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I have a blog that has been up for a few years. It doesn't contain a great number of pages but the domain name contains two keywords that I want to rank for, like keyword1-keyword2.com.

I have started a consultancy firm within my keyword areas (sustainability communications) and I want to market my company name but at the same time benefit from whatever authority my blog has gained for my keywords. I have understood that properly doing a 301 redirect will enable me to keep the domain authority and page ranking.

Question: Is it safe to switch redirect direction?

Regarding

  1. page authority/rank in Google
  2. technical feasibility

is there a problem switching direction of the 301 to one of the following

  • keyword1-keyword2.com -> companyname.com
  • keyword1-keyword2.com -> companyname.com/keyword1-keyword2

instead of

  • companyname.com -> companyname.keyword1-keyword2.com

(which is how it is set up at the moment, with Wordpress MU domain mapping to make sure the address bar says companyname.com)?

4

From an SEO standpoint, moving from a keyword domain to a company branded domain is a good move. The 2014 SearchMetrics Ranking Factors found that that having keywords in the domain name is no longer a significant ranking factor. I consider hyphens in domain names to be bad for rankings as well. Moving to company branded domain name is a good move for you from and SEO perspective.

Keep in mind that anytime you do URL changes you may see fluctuations for a while. You may even lose some rankings initially. In the long term (months and years), you'll come out ahead.

From a technical perspective, the only problem is that 301 redirects are highly cacheable. Any visitors that visited companyname.com recently, will have the 301 redirect from there cached by their browser. They may have to manually clear their cache before browsing your website after you reverse the redirect. I highly doubt that a large number of people would have visited the domain given that it wasn't much in use, so I suspect that it will only be an issue for a handful of people. Maybe even just yourself.

  • Is the caching thing really an issue? If A is cached as a redirect then surely when a B->A redirect is encountered, browsers will check A again. – DisgruntledGoat Sep 26 '14 at 22:42

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