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The domain in question has Moz DA of 80 with ~1,600 established root domains and ~25,000 total links. Domain is being moved due to a rebrand and there are no other options. Structure of the site will not change. Its a simple 301 from one domain to another.

The new domain options are as follows:

1) Premium domain used by someone else with Moz DA of 60, 700 linking domains and 20k total links. This domain has about 500 indexed pages and belongs to a completely different industry/topic.

2) Premium domain not used by anyone with Moz DA of 45, 1 linking domain, 35 total links. This domain has no pages indexed.

First question is which domain to move to. To me second domain means less mess to deal with.

Second question is what the impact will be. Lately there has been a lot of talk about how 301's pass everything to the new URL instead of "most" authority.

Biggest concern is losing the benefit of a ton of highly authoritative links in 90 - 100 DA range.

  • This is quite a pickle! Changing domain names is death without a 301 redirect and a 301 is only temporary. Any domain that starts with some authority is likely to have that score revamped over time if it appears to change significantly. The catch has always been that any new domain name must rank for the topic on it's own at some point. For a high authority site to move, means a ton of work in building a new link profile, removing the old link profile, and making sure the new domain performs as it should within the SERPs. I do not advise changing domains, but if you must, then so be it. – closetnoc Aug 30 '16 at 17:03
  • @closetnoc So I guess time consuming outreach to webmasters to update the links on their sites it is then. – dasickle Aug 30 '16 at 17:13
  • And you thought link building was bad... sheessh! Cheers Mate!! – closetnoc Aug 30 '16 at 17:19
  • @closetnoc that why we love what we do! So would you go with new domain option 1 or 2? The second one seems to be less messy in approach. My biggest concern is that the first option is less desirable because its a live domain that has nothing to do with the industry that the current domain is about. – dasickle Aug 30 '16 at 17:41
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    DA changes as soon as you begin mucking around and changing content, branding, etc. I would chose the one that suits the site best for the long haul. If that is the 2nd option, then that makes sense. It appears also to be the easiest to deal with overall. If there is a price difference, then I say it makes sense. Keep in mind that any site without content is rapidly losing value. Why? No traffic, broken links, no content, etc. So the DA may be 35 next week, and 25 the week after. The sooner you can build content and traffic and make live old links, the better. Cheers!! – closetnoc Aug 30 '16 at 22:17
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I think, there is no 100% correct answer but i would:

  • Use the 2. domain, cause the offtopic backlinks will not help
  • Check the 2. domain in WMT for stuff like a manual action before i move
  • Do a change of address request in WMT to help Google to understand what i'm doing (possible for bing too)
  • Use 301 redirects
  • Mail outreach to all the webmasters

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