New Website Domain – Redirects, Masking, and 301’s (or…)

So your business is moving to a new website domain.  What’s the best way to handle the transition?

There are plenty of older websites still clinging to .net domains.  Some businesses have used .biz from earlier this century, while others are jumping on new domains like .furniture, .engineering, etc.

“.Net” was what everyone thought was right in the 90’s.  15 years ago, someone, now long gone, had “” so you grabbed “.biz”, but now the .com is available. Maybe you want the very newest top levels like “”

Now…you have a dilemma.  That “dot whatever” you wanted is available. You want a site built on the new domain, but need to keep the old one up because all your old business cards and emails and….

What’s the best way to handle this?

Wrong way: Redirect with masking.  If someone types in your old “bizname.domain” in the address bar, it pauses for a split second and voila!  (hopefully avoiding 301 error) The new site pops up. This has to happen because it truly messes up SEO having two sites with duplicate content. Google (and other search engines) will identify these domains as duplicates and decide to serve one over the other; and sometimes it’s not always the one you want.  In short, it is not possible to have a search engine presence for two domains showing the same content.

There is another way.

Right Way:

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