Best Practices When Moving a Site

Planning on moving your site to a new domain? How do you do it without losing rank or hurting your site’s performance in Google search results? The Google Webmaster Tools Team member Ríona MacNamara posted a best practices for moving your site to a new domain.

The aim should be to make the transition invisible to the user, and to make sure that Google knows that your original pages should transfer the page strength to your new pages. Here is a summary of the Google recommendations:

  • Test moving a handful of pages to the new domain first.
  • Use 301 redirects to notify Google of the change.
  • Redirect your pages to the most relevant new page. I  recommend that if a relevant page does not exist, make one.
  • Make sure your internal links are pointing to the new domain.
  • Register the new site with Webmaster Tools and submit a sitemap.
  • Review crawl errors within Webmaster Tools on both the new and old domain to catch any errors.

301 Redirect

A 301 redirect is the only search engine friendly strategy around for redirecting a page or site to another page or site. 301 redirects are interpreted by the search engines as "moved permanently," it’s not that hard to implement and it should preserves your search engine rankings for that particular page and transfers it those ranking to the new target page

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