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Here's the situation - a client of mine has recently changed their company name and have changed their web address. They want to completely cut all ties with their old brand, so they have told me that their old website absolutely cannot redirect to the new one.

The old domain has a PR of 4, so it would be nice to carry some of that authority over to the new domain.

The new domain has just been registered so I'm really starting over from scratch in terms of SEO. I can't use 301 redirects and I can't link to the new site from the old one. Is there anything I can do?

  • If they are (effectively) a new company, then no. As you say, you are starting from scratch – Dave Aug 13 '14 at 14:52
  • You can inform Google Webmaster Tools that the site has moved, but this would tie in authority and associated serps with the new company and domain, something your client may not want. – Simon Hayter Aug 13 '14 at 15:56
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Is there anything I can do?

Pretty much, no. If you can't redirect the old domain to the new one then they are essentially starting from scratch in every way. But since that sounds like what they want maybe it isn't such a bad thing.

One thing you can do is try to get the links on other sites to be updated to the new URL with the new company name as anchor text. That will help get some of the PageRank over to the new website and the anchor text will help with their rankings. It would be a tedious process and you definitely won't get many, if not most of them to update their links. But every little bit helps.

FYI, domains don't have PageRank. Individual pages do. So their home page has/had a PR of 4. Their other pages probably did not.

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I would try to somehow still link from the old domain to the new one, possibly indirectly. You don't mention the specific situation, but if you have a third site, e.g. a blog related to the products but without any kind branding, you can boost that blog with links from the old site. And the blog could have regular posts with links to the new site.

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