Not long ago, I wrote an article that suggested, in some very rare cases, that businesses might be better off throwing away an existing web site and moving their focus to a brand-new domain.
I admit that this runs contrary to accepted advice, and would be a pretty extraordinary step to take – it's akin to burning down your retail store or moving your shop to another city altogether. So, why would I ask you to consider giving up what you've worked so hard to build?
The answer, of course, is that what you've built up has become damaged (typically, by weak content and/or black-hat SEO activities). Sometimes it really is better, and even faster, to start all over again, than it is to patch something that's badly broken.
We've all read that Google doesn't like brand-new domains.
Can brand-new websites rank well in Google? They can, but you have to understand there are some important caveats. Here is a little bit of the fine print when it comes to launching (or re-launching) a brand-new website from a search optimization perspective:
It's only half-true that Google doesn't like new domains.
When a website has just been launched on a new domain, it isn't likely to be indexed that often, or prioritized by Google for search listings. That isn't necessarily because Google doesn't like the site, though, just that they don't trust it right off the bat. That might sound discouraging, but remember that you're thinking about a new site because Google didn't like your old one. A new site would give you a blank slate to work with, which means no seo baggage.
Content and relevancy are still more important than anything else.
While Google may have a preference for more established domains and websites, it still wants to give searchers the most useful and relevant search results it can. That means leading them towards websites with the very best in related content. By adding new pages, articles, and ideas to your business website regularly – and bolstering that content with online engagement – you can become a top resource in a hurry, especially if none of your competitors can give the kinds of answers you are providing.
Don't try to do everything at once.
A common mistake some webmasters or online marketers make in their rush to get noticed by Google, is to try to do to much at once – specifically adding dozens or hundreds of inbound pages or links. Not only is that counterproductive (they will probably be more of the low-quality variety that got you into trouble in the past), but such rapid activity looks unnatural to Google, and could really hinder that trust building. It doesn't take a lot, in terms of good links and quality content, to improve your search profile. So, look for quality over quantity every time.
There are ways to attract quality traffic that don't involve SEO.
Although search traffic is important to a strong online marketing and lead generation effort, it isn't the only way you can find prospects. By taking advantage of pay-per-click advertising (at least in the short term), e-mail marketing, and social media engagement, you can do a good job of bringing buyers to your website without Google's help. Plus, these activities could very well positively influence your organic SEO results later on.
The process of ranking can take less time than you might think.
Depending on your content and the competition, we could hope a brand-new website starts showing up in listings as soon as a few weeks. Although it could take longer (even a year or more if you have stiff competition), experience has taught us that those cases are the exception, rather than the rule. Google wants to give searchers the best possible results – if that means sending them to your brand-new website, then that's what they'll do.
My bottom-line conclusion is that even though brand-new business websites generally don't rank well on Google, their definition of "brand-new" isn't as strict as you might think. A website that's even a few months old, with lots of great content and a few high-quality inbound links, can often bring in plenty of great visitors. That isn't a lot longer than most new SEO campaigns would have taken, anyway, and you'll have a much better platform to build on going forward.
On that note, I'd like to invite you to download our Marketer's Toolkit today. It includes three .xls spreadsheets meant to help you organize your online efforts and make them more effective.