Domain Migration

A domain migration is the process of moving a website from one domain to another and involves migrating all content and resources. There are several things that need to be considered to ensure the migration is successful and doesn’t affect a website’s performance in search. Within our Hangout Notes we cover these factors, as well as commonly asked questions and best practice advice from Google.

Featured Snippets Can be Switched Quickly After Migration if Site Structure is Consistent

June 28, 2019 Source

If Google is able to clearly see that a site has moved, all the associated signals and features such as featured snippets and knowledge panels will be moved across to the new domain as long as the site structure and internal linking remains consistent.


Make Sure Hosting & Redirects Are Set Up Correctly After Migration so Google Doesn’t Think Site is Offline

June 11, 2019 Source

If part of your website doesn’t work when Google is trying to access it, such as www. pages, Google could assume that the site has gone offline. Ensure that redirects and the hosting is set up correctly to avoid this from happening.


Make Sure Old Site Isn’t Being Blocked from Crawling During Migration

April 16, 2019 Source

During a site migration, if the old site is being blocked from being crawled by Google in robots.txt, this can cause issues with Google being able to process the migration and pass on signals to the new site.


Use Redirects Rather Than Orphaning an Old Page Before a Site Migration

February 5, 2019 Source

When implementing a site migration, redirect old pages as soon as possible rather than removing internal links to them to try and encourage Google to drop them from the index.


Block Staging Sites From Being Crawled by Google

December 21, 2018 Source

You should block Google from indexing your staging site as it can cause problems. You can block access based on Googlebot’s user agent, or using robots.txt.


Include Content That Matches Old Website Versions When Merging Sites

October 30, 2018 Source

When merging multiple sites into one, John recommends including some content on the destination domain that matches the original domains that have been merged.


HSTS Isn’t Used as a Ranking Signal

July 24, 2018 Source

HSTS doesn’t play any part in rankings. The main consideration from Google’s perspective is that it shouldn’t be added to a site during a time of fluctuation, like a migration. Make sure you only add it once rankings have settled and a migration has been completed successfully.


A/B Testing During a Site Migration Can Delay Google Processing the Move

July 10, 2018 Source

If you’re running large scale A/B testing during a site migration, this can confuse Google’s picture of your site and prevent it from running an algorithm to easily switch all of your URLs across to the new version.


Use a Crawling Tool to Assess & Compare a Site Before & After a Migration

July 10, 2018 Source

Before launching a site migration, John recommends using a crawling tool to get a full picture of your site’s status and signals (such as internal linking, canonicals etc.) both before and after the migration to compare.


Related Topics

HTTPS Migration Website Redevelopment