Major hazard in attempting to move a
huge site without qualified help..

IF this does not open your eyes nothnig ever will!

Article written by Tom Chambers

Some training.. terminology..before we get started. if you see me type something like this several times below "site:mydomain.com" What this means is if you type your domain name into the google search box.. google will tell you how many pages you have indexed in google index at that moment.. and you can scroll down and view all your pages and pay particular attention to whether the entries are nice and descriptive of what your business is all about. Look for lots of duplicate descriptions and title tags.. if you see that dupe stuff it will kill you.. so ask me how to fix it quick before you bite the dust...

The reason for this article is that one young lady had moved or was in the process of moving her site from idx broker to diverse solutions...and has given all readers the impression that it is a piece of cake.. and anyone with a little elbow grease and a few hundred hours manual labor can do it.. I am impressed that she has been able to do that on her own... BRAVO to her.. but my concern is that some others having no idea what they are doing may follow in her footsteps and get into serious trouble and will cost them a bundle to get a web designer to salvage what is left.. if any thing is left.. in regards to pr and indexing.

So since I was being told how easy it is and I have done it many times... I really wanted to see if I had been making it unnecessarily hard for myself.. here is the results of my investigation into how hard it really is.. and again if you can do it as she did.. good on you.. but know that a normal average site will not be so easy as this one was... But she was right her site was relatively easy and I will explain why.. but do not try this at home since your site will not be this easy.. trust me.

1 . First reason it was so easy... apparently this site never adopted the subdomain that is really required to do well in idxbroker.. and I agree if you did not go subdomain for the idx you will be better off moving to diverse solutions.. as you have both hands tied behind you back when you run idxbroker without using their subdomain..

2. When your run idxbroker without the subdomain mode... it means that all your indexing will occur on idxbroker and not on your domain... the worst of both worlds.. means you never index any idx pages period.. and you are doomed to failure.


Let's look at an example..
http://idx.kefferrealty.com/idx/details/homes/a036/1304993/1833-WINDY-RIDGE-PT-Virginia-Beach-VA-23454

see the IDX. in front of kefferrealty.com that is the subdomain..of his choice...and take a gander whose domain all the indexing is on... its always the last .com in line and sure enought.. it ain't no idxbroker.com at the last part... are you getting it... good..
So if you type in the google search box.. "site:www.mydomain.com" how many indexed pages do you think will come up.. you guessed it..maybe if you are good and you tell Santa you were good... you may have nigh onto 30 to 50 thousand indexed in 6 months to a year. Sounds good... read on.. Now this is not because you were a good little girl.. its simply because you chose to use a subdomain for your IDX and in this case the chosen subdomain is idx. or idx.kefferrealty.com However the choice of subdomain is yours and yours alone... maybe let your husband help you but you probably know better anyway so you choose it and don't even ask him.. what does he know anyway.... and you can use whatever you want... but choose wisely.. since once you get 300,000 indexed.. (dream on you dog) it will be a bitch to change subdomains at that point.. so think it out now... not later. Are you starting to get the hang of this... good.. I thought you would..

Now keep in mind you could have choses a subdomain of idx., search., homes, realestate. and etc as you can name your subdomain anything you like.. even anything.mydomain.com but that would be a dumb sub huh?

Ok.. now let's investigate what happens if you decide to go it alone without a subdomain and let idxbroker have all the glory.. I mean all the indexed pages so you cannot take them with you when you leave.

Now here is what it looks like if you do not choose the sub domain for your idx..

http://www.mydomain.idxco.com/idx/4235/results.php?stp=advanced&idxID=010&pt=sfr&sfrType[]=Single+Family

Can you see that mydomain.com is no longer the indexing domain... its the final part of the name idxco.com So if you type in the google search box.. "site:www.mydomain.com" how many indexed pages do you think will come up.. Zero.. you guessed it... So why in the world would anyone opt to index on idx brokers site... they really appreciate it though,...LOL... Just simply lack of knowledge.. we are realtors.. not web desigers so we just don't know unless some one opens our eyes.. and that is what I hope I am doing here now.. so no excuses next time..LOL

Next Topic...

Why was the young lady able to move her site single handed?

First.. she used the NON SUBDOMAIN MODE....lets get into why not using the sub domain for idx caused the site to be easier to move... and this is just one of many reason that went her way... when you do a site:mydomain you see maybe a couple of hundred pages indexed...on her site, not 10k, 20k or 50k you can move a domain like that with your eyes closed... the reason the index is so tiny and was tiny due to the failure to use the subdomain thingy... since after a year with the subdomain you will have from 10k to 50 k indexed... OOPS! the transfer just would have been more complicated... but that is not a problem with this site... hell if you accidentally lost all 700 pages it would not be a big disaster but losing 50k pages would be a major disaster.

Next items all the pages that I see indexed are all on the blog... no transfer needed since the blog won't be moved.. and you can't move any idx index pages since they are not yours... ALL THAT GOOD TRAFFIC FROM THE IDX PAGES JUST WENT DOWN THE TUBE. Let's say that she had 20,000 indexed onto the idxbroker.com site... as soon as you move the domain ALL THAT IDX TRAFFIC IS LONG GONE.. and they now belong to idxbroker... so NEVER run even 1 day without the subdomain.. why index for someone else... if a large amount of traffic was coming from the idx... ALL GONE.

Next She was using as separate CMS system... so no need to move any of that... wow... how lucky...

She did suggest that since moving all the clients and leads was one hell of a manual time consumer and recommended a college student next time as it was very time cosuming to build all the searches and do cut and paste....

