Back in November when the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized more than 80 domain names of sites they claim were infringing copyright, the effect on their traffic was instant and massive.
With their domain names no longer under their control rendering most existing search engine links unusable, most of the sites all but disappeared. Some, however, refused to give in and moved immediately to new domain names.
One of those is the BitTorrent meta-search engine Torrent-Finder, which relocated to a .info domain it already owned. Just after the seizures, TorrentFreak asked site owner Waleed Gadelkareem how the action had affected his traffic. The response was clear – the domain seizure had set the site’s traffic back massively.
Like many other torrent sites Google was the main traffic source of Torrent-Finder, so even with the .info domain ready traffic initially plunged up to 90%. Google was simply sending the traffic to the seized .com domain, not the new one.
But for this determined Egyptian, patience, hard work and a little help from Google was to set the site back on track to recovery. At the same time, Waleed shows how futile the U.S. seizures are for sites that are determined to continue their operations.
“Google webmaster tools are very important for any website’s SEO and I had already registered torrent-finder.com on my cpanel and confirmed ownership,” Waleed explained.
This registration meant that using the “Change of Address” option on the panel could be done immediately.
“Then I had to direct all linkbacks to the new .info domain by contacting webmasters or changing it by myself if I could. You can see the result on Google analytics of search engine traffic,” says Waleed. (see below)
“Slowly Torrent Finder is getting back most of the indexed pages that we used to have on Google, and of course the targeted keywords,” adds Waleed.
Despite the encouraging signs of recovery with the .info domain (thanks to Google), Waleed is also continuing with his legal action to reclaim his .com domain with the help of lawyer David Snead.
Waleed hopes that the mistakes that were made will serve him well in his case.