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How Huemor Successfully Switched Domains From .com to .rocks

Last Updated: July 29, 2022

Home » How Huemor Successfully Switched Domains From .com to .rocks

After I was recently featured on there seemed to be a lot of follow-up on the topic of switching domain names, so I decided to take some time and write this article detailing our recent domain name switch from an SEO perspective. Switching domain names is no easy task, but with the right approach, it can be done seamlessly and without much negative SEO impact, if any at all.

Are The New TLDs Worth It?

There are ton of options available for someone looking to purchase a new domain name – but are these new options worth it?

Several months ago I got an email about all of these new, fancy TLDs (top level domains) available on the market. Scrolling through the .ninjas and .gurus made me excited to see all of these new options available.

However, the SEO in me was skeptical. “Jeff, will these things even rank!?”.  I turned to Google and searched for information on the topic of switching to these new domain names. However, since these domain extensions were still a relatively new thing, there wasn’t really anything out there as a valuable proof-point.

So I decided to make ourselves the test subject.

Why Why not .agency, .design, or anything else?

I saw the domain name “” available and fell in love with it.

We’ve changed our methodologies and processes, added services, and really focused on “who we are,” as a company. “” aligned very closely with how we feel, and how we want every client we work with to feel too. We’re honest, we’re hard-working, we’re excited to do what we do, we’re not intimidated by challenges, we’re Huemor, and we rock.

So with the branding play behind us, and a web redesign underway, we figured it was a good enough reason to take the risk and switch over from

How We Planned For The Domain Name Switch

We Started With A Reverse Redirect

By reverse redirect, I mean we started out by pointing to  The intention of this was, while we worked on other aspects of this plan we could actively build links to instead of It’s uncertain if this helped, but it’s also a possibility that this immediately helped link the two sites together, even though it was in the opposite direction from what our final intentions would be.

External Links

In addition to the new links we were building to, we also mapped out all of the external links that were pointing to Social media platforms, local citations, external portfolio links, publications, industry ranking sites etc.

Slowly, we started to update these links to specify “” which at the time, was re-directing to “”

Internal Redirects

We took a slightly different approach to how we routed redirects for this website. Rather than just writing a blanketed 301 redirect from to, we mapped out full path redirects for every individual page. We achieved this by maintaining a host for “” and adding in an .htaccess file that specified re-directs such as: /work/ to

By doing this, we were able to maintain the individual page authority transfers, rather than just directing the entire domain and letting Google redistribute the wealth themselves (this little trick allowed all of our pages to show up re-indexed a lot faster).

Micro Data / Schema

We wrote fresh structured data that established our brand info (company name, phone number, email, address, social media platforms) and linked it to our .rocks domain. We believe this was key in getting search engines to quickly recognize our new name.

Optimizing The Home Page

We made sure that our home page referenced our brand name in its meta-title and description. A small, and possibly obvious step but one we took nonetheless.

Webmaster Tools

Having a properly configured webmaster tools account helps Google (or Bing, if you’re into that) apply changes to your websites quicker. What we were majorly concerned about was:

  • Establishing properties for all variants of (https vs http, www. vs non-www.)
  • Preparing the notation in our variations to let them know is now
  • Adding a new sitemap to our primary website variation (

Google Analytics Properties

Not really linked to SEO goals specifically, but part of our overall marketing strategy. We created a brand new property for the .rocks domain and reconfigured the necessary filters and goals that come along with it.

Purchasing Variations to the Name

Again, this wasn’t directly linked to the SEO goals of the website, but more of a usability concern. We wanted to make sure that individuals who might be confused by our name could still find us on a direct visit. We bought stuff like “”, “”, “” etc, and made sure it was pointed at our .rocks domain.

Post Launch

So after all of those boxes were checked off, we made the switch.

What did we see happen to our rankings? Initially nothing. That was awesome! No-post launch dip, no SERP dance, nothing. It was as if nothing ever happened.

Here’s an example of our organic traffic prior to launch and an example of it immediately after launch. Over time, however, we noticed that our organic traffic was rising. We began to rank for more and more keywords. Things have continued to trend that way.

Post Launch Update – 2 Years Later

Two years since our switch to, and our traffic has steadily increased month-over-month, year-over-year. It’s also continued to be a differentiator and talking point for our firm. Further goes to show that the TLD you choose doesn’t directly impact SEO in any way.

Huemor Rocks 1024x699 1

What Did We Learn?

Don’t be afraid to switch domains

If you need to switch to a new domain name, don’t be afraid, be cautious instead. Think about how all the aspects the switch will affect and how you can minimize any negative effects. Ultimately, if you take the time to do it right, you’re not going to see a disturbing drop-off in traffic. In our case, we saw literally zero change in our traffic.

Your TLD doesn’t matter to search engines

Your TLD doesn’t matter in the eyes of Google and Bing. They’re concerned with your content, and your signals. I believe that .com dominating SERPs is related more to their commonality, and relative age compared to newer TLDs. Independent of site optimization, an older domain has been proven to be a positive ranking signal. Moreover, most top websites have been optimized on .com domains over the course of years, resulting in more of them floating to the top. As time moves forward, I believe you’ll see (good) variations of TLDs more frequently.

Your TLD matters to some email providers

Email providers, and more specifically, spam filters, are still touch-and-go on TLDs. Make sure when switching you verify your domain name, and also, add proper SPF records to combat email spam. Even then, depending on your customer base you might want to maintain a .com TLD for email correspondence. I’m a pretty firm believer that this will get better once adoption increases.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out the “Changing Your Website’s Domain Name” podcast!

Meet The Author

Jeff Gapinski is the President of Huemor where he helps plan the long-term strategic growth of the agency. Jeff is passionate about UI/UX, demand generation, and digital strategy.

Originally Published

January 5, 2016

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