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I've got a client's company site with decent PageRank, backlinks and search engine rankings.

The client wants to change their company name and therefore URL. I will set up a redirect between the old site and the new. But I was wondering, is there a way to tell Google that they are moving while retaining all the rankings?

It is the same people, services, office building, same everything, just rebranded under a different name and URL.

Additionally if there is a way to do this, how does Google handle you buying expired domains and just pointing them onto your site? Could I buy several PageRank 3 domains all relating to the same sector and point them at my site or would Google catch on to this?

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Domains DO NOT have Page Rank, pages do! –  toomanyairmiles Jun 7 '12 at 19:44
2  
i suppose the clues in the name –  sam Jun 7 '12 at 19:46

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Yes, you can tell Google you're moving with the Change of Address functionality inside Webmaster tools.

If you've moved your site to a new domain, you can use the Change of address tool to tell Google about your new URL. We'll update our index to reflect your new URL. Changes will stay in effect for 180 days, by which time we'll have crawled and indexed the pages at your new URL.

This isn't an entirely clean process though, the site is going to take a hit and will take a little while to recover. You should always maintain 301's from the old site to the new one.

Important: In order to use the change of address tool, make sure that you've added and verified both your old and new sites, and read the guidelines on moving your site to a new domain. You should be especially careful to use 301 redirects to tell search engines about the new location of your pages. In addition, make sure your original site is not a subdomain (for example, http://newsite.example.com).

As they say, read the migration guidelines before doing anything. You can find the change of address tool under Site Configuration > Change of Address after logging in to webmaster tools.

As I said in the comments, domains don't have PageRank, only pages. You can find answers to your other questions under Could I buy a domain name to increase traffic to my site like this?, What are the best ways to increase your site's position in Google? and Are there benefits of receiving external links from PR 0 or 1 sites for SEO?

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