
convert old URLs to new URLs, perhaps 301 redirecting...

Of course, that could be what Rik was trying to say. :)

Re: Lose Google Ranking By Changing Domain Names?

John A. wrote:
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Indeed :P 301 as much and as specific as possible. Returning visitors who
bookmarked specific pages will also thank you for it.
Rik Wasmus

Re: Lose Google Ranking By Changing Domain Names?

joe@cambridgecinemas.com wrote:

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Quoted text here. Click to load it

If you email me the URL I could look at it for you.  I'm not looking for
clients (too much work already), but might be able to offer quick advice.

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