One of the nice things about having a fledgling blog like this one, and readership in the single digits is that I can pretty much try anything without causing waves. So, I made the biggest change that I could. I moved the blog to a completely new domain.
There were benefits to moving this blog:
- A much more relevant and memorable URL (the previous URL contained close to two dozen characters, including an alternative spelling which spell checking tools hated, and did not contribute to the blog’s credibility).
- Better archiving tools and cool widgets.
- Access to a larger community: the WordPress.com community has about 36 million visitors per year, while the former host of MarketFix attracted around 150,000.
- Improved reader interface.
But there is a cost attached. Even though this is a relatively small blog, the move compromised the blog’s reputation, visibility and searchability (although we’re betting that in the long run this move will improve all of these).
Here’s why the move negatively affected search engine rankings:
- The first official post at MarketFix was August 16, 2010. That was over two weeks ago. The site map was submitted to Google and the crawl stats look normal, but in the process of the move (this is my first time moving a blog) some links broke. There were a few crawl errors. I have fixed the problems, but the new site is on a monthly crawl schedule (I do not have access privileges to change this setting), which means these errors are going to haunt the ratings for a while.
note: There is a cool looking pluggin by WordPress for upgraded accounts, If you have access to it, that might be a better alternative than using the exporting and importing tools.
Also, Google Ranking is influenced by the age of the domain. That was lost in the move, along with the blog’s subscribers.
Although the site is searchable on Google as shown in this image:
The SEO report is not so great (this report was generated at www.KPMRS.com):
(My sincere appreciation goes to the one reader who tweeted for us- Thank You!)
Here is what the ranking looks like for the former home of MarketFix:
What does this mean? The former blog had around 504 genuine external links courtesy of Delicious. That significantly improves site visibility. The site was picking up international traffic, local traffic and search engines were regularly referring visitors based on about 40 keywords. For a little niche blog that has only been around since March, we were feeling pretty food.
We were [and at the time of this post, the old blog still is…] even the top search result at Google for “MECCAS Model” (a very cool tool used in creating advertisements. you can read about it at this older post).
I expected things to start slowly, but the day after the move things at the new site were jammin! There were more visitors that day than most days at the other site. I thought wow! I can’t wait to see where this is going!
Admittedly, things have dropped off a bit, but it is very interesting to watch the traffic fluctuation after the move. The biggest referring site to the new blog is still the old site, and we have yet to receive traffic from any search engines. Looks like it is back to square 1 for SEM.