Is a dot info (.info) domain good or bad for a BANS niche store? We’re going to do a little testing and find out!

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This is installment #9 in the Watch me build a BANS niche site from Scratch series!

There’s been a lot of talk about whether or not a dot info domain is worth having any more (for a BANS store). There are countless forum threads in the BANS members forum about it. Until recently I wasn’t personally sure if google had a vendetta out against dot info (.info) domains or not. That was – until the other day.

I’ve had a few dot info domains for about a year now. A lot of hosts (goDaddy) were offering .info domains for only 99 cents for the first year, which led lots of webpreneurs like myself to grab up prime names quickly for just a buck. I grabbed a handful – like 10 I think. It looks like I was just small potatoes though – as I’ve read about many BANS site owners who bough 100+ for BANS stores. To make matters worse, with the .info so cheap BANS site owners weren’t the only ones cleaning up – spammers were buying up the names in droves, because for for only a dollar, surely they would earn their money back and then some before their domain was banned or blacklisted.

I think what happenned here is that BANS sites (with original content) got caught in the crossfire. If you were a BANS site owner that purchased 100+ domains and just did the basis setup (with no content pages) – to google you really were a spammer and you site had no value (beyond the auctions) to visitors. Our test BANS site for this series (Used Cell Phones) was de-indexed by google early on, and I attributed that to “google sandboxing”, since my other .info domains (which are blogs) have been fine.

Then, last week one of my dot info blogs (Top Jokes) got dropped by google like a hot rock for no good reason. I don’t sell text links, I regularly post new content, and I wasn’t doing anything even remotely unscrupulous to irk the ire of google to drop me. It looks like even regular sites (with lots of content) can get caught in the crossfire as well. My other .info sites are all still fine in the google index. So who knows what the rhyme and reason to it is.

As you’re read in previous posts, our BANS test site is making money and getting traffic from MSN Live Search just fine. Nothing is really coming from Yahoo! yet (although their crawler visits daily). So I’ve decided to move our BANS test site from .info to .com to see what happens! Now, mind you – I’m not going to take down the .info domain at all. Why should I? It’s making money and getting traffic from MSN Search, why give that up? But I’m very curious to see if google will index the .com version of our BANS test site as “original content”, since it won’t index the .info version at all. I think this is a very worth test experiment.

As luck would have it – I already own a related domain Cell Phone How To that established with a PR. So, I created a sub-directory “/used-cell-phones” to move the BANS site to for the test. I did this rather than purchase a new domain name because I don’t want to end up in the sandbox (again) and want to get on with the experiment.

How to Move a BANS niche store to a new domain

This is a very easy and quick process, I had my store moved in about 10-15 minutes. I’m going to assume you can navigate your own webhost control panel to do the following operations:

1. Create a new database on your new domain
2. Create a new database user
3. Assign the new user to the new database
4. Export your MySQL database from your old domain
5. Import the MySQL database on your new domain
6. Edit your /cont/cont.php file with new info
7. Login at the new domain

If it all seems very easy – it is. The first thing I did was change my meta description and title a bit to make it different from the old site just slightly. Then I checked my pages to make sure that the links weren’t broken. If you setup any manual links, you may have to edit them. Other than that – everything seemed to work beautifully right out of the box.

Next on my agenda is to remove my old (.info) sitemap from google webmaster tools and add this one. In addition – I’m not going to register the sitemap on this new test site with MSN or Yahoo at all (why screw up a good thing on the other site for now). The goal is to find out if I can get indexed on this new .com version of our BANS test site, and to see how long it takes. I’m not going to do any link building this week at all – let’s just see if we can get in the index or not and go from there!

As always – if you have something to add or a question, by all means comment now!

Don’t have “Build a Niche Store” yet? Click here:

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If you’re reading this page to try and figure out is Build a Niche Site for you or not – please consider buying BANS through my affiliate link. I make a small commission, which would help defray some of my time and expense for putting together this BANS tutorial (and future BANS success articles) for you! I purchased my copy through an affiliate link in gratitude to the blogger who talked of his success with this niche building site script.

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