Two months ago I changed my blog name from BookNook to Nose Graze. A few weeks later, I wrote some steps you should follow when changing your blog name. But today, I’m here to talk about the effects of changing your blog name, and I’m going to address some key points:
- Did I lose followers when I changed my blog name?
- How has my blog traffic been affected?
- Do I regret the change?
Do you lose followers when you change your blog name?
Assuming you follow all of the steps on my changing your blog name checklist, you won’t lose any followers, SEO, or page rankings!
What about my Google search results?? I’m ranked #1 for a search term!! Will I lose that?
The most important thing when changing your blog name is setting up a 301 redirect. A 301 redirect tells search engines, “This site has permanently moved.” So, search engines transfer all the page rankings and search results for your old domain to your new domain! This way you don’t have to worry about competing against yourself on search engines.
Additionally, if you do a 301 redirect you won’t be penalized for having duplicate content on your site. Search engines don’t like duplicate content. So if all your content exists on www.booknook.me AND on www.nosegraze.com, every post will appear somewhere TWICE. That’s a bad thing! But if you set up a 301 redirect, search engines know to transfer content from one place to another, so you don’t get penalized for having your posts in two places at once.
A 301 redirect allows for a completely seamless domain name transition. People are automatically (and quickly) redirected from your old domain to your new domain, so they won’t get lost and won’t struggle to find your new blog!
What about subscribers?
The ONLY place you might lose subscribers is Facebook, but otherwise, you’ll keep all your followers!
I’m assuming most people here are using Feedburner. It’s super easy to switch over your subscribers. All you have to do is click the link at the top of Feedburner that says “Edit Feed Details” and you change the URL where it says “Original Feed” to your new URL. That’s it! Your subscribers are not affected or deleted in any way, shape, or form. They are seamlessly transferred over to your new blog.
When I changed my blog name I changed my Twitter name from @booknookblog to @NoseGraze. Was there confusion? A tiny bit, at first. I had two people who kept tagging me at @booknookblog. But eventually, people caught on! It helps A LOT if you use the same avatar, and also register your old name and make the avatar something different and put a message saying, “I have a new twitter name @NoseGraze!”
Oh, Facebook. Sometimes you suck balls. This is the one problem. On Facebook you can change your Facebook page URL, but Facebook doesn’t let you change your page name if you have more than a certain amount of likes. How pointless is that??? Actually I kind of understand why they do it, but it still pisses me off.
Your options here are to create a new Facebook page (and thus lose all your “likes”), or keep your same Facebook page but your page name won’t match your blog name. I decided to create a new Facebook page. I looked at my referral statistics and noted that I don’t get a whole lot of blog traffic from Facebook. I get some, but not a ton. So for me, I would rather lose 850 likes than have a Facebook page name that isn’t my blog.
In the 2 months since starting my blog, my new Facebook page has reached about 500 likes. I’m not quite back up to where I was, but honestly it’s not too hard to build back up.
How has my blog traffic been affected?
My blog traffic has not been at all affected by my name change. This is largely because any traffic that would be going to http://booknook.me instead, is being redirected to https://www.nosegraze.com . So I don’t lose a single visitor!
Here’s a graph that shows my visits before and after the name change (name change is highlighted in red):
The red dot is the exact day my name change occurred. Overall, my traffic has grown (as is expected, since most blogs tend to grow steadily over time). The slight dip about two weeks after the name change is just because that’s when my blogoversary giveaways ended, so I lost the giveaway traffic (as expected).
But overall, my numbers are higher than they were before! I didn’t see any sudden or unexpected decreases in blog traffic!
Do I regret the change?
Never, ever, ever have I regretted changing my blog name. Honestly, the results have been incredible. Now, instead of my blog name being lost amidst a sea of other BookNooks, my blog name is a conversation starter. Whenever I say, “My blog is Nose Graze” people say things like:
“Woah you have to tell me the story behind that name!”
“That’s so cool, what does it mean??”
“Where did that name come from?”
Or they do a doubletake and just go, “Nose Graze?” Because my name is quirky and a little different. I got so many comments like this at BEA and just when talking to friends! It’s amazing!
Previously, I had to kind of fumble around and go “well my blog URL is booknook.me” and I felt like I had to carefully instruct people on where to go because you couldn’t just Google “booknook” and immediately find my blog. But now, I just have to say “Nose Graze” and people will find my blog! It’s #1 when you search for “Nose Graze” and it’s so much more unique, which makes it easy to remember.
I’m so glad I did it!
If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to change your blog name: go for it! Seriously, I can’t recommend it enough. I feel so much more confident with my blog name, and the transition was just seamless! Don’t be afraid about “starting over” because you don’t have to! You can maintain all your followers (except perhaps Facebook) without a problem!
Although, carefully consider your blog name before swapping over. Read up on how to choose a good blog name, and you should also check out The Bawdy Book Blog’s post about “work-friendly” blog names. Jennifer wanted to change her name to Nerdhuffing, but apparently some programs in work environments blocked her URL because it had the word “huffing” in it, which was deemed inappropriate or malicious or something. As a result, some publishers like HarperCollins weren’t able to access her new website, because their computers at work blocked it!
So if you want to change your name, don’t be afraid! Just do plenty of research beforehand. Don’t just immediately jump right in. Spend a lot of time researching names until you have one that you absolutely love. But even then, let it sit in your head for a while. Do you still love it after a day? A week? If so, then it’s time to take the plunge!