If she had calle me I program all that stuff for free.. so you don't have to cut off your users as only the active you can transfer the whole kit and kaboolde... as i program it all....

Next the export of idxbroker will not exactly match the import of divese.. not a problem I program the format... and guess what when doing all the typeing ... there will be some tyos... oh no! but when I program it a putur cannot make a typo...

Next if she is interested I could show her how to save all the search traffic that she will lose from the idx when the umbilical is cut with idxbroker.. all that will go away.. never to return. Course the old idx broker would have to keep the site open till it died down and they would be auto diverted to the new site... but if the subdomain had been used you would still own that and not have to pay the broker to access it...

And finally there is just too much to mention here that is important... and this is only one topic of 100 important things that must occurr to prevent loss of pr from pr3 to pr2 to pr0 by the next update..

Ok.. now lets get into a live example
of one and only 1 of many things to do
when you transfer your site.

Reason why this is important: IF not not correctly you can lose your entire site along with all the PR that took years to build.

The image below amplifies just 1 of the hundreds of details that must be handled carefully and quickly in a very special way.

The below takes it step by step and explains just of of the killers of your site when not moved/transferred carefully.



Ok.. lets take the first item of interest.. we note in the hilited yellow at the top left of the image that google has indexed 20,000 pages on this site... Not a huge amount of indexing as I routinely get them indexed up to 300,000 and on rare occasion I have coaxed them as high as 600,000 pages indexed... but its not too shabby.. more than most folks ever get indexed.

The reason for this dissertation, is that I do not want anyone to get the impression that moving a site from diverse to idxbroker or vice versa is anything close to a tea party.. its a hell of a lot of work and very tedious and very time consuming. Trust me.. been there.. done that..this aint' my first rodeo.

Ok..no more rambling.. back to our 20,000 pages indexed...but there is a whole hell of a lot more pages than that indexed.. to see this 20,000 pages only.. I used "site:mydomain.com/idx" in the google search box.. This will allow you to look at only the idx pages that are indexed and none other and that is what this dissertation is all about.. another lesson on all the other pages not in the idx section... idx section means all you property pages that are indexed... not all the word press pages that you have... that is another story..

So what this is all about if you look at the example above.. all 20,000 urls in diverse are formatted totally different than the url that IDX broker uses... what the heck.. this is not fun already...... so for the next 12 months when google grabs one of the old diverse solutions urls out of the google index.. do we want them to get 404 not found error.. no way if they see that they will de-index that page and remove it... not only that if a human finds that page they get a 404 not found error and we lose that visitor forever.. not to worry that visitor will be fine there are a jillion other websites they can use since yours is broke... hell with any luck they will end up on my website... so Thank you very much!

So go back up to the image and look at the drastic difference in the urls.. do you want to sit around and wait for google and humans and and pass out the new urls as they come by... well you could type all 20,000 twice once the correct way and once the new way and put them in the HTACCESS file so when google or a human come by they will be pointed to the correct page... oh by the way when you pass out that new url to google be sure and tell google that is a 301 Permanet moved... vice a 302 Temporary move... and not to worry you do not need to actually say Permanent moved.. just tell him 301 and he will understand... as long as its in the header... based on your annotating that for google he will never go back to your old page anymore since he knows it won't be there... but the nice thing is if there was any PR associated with that page google will transfer it aoutomaticlally to the new page...WOW! ain't that nice.. but be sure to pack a big lunch since you gonna be on the server passing out those new urls for one hell of a long while...

Now some background:
If you go to your handy dandy Web Designer and ask them how they will handle your transfer in regard to indexed pages...here is what you get...

Answer. Not to worry I will just point all your old leads to the index page of your new site... that way you won't lose any of your visitors since if they click any page they will go to your index page and can find thier way around from there... and not to worry if they have a lot of Favorites set up.. then can just re do them all... they won't mind and that keeps google from getting all those 404 errors..

Wrong: The very worst thing you can do is forward all 20,000 pages to the index... first it pisses folks off.. expecially if they have bookmarked a lot of homes... and the very worst is that google may ban you.... since google says "Any page from the old site must be pointed to the same page on the new site and if the page on the new site does not exist then you must point the page to the most similar page that you have... now if you demand that the webmaster point each and every one of the 20,000 (in some case 300,000 and more) to a similar page they will say..."You gotta be shittin' me... that will cost you thousands.... I designed a program and I do it for you for free... amazing..huh?

Now occassionally I get a smarty...with "Screw your program.. I don't want you to auto build 300,000 urls with 301 forward atttached and put them in my htaccess file since that means everytime someone comes to my page the htaccess boys must search thru 300,000 urls to see if they need special instruction... shit.. that will slow my site to a snail page.. No thanks..

Wrong.. Ignorance is bliss! I guarantee you will never measure one iota of speed drop... and I can prove it..might even be faster...

Now occasionally you do get a web designer that has some couthe... and will say..
Not to worry.. what we do is you see ... we find out which pages have the most traffic and we 301 those pages for you so that some of your traffic goes to the correct page. At least it will save the high volume pages...


Wrong: What if you have only 5 hits on the low volume pages in a year... that is 20,000 x 5 are you willing to give up that 100,000 visitors just to make it easy for you designer...and of course they will add we can do all the high volume pages a 301 for only $700.00.. can't beat that... right..

The point I am trying to make is if your pages are not handled smoothly you will be in trouble from the get go.. and i am here to tell you that if the transfer agent does not have his shit in one bag you are dead meat.... And by the way.. most folks in Diverse have built hundreds and sometimes thousands of special search and community pages and I just simply write progam to conver them directly to idxbroker and vice versa... if man made it man can fix it and I can fix anything..LOL.





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