Should you change your domain name or keep trucking with the domain that you have knowing that you are losing traffic, and revenue, daily?
That’s a big question. Obviously, I can’t answer this question for every online marketer without first looking at your website and your overall situation, but I hope I can at least give you some food for thought.
There are different categories of websites, and website owners. Here is the basic break down as I see them:
- Cookie-cutter websites – These websites follow the same design pattern and the webmasters who own them generally own more than one. They build a website that is successful then model all others on that one site. A lot of these websites are made-for-AdSense websites and you’ll often find them penalized after the owner has run afoul of search engine guidelines.
- Unique passive-income website – This could be a made-for-AdSense website or not, but it is clear that the revenue from the site is derived from ad clicks or affiliate links. The owner doesn’t have to continually maintain the site to earn revenue, but it does have a unique design.
- Unique online business model – Not only does this website have a unique design, but it also has its own business model that requires active maintenance on the part of the owner.
- Online extension of an off-line business – This website is the website of a previously existing off-line business and has a unique design as a result.
When Should You Change Domain Names And Move On?
When it comes to online marketing, there is one scenario where the type of your website is not an issue. If your site has been penalized for bad links, then that domain name is likely shot forever regardless of which category it falls into. Your best bet is likely to be to build another website and start over. The only exception would be if you could go back and delete all of the bad incoming links, but that is rarely possible, and even if it is, it may not help you much.
Beyond that, there are times when running afoul of search engine guidelines could be a temporary situation if you correct the deficiencies. In those cases, you can probably get by with your current domain name provided that you identify your problems and address them.
There are times when a site is penalized when the owners have done nothing wrong. If you wait it out, you’ll likely see your site regain lost traffic and revenue.
But here’s the catch: Those cookie-cutter websites probably aren’t doing you any favors. If you have several websites that look the same, even if the content is all unique, then that could be a red flag for the search engines. I’d say redesign the sites and see what happens. If your traffic and revenue don’t return after six months or so, then build yourself another site.
How To Decide If Changing Domain Names Isn’t Counterproductive?
You have to weigh the lost revenue against the time you spend trying to figure out the problem. There was a time when figuring out what has gone wrong wasn’t counterproductive, but post-Panda, that time is gone. The Panda algorithm update is such a mystery that hardly anyone knows even now what it addressed, why, or how. Sometimes, the best thing to do is count your losses and run.