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.

Various Options Available If You Move To a Penalised Domain

March 27, 2018 Source

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

February 23, 2018 Source

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

February 1, 2018 Source

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

December 1, 2017 Source

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

November 10, 2017 Source

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

October 6, 2017 Source

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

October 3, 2017 Source

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

September 22, 2017 Source

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.


Explicilty Searching Old Content Will Return it in Search Under New URL After a Migration

September 8, 2017 Source

If you explicitly search for old content following a site migration, Google will try to show it even if they have it indexed under the new URL already. This is because Google’s algorithms are trying to find the content you are looking for.


Related Topics

HTTPS Migration Website Redevelopment