If you are reading this blog since 2006, you must be aware that this blog originally started with domain www.Harry-Inc.com. Later, I changed the domain name to www.HarryBlogs.com and then I got this domain www.TheDotComBlog.com. It’s obvious that when you change your domain name, you need to redirect the old domain to the new using the 301 permanent redirect method so that you don’t lose any traffic. But, the question is how long would you keep it that way?
When I change my domain names this is what usually do
1. I checked for site:www.olddomain.com on Google everyday. I knew I would keep the redirect till Google says there are no pages for www.olddomain.com. This is exactly opposite of some people do. People would check if their pages on new domain are crawled which in my opinion is important but not with regards to the old domain.
2. I would never remove the redirect if my original domain had good backlinks or direct traffic. My domain harry-Inc.com had some good direct traffic and also some good backlinks. I don’t want people to land on a 404 error page when they try to visit my blog. My blog was hosted on that domain name for years and there are people who still type harry-inc.com to visit this blog. I definitely don’t want to lose that traffic and hence you can see harry-inc.com is still redirected to thedotcomblog.com. This is not the case with HarryBlogs.com because it had a very few backlinks and the blog was hosted with that domain for a short time.
I have seen people not use the redirect method at all while some people would remove the redirect once they see a few pages being crawled by search engines. If you are looking to get in to a new niche and use the old domain for that niche then I would recommend you to keep the domain as it is and start adding new relevant content to it. This means, you should be ready to completely forget about the old domain for at least 6 months or one year and should not use it.
Matt Cutts from Googles gives some insight on this topic:
Have you changed your domains and used the 301 redirect method? How was your experience?