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For the past year I have been working on a website online and offline. I would take the website down for weeks or months and work on it locally instead. Now that I am fully ready to launch it, is it better to continue with my existing domain or is it better to purchase a new domain?

The content on the website has already been partially indexed by Google so would Google punish my SEO ranking if I continue to use the same domain?

  • I would take the website down for weeks or months and work on it locally instead. why? When working on it, either do not have any public website at all, or have one with just a static landing page, and always do your work locally/on other staging servers. – Patrick Mevzek Jul 27 '18 at 17:42
  • @PatrickMevzek This post is a bit hard to read, granted, I think the question the OP is asking is, ...is it better to continue with my existing domain or is it better to purchase a new domain? I read it as he is read to deploy the site after having it offline for a while. Only the OP can verify this. Cheers!! – closetnoc Jul 27 '18 at 17:57
  • Yes, I was not commenting the real core question about SEO and such, just trying to understand the purpose of putting a website online/offline regularly when working on it locally, that is separately. Maybe it could remain always on with a static simplified landing page or always off, when being worked on. – Patrick Mevzek Jul 27 '18 at 18:01
  • I took it offline because I had no further need of the hosting at the time and due to switching between hosting. My concern now is that when Google crawls the website again, it crawls material on a website that has a history of downtime and it may be punished. – Leo Grace Jul 28 '18 at 14:42
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You do not say how long you have had your existing domain for. I assume not terribly long based upon the question.

You also do not give anyother reason for wanting to abandon the existing domain for another such as a better sounding or descriptive name. I assume this is not the case.

I am assuming the only issue is that a site has not been on that domain name for a while. You do not say how long.

I am also assuming this period is less than one year being measured in months, more than a few.

If all of this is true and there are no other factors, there is no reason to change domain names unless you want to. The fact that a site has come and gone periodically is relatively normal. The site when deployed will be indexed again and any previous indexing dropped. Any domain that has existed for a period has already begun building it's trust metrics. Even a site of just 1 year will score higher than one just registered.

There is no reason to change domain names unless you want to. If that is the case, then perhaps this is the time, before too much is invested.

  • I purchased the dot com domain in January 2017. In the summer of 2017 I put the website online. However I have periodically taken the website down due to switching hosting. The periods I have taken down the websites have been from a few weeks of 3-4 to a few months. The reason I take the website down is because I haven't been ready to launch it so I used to test it online after which I would not need hosting anymore and work on it locally. When the website was online which was also in periods of weeks it would get indexed by Google. Will Google punish when it crawls the same material? – Leo Grace Jul 28 '18 at 14:41
  • @LeoGrace Will Google punish when it crawls the same material? No. This is all perfectly normal stuff. I have been on the web since the very beginning. During that time I have reworked sites over and over again. No worries. All will be fine. In fact, I have had sites sit dormant for longer periods without trouble. I will be reworking one site that has not changes in years with most of it's pages deleted years ago. I expect that it will take a while to get it indexed, however, the site will perform just fine soon after. Cheers!! – closetnoc Jul 28 '18 at 15:02
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You can use you current website, if their is less chance of downtime in future. Heavy downtime may cause, your ranking drop down. Also visitor hate if website is slow and not working properly.

Make sure following point.

  1. Keep your website fast load

  2. Less downtime ratio

  3. Fast server response time

  4. Location near to you targeted country.

Hope this will help

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Try to search your site with Site: , if you get results, you are still in Google Index.

If your website was down for a short period, Google will simply drop you a message in search console letting you know that crawler are unable to access it. Short downtime will not hurt your indexing or ranking.

Read this advise by Matt Cutts: https://searchenginewatch.com/sew/news/2281151/matt-cutts-short-website-downtime-wont-hurt-your-search-rankings

Or watch this video: If my site goes down for a day, does that affect my rankings? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eYJuT0yGrI

But as far as your domain was not involved in spamming, you can continue to use it. Once the googlebot start finding it, they will continue to index the website.

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