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We're looking at moving our website from http://www.wikijob.co.uk to http://www.wikijob.com/uk as we spread our wings internationally.

Our .co.uk website has a PR6 and received around 1/2 million visitors a month, 40% international. The wikijob.com domain, while registered for a while, has not been used nor promoted.

I am concerned that moving domain could really haemorrhage our traffic and result in a loss of goodwill from Google, even if we use a 301, but equally, if we could transfer that pagerank to the .com domain, that would give us a massive head start around the world.

Should we do it, or should we start over with .com and leave .co.uk as is?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I think it wont be a problem.

for more information http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=83106

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What Krishna is saying is something you MUST do if you want to see your PageRank move to your new sites quickly and accurately. –  RandomBen Mar 19 '11 at 13:15

Your content looks like it's very regionalised. i.e content is relevant to a region.

Personally I would go for a domain per region and make sure each domain contains the content relevant to that region.

So keep the .co.uk and add a .com. Then move US content to the .com and start cross promoting your domains.

If you do go the /uk sub folder path then make sure you use Google Web Master Tools to have each folder target the region they relate to. Note you can only do this with Google, all other search engines will target the region your website is hosted at.

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Just know that all the responses you get here (other than one from someone at Google who knows their entire indexing code base) will be guesswork and hearsay. I moved a site from www.domain.com to domain.com and made the latter the canonical domain and it definitely hurt our ranking a bit. The "www" address had a PR=5 and 2 years (and much growth) later the non-www version is still PR=4. It also took GWT months to rationalize all the information across the two domains.

Having had this experience, my approach in your situation would be conservative. Unless there is an extremely compelling reason to have everything under .com, I wouldn't disturb the .co.uk domain.

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The consensus I've heard on the conference circuit (SMX, Pubcon, Distilled) is that toolbar PageRank means virtually nothing. Some even argue that Google just uses it to mess with us. A much more important measure is indexation (i.e. how many pages Google has for you site in the primary index). I would also look at crawl rate and rankings for your head terms (top 20%) and a sampling of your tail terms (the other 80%). If you're watching those things, you will be in a much better position to know if your change is positive or negative. –  JeremyB Mar 20 '11 at 4:39
    
PR is not much, but it is correlated. That's not the point here though. I'm saying that there are no guarantees, and opinions on the impact of a change like the one chrism2671 is considering are not fact (even if they are a "consensus" of opinions). And once the damage is done there is no Google customer support center to call. –  Greg Mar 20 '11 at 6:23

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