A very frequently asked question here - the answer is that you will not lose domain ranking so long as proper precautions are taken. This is an optional step to take that will ensure your old urls are redirected to new ones on your replacement site, by telling search engines where the old urls went.
Because this step is optional, it is not included in the standard setup fees. A quote is provided on request that will review the size and scope of your old site, and determine a price to redirect URLs.
It is highly recommended for clients migrating to the AgentFire.com platform to consider this option. Sites that rank well or have a long history can benefit significantly from this service.
301 Redirects - What are they? And why are they crucial for preserving ranking?
Short Explanation: 301 Redirects basically tell Google where your site content has moved. Instead of dropping your old url from results it will preserve it, and simply redirect to the new location on your replacement site. This will help considerably in ensuring you can preserve SEO - if you understand that you can skip to the bottom!
First, you have to think of your website as the sum of it's parts - Google sees your website as the sum of all of its unique individual pages and content.
When you change to a new host (such as switching from your old host to AgentFire) what often happens is that the url structure for each of those individual pages changes.
For Example: Let's take a look at an individual neighborhood page that you may have on your old website, for example "Miami"
The URL of this page on your old web may look something like:
On your new AgentFire website, the URL structure would look something like:
So what will happen for this page, and every other page on your website if 301 redirects are not setup is that when you make the switch, suddenly all of your pages will return 404 errors (which means that the pages cannot be reached, effectively a dead link - after some time Google will simply de-index that page)
301 Redirects: A '301 redirect' basically tells Google "hey, this page is now this page, just wanted you to know so that you can keep the ranking there and properly direct my traffic, k thanks"
So using the 'miami' example from earlier, when setting up a 301 redirect for that page what we would create a rule like this:
yourdomain.com/miami_page2930209.html ---> yourdomain.com/our-areas/miami-homes/
Not only are we telling Google where your pages have moved, but these same pages which will have indexed on search engines, will now properly 'redirect' to the new page on the new website, so that users are also able to find the new content instead of a broken link.
If I were to click on your Miami page from a search engine, or literally enter 'yourdomain.com/miami_page2930209.html' into my internet browser, it would redirect to 'yourdomain.com/our-areas/miami-homes/', the correct new location of that page.
Quoting for 301 Redirects
We'll ask you questions pertaining to 301 redirects in our new client questionnaires (and frequently cover this topic in demo's) - cost for this varies on how many pages we need to create redirects for - a typical site will normally cost around $100, however sites with enormous amounts of content will accordingly cost more.
My Domain Name is also Changing
If your domain name is also changing to something new, please read this article for how to preserve ranking during a domain name change.