URGENT HELP/ADVICE NEEDED FOR DOMAIN NAME CHANGE AND MAJOR RANKING LOSS

toofast
New Member
1 0 1

I am so stressed and worried about my website domain change. I desperately need advice as soon as possible. I will try my best to keep this as brief as possible.

 

I have owned and operated my punk clothing business online at the URL toofastonline.com for 15 years now. And for a long long time we ranked #1 for punk clothing on Google & life was good. However, thanks to the arrival of several cheap marketplaces and other unanticipated changes our ranking dropped considerably. The last few years have been extremely hard on us, to say the least, we came really close to losing the business altogether.

But finally after lots of hard work & long hours, things started to improve. Ranking went back up, and we were busy again. 

 

I had been toying with the idea of buying the domain TooFast.com for about 10 years, but I never had the money to do it until this now, so I made the leap and as of Jan 9, toofastonline.com became toofast.com. Unfortunately, I now know that I set up the domain change hastily, without doing any of the pre-work Google suggests to do. I didn’t know it then but I did it wrong. And our site which was ranking #7 for punk clothing on Jan. 8th is now number 51 and today is only Jan 24th! 

 

I AM PANICKING.

 

I have looked for help, posting jobs on Shopify Experts site several times now, opening accounts with MOZ and SEM Rush, spending countless hours on the phone with GoDaddy, Shopify and even long chats with Google. I have spent all day everyday for the past two weeks trying fix everything to no avail. No one can start on my site issues fast enough. And I have been given so much wrong information that I feel like I have done irreparable damage.

 

I was (am) not qualified to make this kind of a site change alone. Too much was done too fast and without any real working knowledge Google SEO. My brother was the SEO guy and since he left the business I have just been struggling along with it, just trying to keep my head above water.

 

So now for the big question:

Should I temporarily change my Shopify stores domain back to toofastonline.com? This way I could start at the beginning, fix all the 404 redirects, fix the 301 redirects, clean up code, get the site in top working condition, and then, as Google suggests in their Google Search Console Change of Address Tool start to do the change of address in small sections,  I can not afford to make any more reckless decisions. I have started and stopped, updated, fixed, changed and tried to fix again too many times now. I dont want Google to think I am trying something shady.. I’m not, I just don’t know what I’m doing, and I need help. Here is as much info as I can think of, I am more than willing to pay for help or do the work myself, as long as what I am doing is the right thing. 

 

Any and all help/advice/offers are welcome!

Maureen

 

CONTACT DETAILS:

NAME:  Maureen Keough, Owner

EM: Maureen@TooFast.com

PH: 856-599-1675 (W)

PH: 856-522-9705 (C)

 

 

DETAILS OF OUR SET-UP THE APPS & SERVICES WE USE:

 

  • Google Admin / G-Suite User
  • Gmail for emails
  • Godaddy holds our domains
  • Shopify hosts our storefront. 
  • My Shopify store was located at TooFastOnline.com for about 5 years
  • Our Domain Changed From toofastonline.com to toofast.com on Jan 9
  • In Godaddy both toofastonline.com is being forwarded to toofast.com
  • In Shopify I added toofast.com, made it my primary domain, but left toofastonline.com in there but it is just redirecting to toofast.com.

 

STEPS TAKEN TO CHANGE | ADD | VERIFY THE NEW DOMAIN

  • GoDaddy DNS Records Both Sites - Updated Pointing to Shopify’s IP Address
  • GoDaddy Subdomains For TooFastOnline.com - Redirected But Causing SSL/HTTPS/Privacy errors
  • GoDaddy Subdomains For TooFast.com - Added But Causing SSL/HTTPS/Privacy errors
  • Google Admin - Updated
  • Gmail MX Records TooFast - Added and Updated
  • Gmail MX Records TooFastOnline - Unchanged
  • Google Merchant Center - Updated TooFastOnline is now TooFast
  • Google Merchant Product Feed- Updated TooFastOnline is now TooFast
  • Google Ads - Finally got the New Feed Approved and It is Working
  • Google Search Console - Updated I Think
  • Sitemaps - Added and Asked To Crawl
  • Google Analytics Added TooFast As A Property Seems To Be Working
  • Google Analytics Tag Updated in Shopify Admin
  • Google Search Console - Requested to Move TooFastOnline.com to TooFast.com, still not done.
  • No Redirects were made prior to the “Move”
  • All Social Media Channels Links were Updated By Us
  • Mailerlite MX Records For Bulk Emails - Updated/Verified
KieranR
Shopify Partner
148 11 38

Sounds like you've done a lot of checking which is good.

If you have budget, finding an SEO agency or person local to you and getting them on a phone is really not a bad idea. 

Shopify does a pretty good job of 1-to-1 (301) redirects on primary domain swaps. So I don't think it should be broken redirects, but always worth checking what's actually happening. 

I'd expect someone up with the ecom SEO play would run through some more thorough checking. Things like: 

  • What are all the old URL's doing? Get a list of (what were) the top traffic pages from GSC prior to the change, crawl them in Screaming Frog or similar and see all the redirects are working correctly and passing along any link equity.
  • Similarly get a list of any old URL's that were endpoints for old backlinks - are these all okay, not 404'ing? 
  • Identify page-by-page if/where organic clicks have dropped off, and dig into what on-site and offsite changes may have caused this
  • Run a backlink audit spam/toxicity audit on the new domain - hopefully hasn't got a lot of questionable history, spammy links or penalties. 

It could end up being worth testing switching the primary domain back for a week or two and see if things recover, however, it sounds like there's a lot that has changed so a bit difficult to recommend that off the bat without digging into the data first.

If you want to continue DIY then I'd suggest some SEO migration guides from here are not a bad place to get ideas from: 
https://www.contentkingapp.com/academy/website-migrations/
https://moz.com/blog/website-migration-guide 
https://www.seerinteractive.com/blog/website-migration-seo-checklist/ 

A self defined Shopify SEO "expert". Sometimes I freelance outside the 9-5
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