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I have a domain I use for my blog that had originally been intended for a short lived project. As the domain doesn't really suit for a blog, I have been thinking about changing it.

However, some pages on the blog have a fair amount of highly ranked search terms. I know with new domains, there is a sandbox period where Google doesn't rank them really well. I also know as far as PR goes, if a page 301 redirects to another page, Google considers them the same.

Does this mean that if I change my domain and 301 redirect all pages from the old domain to the new one, my new domain will have all the search rankings of my old domain? Or will it have to go through the sandbox period again?

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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I would follow https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/change-address steps -

If you're planning to move your site to a new domain, use the Change of Address tool to tell Google about your new URL. This will help us update our index faster and smooth the transition for your users.

For best results, follow these steps: Set up the new site

Review our guidelines for moving your site to a new domain. Set up your content on your new domain, then make sure all internal links point to the new domain. Redirect all traffic from the old site

Use a 301 redirect to permanently redirect the pages on your old site to your new site. This tells users and search engines that your site has permanently moved. Ask webmasters to update their links to point to your new domain and make sure incoming links to your old site are redirected correctly using the 301 redirects.

Add your new site to Webmaster Tools

Make sure you have added and verified your new domain.

Tell us the URL of your new domain

Your account doesn't contain any sites we can use for a change of address. Add and verify the new site, then try again.

After submitting the change of address, check your Webmaster Tools data periodically to see if your new site has been crawled and indexed (if you have a Sitemap, one way to determine this is by checking Sitemap details for the new site to see how many of the pages have been crawled and indexed).

I would not presume that google will or will not sandbox it. Do you have sites / pages with google trust that you can link to if from? I suspect the reason I don't know that much about the sandbox is because I always link to new sites from established content. However, sandbox rules may vary on subject material.

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I recently moved some pages from an old domain to a new one for a very similar reason to yours and they were ranking within a few days. However, new articles didn't start to rank (or even get indexed) until I set up some links to them from trusted pages on different domains. I think that content moved using a 301 redirect is viewed in quite a different way to new content even though the same new domain is used.

If you're concerned about what the consequences of the redirect to a new domain will be then you could try moving the pages slowly and see what effect it has. I moved some less significant pages first before transferring anything important. I actually still have content on the old domain that's not moved yet.

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