I have been using a domain name for the last few years. A larger company is threatening to sue me for using my initials as my company name!

So as an answer to this I have created a new domain URL with the addition of my location in the URL. So I now have redirected my old URL to my new URL.

But...I want Google to acknowledge this is really then same site and to keep any rankings, or to transfer the rankings from the old URL to the new URL!

Is this possible?

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    A larger company is threatening to sue me for using my initials as my company name!! They cannot do that! It does not pass the smell test simply because, unless the initials are a well known brand trademark, think IBM, and you had foreknowledge of such brand, and you are trying to usurp the value of the brand, they cannot make a case. As well, most trademarks have geo location limitations. For example, IBM is clearly global, however OIP, a local trademark will be restricted by location. Adding to this, it field of business. It goes on and on.
    – closetnoc
    Dec 14, 2016 at 18:13
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    In the U.S., any law suit must have a trademark complaint filed before the case can proceed. If your domain name is your initials, Brian Allen McNichols as BAM and that coincides with a trademark, the use of your initials is within your rights to use as long as there is not a trademark conflict. It is very common that companies bully site owners as part of their reputation management scheme. However, if this was a valid trademark, you would expect that the company would have registered that domain name already. The fact they have not, is a clue. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Dec 14, 2016 at 18:17
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    nissan.com - nissanusa.com the story -> digest.com/Big_Story.php - Dec 14, 2016 at 19:16
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    Possible duplicate webmasters.stackexchange.com/q/3399/18400
    – marcanuy
    Dec 15, 2016 at 0:47
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    @riseagainst I like the link - Thanks for sharing! As for Nissan Motors, their trying to file a trademark for computers has two problems, one it cannot prevail in court because Nissan Computers existed before the trademark, and two retaliation is a legal argument and grounds for a counter suit that should easily prevail. You illustrated exactly my point about companies being bullies over domain names. The problem is this still goes on even with the courts deciding correctly eventually case after case. It should never have gone that far. Sad really.
    – closetnoc
    Dec 15, 2016 at 4:24

1 Answer 1


When changing the domain for a site there is always a risk. There is a chance you will see a dip in rankings initially. All you can do is to try to minimise any damage:

  1. Setup the site on the new domain, whilst keeping the site active on the old domain (temporarily).
  2. Verify both domains (properties) in Google Search Console (GSC / formerly Google Webmaster Tools). Ensure that the canonical (www or non-www) versions are verified.
  3. Submit an XML sitemap for the new domain in GSC.
  4. Setup 301 (permanent) redirects from the old to new domains. (At this point, you can shut down the old site, whilst keeping the redirect in place.)
  5. Where possible, change any prominent backlinks to the new domain.
  6. Use the Change of Address tool in GSC to submit a change of address request.

Google Search Console Help - Use the change of address tool

However, there are still other SEO/business considerations, particularly if this is your company website. Customer awareness/trust etc.

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