What to do with your old domain?

With the New Year and all the organizing and business planning that goes on, many business owners make a decision to change their website from an old URL to one that better reflects their current business model. This is a great idea, but there is always a question about what to do with that old URL.

URL bar on virtual screen

Your gut instinct might be to just toss it out, let it expire, and start fresh. If you never did anything with it, then that is a perfect option. But what if you did? What if you worked hard to post your old blog posts to your social media sites? What if your old URL is listed on some directories or blog comments that you can’t even remember anymore? What if your old URL was actually ranking decently on Google? What then??

I made a change from my previous business name VaVaVoomph a few years ago. It reflected a direction that I no longer am going. But I still own that URL. If you were to click on it, you would find yourself back at KimScottWebDesign.com. I still own it, and plan to own it for at least the next 5 years.

This serves multiple purposes.

First, the most obvious, is that you redirect your old URL to the new one so that anyone who happens to follow that old link will still find you.

The second reason is so that nobody else can pretend to be you, on purpose or by chance. Now the chances of that being on purpose are pretty slim if you have a fairly small business. But let’s say you did some business here and there and a few people remember you by your business name. So they google that, and wind up on “your old site”. Except it’s NOT YOUR old site, it is now someone else’s site. They may or may not be in the same business as you, but they just got the customer you worked so hard to contact a few years ago.

So keep paying for that old URL, redirect it to the new site, and rest assured that all of your previous link building efforts will not be in vain.

One more tip! If you redirect it with a wild card redirect, it will send people to the new URL that has the same page name. Example, on my old website I may have had a page called Web Site Design. If the url was VaVaVoomph.com/Web-Design-Services and you followed that link, the wild card redirect will send you to KimScottWebDesign.com/Web-Design-Services. Pretty nifty for those old deep links you had made! Otherwise they will just land on your new home page. Not bad, but certainly not perfect because then they will have to hunt for what they were needing.

Confused about how to do this redirect? We can handle it for you! Click here to schedule a free consultation to explore this or other services we offer.

Update! 11/21/2015: Case in point: I recently decided to rebrand, again, and I chose to go back to an old brand and URL that I had not used for several years. And since I still owned it, and it was still sitting there in my GoDaddy account, I was able to just slap it back into use. 🙂

Warning! Web hosting domain expiration scam circulating!

One of my clients received a very real sounding email that claimed to be a last chance warning to prevent her domain from expiring. She asked me about it because she had just bought the domain a few months ago and it was purchased for at least a year.

Masked personA little bit of research showed this email to be a phishing scam.

According to Scam.com, it goes something like this:

  • The owner of this “company” has looked up your domain registration info.
  • They send you an email that is nicely crafted to sound like your domain is expiring, but it actually does not.
  • You pay something to the tune of $50 to “keep your domain registered” which actually does nothing for your domain registration.
  • Instead you are apparently signing up for some other service. In this case it appears to be SEO services which are likely a complete farce.

This particular email purported to be from a DOMAIN REGISTRATION SEO SERVICE Corp. The name of the email is the URL + EXPIRATION! The body of the email says: (I have marked in red the places that show what it is really about.)

This important expiration notification notifies you about the expiration notice of your domain registration for abc.com search engine submission. The information in this expiration notification may contain confidential and/or legally privileged information from the notification processing department of the Domain Registration SEO Service to purchase SEO Traffic Generator. This information is intended only for the use of the individual(s) named above.

If you fail to complete your domain name registration abc.com search engine service by the expiration date, may result in the cancellation of this domain name notification offer notice.

See, it’s completely not what it is written to sound like.

What I find to be the funniest part is in the footer area it says that it is CAN-SPAM compliant. Really? How exactly can that be?

If you get this email, please be sure to mark it as spam and if you happen to be in Canada, please report it to whatever government agency is regulating your CAN-SPAM compliance.

If you’re ever in doubt as to whether your domain registration, or any other service for that matter, is expiring or having other problems based upon an email or phone call, always log in to your account where you know it is housed and double check. Never ever click on links in emails that even appear to be from your provider unless you know for a fact that it is legit.

It’s always best to go straight to the source. Just like if you receive a phone call asking you to pay with credit card right now, you would be better off hanging up and calling the company back at the phone number you typically use.

There are a lot of bad people out there who spend their time trying to make money by stealing yours. Don’t be a victim.