Moving my WordPress blog to my own domain and SEO – advice please!

So I finally did it. I moved my blog from WordPress.com to Bethgranter.com (which was embarrasingly out of date due to being hard coded) using the WordPress.org CMS. Picked a new theme. Set the front page to a single Page rather than latest Posts (good or bad idea? Comments please). Imported all my content and your comments. BUT…

My old blog at WordPress.com has a bunch of incoming links from various places from over the years, providing lots of lovely Google Juice. Obviously the new site doesn’t (yet). I can’t do any automatic redirecting from WordPress.com because it’s hosted there and they don’t allow it (for free… there may be a paid option, not sure). So I’ve just put a big fat ‘This blog has moved to bethgranter.com’ message in the navigation and on the homepage.

However, when people go direct to a specific article, which they normally do, via Google searches or inbound links, they still get the content they wanted, so have no reason to go through to my new site. If I were to delete all my old posts, people coming via referring links to posts would be faced with a ‘page not found’ message (albeit provided in a friendly WordPress tone of voice) with the ‘this blog has moved to bethgranter.com’ message in the header and sidebar.  And Google would recognise the bethgranter.com content as the priority. Although without those inbound links those good (moved) posts would have no Google Juice, so I’d get less traffic. Today so far my blog at WordPress.com had 68 visitors. This one at Bethgranter.com had 17, of which 5 were from the old blog. I guess that’s not bad considering I only put the blog on Bethgranter.com 48 hours ago. So yeah, the question is:

Should I delete my old juiced up blog posts from WordPress.com now they are on Bethgranter.com?!

Cool looking kid who doesnt know what to do. Photo by yamagatacamille.

Here's a cool looking kid who doesn't know what to do either. Photo by yamagatacamille.

7 thoughts on “Moving my WordPress blog to my own domain and SEO – advice please!

  1. Andrew says:

    What you’ll want to do (ultimately) to get Google pointed in the right direction is to have the old wordpress site return a HTTP 301 error. You’ll want to remove (most) of your old site, and then follow the idea behind http://blog.ninedays.org/2007/11/30/301-redirects-from-your-wordpress-404-error-page/

    Good luck!

  2. SEO4EGG says:

    Hi Beth,

    I had the same problem last year when a blog of mine got removed by the kind people at WordPress. The whole lot went and it was only fortunate that I had a copy of the database.

    That said we did not get the linkjuice love filtering through from anything that had been procured. We did see our posts coming back, but it would have been better with some link love.

    It is possible to redirect with a few pennies going into the WordPress coffers – see – http://en.support.wordpress.com/domain-mapping/redirecting-your-blog/

    Worth the spend.

  3. Beth Granter says:

    Hi Andrew. Cheers but that would only work to redirect from a self-hosted WordPress blog to another one – you can’t put that code in a WordPress.com hosted blog.

    Lee, thank-you! However I am a bit confused by the sentence on the Domain Mapping support page that says “The Domain Mapping Upgrade does not enable the permission to use advertising, any kind of prohibited code, or upload additional themes and plugins. With the upgrade, your blog will still be hosted here at WordPress.com, which means that you will not have FTP access to your files and must still abide by our Terms of Service accordingly.”

    Obviously the whole point is I want each individual old WordPress.com article to redirect to its counterpart here on Bethgranter.com, not just for the site to *appear* to be here. It’s not the URL that’s important to me but the physical location of the files.

    Is that what following the Redirecting Your Blog http://en.support.wordpress.com/domain-mapping/redirecting-your-blog/ page instructions would do? It’s a bit vague, but seems to be suggesting it would do what I’m asking for.

  4. Susan says:

    Maybe try this? It would be a shame to do “lose” all that content/material.

    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/redirecting-wordpresscom-blog-to-wordpressorg-blog

  5. Beth Granter says:

    OK I think I have a solution. For posts with no inbound links I will delete them on the old blog so that people coming to my content via Google will come to the new one.

    I don’t want to pay for 302 redirects because it doesn’t tell Google my blog has moved permanently and WordPress don’t offer 301 redirects so they’re not having my money and my Google juice!

    For posts with inbound links I will delete the content but not the post itself on WordPress.com and insert manually a big obvious link to the new location of the post on my site. I’ll also make it clear in the heading and sidebar that my blog has moved. This will be a bit of a faff but I haven’t got that many inbound links so should be OK.

  6. Beth,

    We have recently imported all of our resources sites from wordpress to our main site.

    I would highly reccommend that you find some way of redirecting all of your content as google will be picking up these pages for a while and you don’t really want to loose the traffic, although you have a wordpress hosted site so the proceedure will be different for you

    I think you may find the answer here

    http://www.honeytechblog.com/how-to-redirect-wordpress-com-blog-to-self-hosted-domain/

    BTW Silicon Beach Training are currently looking to fill a part time social media position do you know anyone who would be interested if so email heather@heatherbuckley.co.uk

  7. Beth Granter says:

    Thanks Heather, but that involves paying WordPress for the redirect, and it is still only a 302 redirect not a 301 redirect (i.e. temporary not permanent instruction), so Google keeps thinking the content is at WordPress.com. I have deleted all of my posts on my WordPress.com blog to remove any duplication issues and because I don’t want to pay for a redirect. I’m just going to swallow the traffic loss and start building it up again from here.

    Ah, I have had Flash training at Silicon Beach Training before, was pretty good. I don’t know anyone looking for part time work unfortunately but good luck finding someone :)

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