It’s been a long time coming, but Thursday 18th September sees Scotland vote for or against independence. If the yes vote wins, the political and economic pundits are suggesting that there’s going to be a mass exodus of businesses relocating south of the border. Here in search engine land at Bluehoop Digital however, we’re more interested in whether there will there be a mass exodus of Scottish businesses swapping there domain names from .co.uk to .scot.
And if they do, just how will these businesses ensure that they keep a good ranking in the search engines.
Swapping a domain name from one to another is fraught with difficulty if you want to retain your search engine rankings. No matter if you’re swapping www.mybusiness.co.uk to www.mybusiness.scot, the search engines look upon whatever’s hosted there as being a completely different website, so you effectively start again with your search engine rankings.
The good news is that you can take time setting-up a search engine friendly 301 redirection from your first domain to the next. This tells Google and other search engines that the old website page that your customers might be searching for has moved to a new location. The 301 redirection code allows Google to consolidate your old domain’s links and its indexed content and directs Google to keep sending traffic that might have originally been intended for your old domain to your new domain. If you do this for each and every page on the website, then slowly, over time, your rankings will improve again.
Even done properly businesses should expect some change to their rankings in the first few weeks but this will right itself once Google has got to grips with the new structure and all the redirections have taken effect, as long as you retain your url structure properly.
Whatever the outcome of the Scottish referendum on Thursday we believe there will still be a huge take up of the .scot domain and a reorganising of google listings in Scotland as (or if) it becomes a new nation state.
Got questions about shifting a domain (whether you’re in Scotland or UK)? Please call us on 01943 968262 for impartial advice.