Google Offers Best Practices For Moving A Site

Google’s Webmaster Central blog wrote some best practices for moving your site to a new domain. I am happy with Google’s write up and it is a great first step, but I am a strong advocate of a Google Certified Domain Change process within Webmaster Tools. In any event, here is a summary of what […]

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Google’s Webmaster Central blog wrote some best practices for moving your site to a new domain. I am happy with Google’s write up and it is a great first step, but I am a strong advocate of a Google Certified Domain Change process within Webmaster Tools.

In any event, here is a summary of what Google recommends:

  • Test moving part of your site to the new domain first.
  • Use 301 redirects to notify Google of the change.
  • Redirect your pages to the most relevant new page, when possible.
  • If you are also rebranding your site, consider first moving the original site and then doing a redesign.
  • Make sure your internal links are pointing to the new domain.
  • Try to encourage external links to change to the new domain.
  • Hold on to the old domain for 180 days
  • Register and verify the new site with Webmaster Tools and then submit a sitemap.
  • Review crawl errors within Webmaster Tools on both the new and old domain.

I have some additional resources at the Search Engine Roundtable on moving domains.


About the author

Barry Schwartz
Staff
Barry Schwartz is a technologist and a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics.

In 2019, Barry was awarded the Outstanding Community Services Award from Search Engine Land, in 2018 he was awarded the US Search Awards the "US Search Personality Of The Year," you can learn more over here and in 2023 he was listed as a top 50 most influential PPCer by Marketing O'Clock.

Barry can be followed on X here and you can learn more about Barry Schwartz over here or on her personal site.

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