Thursday, January 22, 2009

Effect of custom domain conversion on traffic and PageRank


As you know, Blogger has introduced custom domain whereby you can register your own domain name and use it for your blog instead of the sub-domain of blogspot.com. Some may be deterred from using custom domain because it involves a change of URL (Uniform Resource Locator) and PageRank of the blog reduced to being not ranked, both which may reduce the traffic to the blog.

Last year I finally decided to make the leap and convert one of my less traffic blog, http://dummies-guide-to-google-blogger.blogspot.com/ to custom domain, namely http://www.blogger-book.com/.

Regarding PageRank, it did get downgraded from a PageRank of 4 to being not ranked at all. However, the PageRank of Blogger book has now increased to PageRank 1 and is expected to increase as time goes by. The best of all is, it appear that PageRank is not that crucial to getting hits (traffic) as the conversion to custom domain, despite the PageRank downgrad, did not decrease. In fact, from an average of 3020 unique visitors per month from the month of January to October (before conversion), the number of unique visitors have increased to 3976, an increase of 32% (see screen shot below):

However, before I convert, I saved all the permalink prior to conversion to custom domain to test whether the old permalink will be redirected to the new custom domain permalink. I am happy to report that all the old permalink is being effortlessly redirected to the new custom domain permalink (individual post URL).

statcounter statistics for custom domain conversion

Update 1:Unlike Wordpress.org where you have your own domian and have to pay for hosting, conversion to custom domain will cost you nothing for hosting. Blogger will how for you free. You only pay for registration and renewal of the domain.

Update 2: A blogger has complained that after conversion, traffic went down to almost zero. It turned out that the blogger registered the domain direct from Godaddy. In my case, I registered using Google Apps via SETTINGS > PUBLISHING, paid for the registration and did the conversion to custom domain all within Blogger, never directly through Godaddy. Looks like most of those bloggers experiencing problems with custom domain did it via Godaddy.

Disclaimer: Do not take this as an encouragement to covert to custom domain as this is my personal experience and may or may not be replicable

56 comments:

  1. sir, can u please suggest me nice way to increasetrafficon my blog..

    My blog:

    techmk22.blogspot.com

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  2. Hey there. I just wanted to let you know that I have been following this Blog for a few months now. All the info is much appreciated!

    *M*

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  3. Just wondering how you managed to do that without a drop in traffic. I have these two sites
    http://fashionivy.blogspot.com/
    http://thefashionivy.com/
    and i am desperate to move the blogspot to its custom url. I tried it in November and it was disastrous.
    The custom url is actually in sandbox right now so my traffic dropped to almost nothing when i did it. in addition with the redirection blogger was outting screen asing people if they wanted to be redirected. would really appreciate your help if you can email me please....

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  4. I am afraid I have no magical formula. The whole process went faultlessly. I didn't even have to set anything except in the pointing of the blog to the custom domain.

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  5. Sir,
    I'm new to this..
    When you bought a custom domain, how did you create then back up your old permalink? How do you check if the old permalinks work?
    Thanks.

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  6. You don't need to backup old permalinks. Blogger will redirect the old permalinks to the new ones. I only saved them as a test to check if old permalinks get redirected to the new ones after conversion to custom domain. This can be done easily by going to EDIT POSTS, copy the post URL by right-clicking on each post title, selecting COPY, then paste into, say, a Notepad file, save so that you can retrive later. In my case, I published the old permalinks as active hyperlinks

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  7. Yeah I actually did this about 2 weeks ago and it was no problem at all. My traffic actually increased for my goldfish blog and my PageRank 2 stayed the same. People should definitely consider switching to custom domains as pagerank and traffic will increase over time as more emphasis is given to main domains. Right now people are giving all the credit to Google and subdomains don't rank as high as main domains.

    It worked great for me and I will be keeping track of my stats more closely to see how much better they'll get. The good thing about Blogger is when you switch they won't leave your readers behind, they will redirect them to your new custom domain.

    People should do the switch, it will be the best thing you can do for your blog.

    Sincerely,

    Jamie Boyle

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  8. Okay, so maybe you can help me...
    I uploaded a picture from the internet onto the header onto my blog, and now it won't let me delete it. I have never had this problem, and am really hoping you can help me! My blog is private, so if you think you can help me, email me at
    morgancj3@gmail.com. If you need to see my blog, let me know...
    Thanks!

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  9. hello peter i have blogged about you in this blog post :
    http://seo-tips-for-u.blogspot.com/2009/01/what-can-i-do-to-enter-top-position-in.html

    you are doing a great job helping other bloggers.thanks.

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  10. I hope you can help because there doesn't seem to be a place to email anyone. When I am posting something instead of the picture showing up a ton of words and characters appear and if I bold or use italics it just says things like, "<< those things with standout written between them etc. When I publish the post it all is correct, but it is driving me nuts to have all of that stuff and not even see that the correct picture shows up. I must have hit something! Please help!!!

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  11. oh I figured it out! Haha thanks!!

