I am sure a lot of you heard about this but a few days ago it was announced that Bodog recovered Bodog.com. I read a few articles about it and it sounds like an extremely complicated and convoluted licensing and ownership process. Somehow it was not technically “bodog” which recovered it or something like it. It was Morris Mohawk Gaming or something like that. Seems like a bit of nonsense like most business legal arrangements. I’m just assuming bodog got it back for the purposes of this blog entry.
I think it presents a really interesting SEO question. There are two main options.
First, they can keep the bodoglife domain and just redirect bodog.com to the domain they’ve been using the last few years. The benefits are that they will preserve or improve their current rankings. They will also prevent any re-indexing and re-ranking delays which might take place over the course of a few weeks (that few weeks of limbo can mean a lot of lost money). They also will still get credit for the old links to bodog.com that were never changed — that is, assuming Google would give them credit for that. Lastly, they’ll get whatever remaining bodog.com type-in traffic exists. It’s a lower risk play to go this route because it doesn’t really mean a major change of any kind.
Second, they can redirect bodoglife back to the bodog.com domain and resurrect the bodog.com domain. As previously mentioned, they will lose rankings for terms like online poker for at least a certain period of time. They could also, potentially, trigger something in Google’s algorithm that would flag the site as some sort of spam. I know that sounds silly but crazier things have definitely happened in Google. I’m not saying that I know there’s something like that in the algorithm (obv) but one thing I’ve learned is that there’s usually no reason to make big changes with any sites that are currently performing well. Google can be very finicky and you never know what will happen to generic terms. Obviously bodog.com will quickly recover rankings for terms like “bodog”, “bodog poker”, etc. But the generic non-branded terms are another story. And those terms usually provide the most incremental value for an SEO-active poker site. In other words, even SEO braindead poker sites typically rank #1 for their own brand terms so it’s really a moot point how well SEOed they are when you’re talking about that set of keywords. The main benefit to this move is that it’s definitely better to be branded as bodog.com and it’s easier to promote in things like print ads and elsewhere.
Anyway, I’m told that Bodog plans on doing option two. I applaud their risk-taking and I’m also really curious to see how Google reacts. It’s always interesting to watch some other people make some big moves with SEO stuff! Usually, if you follow it carefully, it can reveal something or other about the algorithm that you never knew before. Good luck Bodog