Changing domain names–learning the hard way

On April 11th I blogged about how after 2 1/2 years of blogging on www.infobaseventures.com/blog/ I finally changed domain names and made the switch to www.paulallen.net.

We thought we switched domains in a smart way to preserve our search engine traffic.

I congratulated my team on helping me use permanent 301 redirects so that Google would find my new site and I wouldn’t lose any traffic or pagerank.

Okay, so a week ago I started getting nervous again that we had made a big mistake. Here is why: I did a Google search for

site:paulallen.net

where I hoped to find that my number of pages in the Google index would still be around the 4,000 that I had before at infobaseventures.com.

To my dismay, I found only 175 pages indexed by Google on my new web site and my old site is down to 581 pages. So I’ve lost more than 3,000 pages from the Google index.

No wonder my Alexa ranking one week average for paulallen.net is about 67,000, a huge drop from the Alexa ranking of around 20,000 that I was seeing at Infobaseventures.com.

So I’ve lost a huge amount of traffic to my site because we used 301 redirects instead of 302 redirects.

I wish I had seen the article at highrankings.com that explains the right way to switch domain names before we made the switch.

I think it is too late for us at this point, but for you it may not be too late.

I would love comments from readers who have first-hand experience using 302 redirects temporarily and then switching to 301 re-directs later. Did you suffer any negative consequences like I did from your domain name switch?