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Ok, I can't find this exact situation here, so here it goes...

We have a website at somedomain.US

At the time this was put up, someone else owned the .COM and .NET versions of the domain.

This .US has been running now for 6 months or so..

but, we have now purchased the .COM and .NET versions of this domain!

So, my company wants now the .COM to be the domain everyone knows.

What is the best way to do this? (in order of what I am guessing...)

1) Get hosting at the .COM and move the actual website (a CMS) to the .COM and then forward the .US to the .COM via 301?

2) Forward the .COM via 301 to the .US - but this would show the .US ultimately, which would seem confusing if we are advertising .com now

3) #2, but with masking - but my understanding is this is bad for bookmarking, and has other issues

4) Or... another way???

As you see, usually this question is about a main domain already active, and pointing others to it. In this case, the new domain is the perferred. Thanks for any thought

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Definitely do a 301 redirect to the .com with every domain you want to resolve to it especially the .us TLD. The 301 redirect will tell users and search engines that URL has changed and automatically forward them to the new URL (assuming you have set this up properly). Additionally, 301 redirects will tell Google, and probably the other search engines, to forward your links to your new URLs as well. This includes any PageRank those URLs have.

Keep in mind this change will not happen overnight and your rankings will take a hit while the transition happens. But be patient as things will return to normal before long.

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So to clarify, you are saying option 1 - move the actual site from the .US to the .COM, and then 301 everything to the .COM... correct? If so, could you comment on #2 and #3 for me? Because I think that's what they are expecting me to do, just forward it - which I think is a mistake but I really need a pro to confirm that for me...especially regarding the masking... thanks very much –  SAlioto Feb 23 '12 at 1:25
    
If you do a 301 to the .com you can't show the .us as the redirect prevents that from happening. It also sort of solves the bookmarking issue as they always find the new page but technically their bookmark is obsolete. –  John Conde Feb 23 '12 at 1:44
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