The folks at Google recently posted on their Webmaster Central Blog a great DIY article on some of the best practices when moving your website to a new domain.
This is essential reading for any of you who may be looking at moving your site to a new web address (URL) but don’t want to hurt your placing in the Google search results.
The article is written by Riona MacNamara from the Google Webmaster Tool Team and she notes that “your aim is to make the transition invisible and seamless to the user, and to make sure that Google knows that your new pages should get the same quality signals as the pages on your own site.”
Here are just some of the tips:
- Test the move process by moving part of your site to the new domain first.
- If you are rebranding your site also, it may be best to move the site first and then launch the redesign.
- Check both internal and external links to pages on your site.
- To prevent confusion, retain control of your old site domain for at least 180 days.
- Register and verify the new site with Webmaster Tools and submit a sitemap.
Check out the rest of the best practice tips here.
Although moving your website may be not an easy process, the tips from Google should certainly help ensure that your Google reputation doesn’t go missing in the process.