Beware the hidden costs of direct AU domains

We’ve been going through the process of moving domain names and I want to talk to you a little about top level domain names. We’re moving from .biz to, and it’s been a painful experience, to say the least. Anybody who’s ever done this before will agree with me. I want to share a couple of instances of sites I’ve done this to previously, to show you what I mean.

To give you an idea of the process, we started it all on April 6. When I search for, I find the site all right, but I can still find bits of it around under the .biz address, as well. There are still probably two or three floating around. It simply takes time for everything to transfer.

After three weeks of this process, we’ve taken a hit in rankings and traffic, just as expected. The more competitive your site is in your industry, the harder it’s going to be to come back from this. If you’re prepared to head down this path, accept that the drop is going to happen. The sites we’ve moved this way earlier have rebounded, but it took a while for them to regain their former ranks and none were e-commerce sites.

My next point isn’t quite so cheery. If you’re contemplating moving to one of the new Australian .au domains, don’t! You’ll lose traffic and sales for a good while if you do. You can redirect everything perfectly, but if you’re in a competitive space, you’re going to see a big drop in traffic. And that means you’re leaving money out there. There’s been a lot of talk about top level domains, and what I’ve found is that they will cost you a lot of money, but they won’t be favoured by Google one bit.

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