- Keep your old domain for a while. Google recommends doing so for at least 180 days. After that, discard!
- If you're also doing a re-design, do it in stages. Move your web address first, then launch the new site.
- Keep your old email address but always reply from the new one.
- Use a sitemap. It helps Google understand your new site structure.
- When you're done, send us a Tweet saying "I upgraded my site to @dotco, check it out: yoursite.co". We'll be sure to tell the world about it!
Upgrade to .CO
Thinking of switching your old-school web address to a .CO? Tempting, isn't it!?
Lucky for you, it's a piece of cake. The key to the process is ensuring that your site's search engine rankings and incoming links are kept intact. We've seen it done before and it works flawlessly. Angel List and 500 Startups are good examples of recent sites that have upgraded to .CO.
Google has already published documentation about this in their Webmaster Tools area. Start with Moving your site. In there, you'll learn the basics about 301 redirects, a command that tells search engines and users that your site has permanently moved. Simply put, if someone (including a robot) clicks on one of your old links the computer will know to redirect to your new web address.
Then, we recommend using the Change of address tool to tell Google about your new URL. With that, they'll update the index to reflect your new URL. The change of address tool is safe because only verified site owners can use it. You can check the tool at any time to see the information provided to Google about your domains.
As for geo-targetting and search engine optimization, remember that Google already treats .CO as a global TLD.
If you still have questions or need a few more examples of sites that have done this, feel free to reach out to us.