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  12. Hi Blogger,

    Ribuan terima kasih (a thousand thanks)

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  13. For Carrian,

    Those "things" driving you nuts are HTML (you are in the EDIT HTML mode) and can be very useful when you learn about them. For example, refer to advice for images. I hope you do take the trouble to learn.

    If you don't want to, then switch to COMPOSE mode.

    Suggest you read the posts in the Blogger book which is for beginners.

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  14. Hi,
    Just to let you know your tips are very helpful and encouraging. Recently, I converted to your 4 column template with post summary and it is working well for me except for a few, minor glitches. My blog is http://momgateway.blogspot.com.

    Knowing you're the Ultimate Blogger Guru, I was wondering if you have a way to modify this template so I can have "pages" or "tabs" at the side/top of my blog similar to what is found at http://www.janespice.com/about
    and http://bittersweetblog.wordpress.com/2009/01/27/bread-with-a-heart-of-cake/#comment-25420.

    Thanks for all your help!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi,
    Just to let you know your tips are very helpful and encouraging. Recently, I converted to your 4 column template with post summary and it is working well for me except for a few, minor glitches. My blog is http://momgateway.blogspot.com.

    Knowing you're the Ultimate Blogger Guru, I was wondering if you have a way to modify this template so I can have "pages" or "tabs" at the side/top of my blog similar to what is found at http://www.janespice.com/about
    and http://bittersweetblog.wordpress.com/2009/01/27/bread-with-a-heart-of-cake/#comment-25420.

    Thanks for all your help!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Refer to the horizontal menu tab just below the blog title at songs lyrics video. If you are satisfied, then it is very easy to do. You can add background color too if you want. If you want something similar, then I can just add a few lines of instruction and you should have no problem at all.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi!
    Yes, I think I like something similar. The only difference is that the tabs at songs lyrics video link to Amazon but I'd prefer ones don't link out but to other pages(?)within my blog (Sorry, I'm not sure if I'm explaining myself coherently). I'd appreciate your additional lines of instruction for the template. My heartfelt thanks for all your help.

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  18. Refer to Horizontal menu bar with table. Have a look at it but maybe you better wait for another method using CSS.

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  19. Ok Peter

    I am having a go again at moving to a custom domain. This time i bought the domain on google BUT I am getting this message Your blog is in transition

    "Your blog's new address is. Since it takes time for this new address to become available all over the Internet, you can still get to it at.Your new address should work for everyone after at most 3 days. At that time we will redirect your readers from your old address to the new one."

    Its been around 12 hours since i did the custom redirection and was wondering if you ever got this. I am just being a bit paranoid since my first transfer was a disaster to say the least

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  20. Yes I had the same message. If you are worried, perhaps if you have more than 1 blog you can try it with the less popular one like I did. Although mine was effortless, I have heard of others who had numerous problems although I did not bother to find out more as to how they did it. As I don't want to be blamed if readers tried and faced problems, perhaps I should add a disclaimer for this post. Best of luck. May Blogger smile on you.

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  21. Dont worry about a disclaimer surely you take or leave the advise you get on the internet. Back to my wordpress move i thought i would make another update just in case some people are following.

    This is around 48hours later and the move is definately going smoothly so far yay as some of my posts are redirecting to my new blog when you click on them. I did set the blogspot so that it wont be followed by spiders to avoid duplicate content and despite that yesterday i had the second highest traffic in the last 2 weeks. so yey finally it seems to be working. Will report back when the transfer is complete

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  22. I'm thinking about switching to a custom domain, but find the Redirect page very annoying. Is there away to get rid of this redirect page, so that you instantly get transfered to the custom domain.

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  23. Hi, how do you redirect non-www to www? Like blogger-book.com redirects to www.blogger-book.com. I see the option "Redirect poker006.com to www.poker006.com" in blogger but it doesn't work.

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  24. Fashion Ivy, I had the same problem about blogger asking them if they want to be redirected. All I did was submit my site to google webmaster and it no longer displays that message and redirects instantly.

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  25. That is what I did, chose the option to redirect blogger-book.com to www.blogger-book.com

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  26. It took about two months, but my page rank dropped to zero. I now gt virtually no traffic from google searches while before, I was consistently at the top of search results. Even sites that link to my blog posts rank higher than me. Huge mistake on my part.

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  27. I wonder what happened on your part. For me, the custom domain did affect the PageRank but traffic from search engines were not affected. I still get traffic from search engines. Did you purchase domain direct and convert to custom domain via Blogger?

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  28. I ust wanted to let you know, you are one of my favorite SEO bloggers, regardless of the "big names". I really look forward to your posts...keep em coming! I'm soaking information for my blog!

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  29. Hi Peter,
    What do you mean when you say take care to choose a desirable Domain name with good KEYWORDS in the URL.
    How do we know what are good KEYWORDS?
    Thank You
    Catherine

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  30. My question to you is, is getting visitors to your blog important to you? If not, forget about this SEO stuff. If yes, than one should take care to chose words in the post title (words in blog post will also be in the blog URL). Those words should preferably be keywords which people use to search with search engines. For this purpose, you may want to use a keyword suggestion tool.

