The Site Move Setting Takes a While to Update in Search Console
The setting for a site move sometimes sticks in Search Console for a while even if Google has recognised and processed the migration. Check Google Analytics to make sure traffic is going to your new site correctly.
Various Options Available If You Move To a Penalised Domain
If a site has been migrated to a domain with a manual action, John recommends cancelling the site move (with the change of address tool in GSC), redirecting back from the penalised domain, or alternatively you can take steps to have the manual action removed.
Significant Onpage Changes Can Impact Google’s Ability to Crawl Page
Rankings in search can change after a migration even if the URLs haven’t changed. This can happen if the layout of a page changes significantly meaning that Google’s ability to crawl a site can get better or worse. Pay particular attention to changes in internal linking and anchor text which can impact Google’s ability to crawl a site.
Google Temporarily Reduces Crawl Rate After A Platform Change
When a site changes its hosting platform Google will be more conservative about how much they crawl as they don’t know how much load the new server set up will support.
Change Of Address Tool Used for Migrating to New Site, Not Merging Sites Together
Change of Address tool is designed for migrating one site to a new site and doesn’t really work when you’re merging two sites together.
Search Console Change of Address Takes a Couple of Days
A change of address submitted to Search Console takes a couple of days to take effect when a redirect is in place.
Use 301s to Migrate a Subdomain to a Subfolder
You can’t use the Search Console site migration tool to move a subdomain to a subfolder, but 301 redirections are fine.
Most HTTPS Migrations Take a Day to Change in Index
A HTTPS migration is easier for Google to process than most other types of migrations because it keeps the same domain and same URLs. If a site is restructured with changes to internal linking or the domain name, it means Google has to think about a lot more. However, HTTPS is still a big change and takes time to be processed by Google – most take a day or so to switch over in Google’s index.
Move All Pages at Once For Migrations
John recommends moving all pages over at once for migrations. If the migration is done in steps, it tends to take a lot longer and there’s more room for error with Google struggling to understand if you’re migrating part of the site or the whole site.