Keep old domains active and forwarded - here's why!

I once received an email from my website contact page, and rang the person up.  It was a totally ‘cold’ contact in that I had never met the person, and there was no reason why we would know each other, so I asked how she had found my site.

The response was that she had searched in Google for “checklist for IT Director”, and somewhere among the returned results was a link that took her through to my site, and as a result of what she saw there she very kindly got in touch.

Excellent stuff – we had a good conversation and, like with all these things, you never know where it may lead.

However, I was intrigued by the “checklist for IT Director” thing, because as far as I am aware, neither the term “checklist” nor “IT Director” appear on my website currently, and have not for some time.  So I decided to investigate further, with intriguing results.

A couple of years ago, I did do some marketing around the virtual/ outsourced IT Director model, and as part of that process I had a Twitter account in the name of @it_director.  I put out a couple of dozen tweets on this account over a few months, and the last one was more than a year before this call.

One of the tweets I had put out concerned a checklist (can you see where this is going?) for various issues, in this case whether or not you should block automatic updates for Internet Explorer!  This contained a link to a long-dead page, on a website that I no longer use.

Happily, I had maintained the domain, and pointed it to my current site, so when the link was clicked, up I came and the contact was established.  So the moral appears to be that you should always ensure that any domains you link to from Twitter, or any other forum postings or social media activity are redirected if you close the website.  You just never know – in a few years time, someone may stumble across one of your current tweets, even if it’s actually totally irrelevant to what they were looking for, and click on the link.

Stranger things have happened …

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