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  31. am trying to convert http://v2tricks.blogspot.com

    i need suggestions from u buddy

    mail me @ v2tricks@yahoo.com

    hope u concern

    ReplyDelete
  32. I would suggest that if you don't want to tangle with stuff like Cnames, DNS server, etc. to read Advice: Upgrade to custom domain via Blogger and Google Apps.

    Also, do tick the [ ]Email follow-up comments to "your email" to subscribe to comments and not request response to comments be made via email as you will be exposing your email to harvesters which harvest your email for spam.

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  33. am trying to get custom domain on blogger itself.so if i get custom domain should i have to loose my page rank totally?

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  34. In this post you would have read my experience converting Blogger Book to custom domain, that after conversion, the PageRank fell to "no rank" but it did not have a major effect on traffic. The PageRank of this blog bloggertipsandtricks too had a PageRank worst than 0 (not ranked) for a very long time, but I was still getting traffic from search engine. So it appears converting to custom domain and getting PageRank downgraded do not seem to have major effect on traffic.

    However, I would remind you that this is only my experience, so if yours is different, please don't blame me.

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  35. I have just done this and it seems that my traffic has decreased a lot. Even my Alexa stats seems to have started from scratch?

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  36. I am just afraid that if i redirect my blog to custom domain,the traffic may go down
    http://rafayhackingarticles.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. My own experiences had indicated upgrading to custom domain do not cause traffic to reduce. The only exception is when I decided to redo blogger-book.com from scratch and redirect the original blogspot blog to blog.blogger-book.com. This is to be expected as all hyperlinks that uses blogger-book.com will become dead links, but not the blogspot hyperlinks.

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  38. I just moved my blog to a custom domain (through Google) and had a drop of 30% in traffic...

    I hope that in the long run it will pay off, but currently, a week after, things do not look so well...

    Mobile Spoon

    ReplyDelete
  39. today i had just moved my blog to custom domain http://www.wiseblogger.com ,i had good traffic of about 1500pageviews/day on blogspot subdomain,but by reading all above comments,i have tensed of whether i lose my traffic from search engine, what can i do to retain current traffic ? any help/suggestions. .

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  40. Mani, may I point you to my update at the bottom of the post. My own experience when the custom domain was registered direct via Blogger and Google Apps was it had minimal effect as Blogger redirects all traffic to the old blogspot URL to the new one. However, please note that this is my experience and I cannot guarantee the same thing may happen for you.

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  41. Your posts are very useful, thanks.

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  42. Hi Peter,
    Do we need to pay any hosting charges for Google if we register for Custom Domain. What are the costs involved if we choose to shift to custom domain through blogger?
    Subb

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  43. If you are referring to money, your cost for hosting is ZERO. Blogger will host for you free.

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  44. I'm planning to buy a domain and hosting but how much it will cost every month for a standard hosting? I'm using free domain and hosting and it gives me a lot of problem because the server often Down. Sample Site: Streaming Video Although this only free I manage to increase the Page Rank to PR2 in just 4 months after created. I don't like the blogger because of limited capabilities. ex. you can't modify the script. Unlike own hosting.. you can edit and modify the script [wordpress]and have the access to the main root which blogger don't have.

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  45. With Blogger you can modify the template but of course it doesn't offer as many possibilities as wordpress.org but it is way better than free wordpress.com where you can't edit almost everything

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  46. Hi Peter,
    Thanks for the useful article.
    What about feed subscriptions? My blog has about 2500 feed subscriptions through feed burner. If I change to custom domain, what will happen to them?
    Thanks

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  47. I am not a big fan of feeds and hardly uses them. But since the URL changes, I believe the feed will also change. Sorry can't provide more input.

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  48. Dear Sifu Peter, how much the cost for registration and renewal of the main domain. Thinking converting http://tongserseng.blogspot.com to main domain. thanks

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  49. If you purchase and register the domain via Blogger (see my advice re: purchasing custom domain, the cost of both registration and renewal is US$10. If you purchase your domain via other registra, perhaps you can get it cheaper the the initial registration but you will have to tangle with Aname and Cname and stuff.

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  50. Your post is very accurate and you are right, the PR went back to zero but it's good to know that the .blogspot.com links will be directed to the custom domain. We just have to wait for few months until it gets cached and indexed. Thanks for sharing this!

    http://www.techykikay.info
    formerly http://techykikay.blogspot.com
    :)

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  51. Nice sharing. Really helpful. Thanks the page owners or share such a nice post.
    I SEO tips

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  52. Hi Peter,
    Thanks for the useful info and insights.
    I have transferred my blog to custom domain through blogger on 11-11-2011. Transition was completed exactly within 72 hours. From 14-11-2011, traffic has been dropped about 50-60 percent. Blogger Help Forum and WM Tools people have opined that the drop in traffic is common for some days as the domain is new one. I need your opinion as you have already experienced this. How long it will take to get the traffic back to normalcy?
    custom domain url: http://goo.gl/OnMGb
    Thanks and Regards

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  53. Maybe I was just lucky as there was no drastic drop in traffic after conversion

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