This is an extremely important question to answer because if changing your domain names is not done correctly, you risk losing the existing credibility and Page Rank that your web pages may already be enjoying.

First we recommend having your web host include your new domain name in your hosting package as it saves time and cost of having to move the whole website.

You will need to 301 redirect your old domain to the your new domain. This is like a change of address for the search engines. This signals to the Search Engines that your website has permanently moved to the new domain; it also passes on your existing credit and authority. The 301 redirect is very important as you don’t want to risk losing your credit and have to start over as if you were a brand new website.

Note: This step can take a few months for the transfer to be complete, so be patient.

Some domain companies mistake the 301 redirect for a 302 redirect. For this reason once your redirect is set up, test it out to ensure that it is in fact a 301 redirect. You can use a header response tool such as this SEO Consultants Check Server Headers tool.

Furthemore, we recommend that you use the full URL for internal links. For example, use instead of /pagename.ext. This will also help to speed up the changes that need to occur in the Search Engines.

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