Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.
Richard Hearne: Use the Change Of Address tool inside Google Search Console to alert Google to the domain change:
Sean Clarke: Thanks Richard. It wants me to verify the old property, but I don`t want to do that as we will be deleting it.
Richard Hearne: Do not delete it. And do not allow old domain to expire. Any collateral you had in old domain needs to pass to new domain or you will likely lose whatever SEO you had.
So keep the old domain for as long as you want to keep the new domain, and make sure both are verified inside GSC to use the tool. Even if you need to remove the redirect for a short time to achieve this, it is worth doing. The larger and longer established your site, the more important this is to do!
Sean Clarke: The old site wasn`t online very long and we did pretty much no SEO beyond product descriptions. Don`t want to keep it in the server as we want to shut down that host.
Sean Clarke: I just want all urls with to be removed from the index and be replaced with urls (the only thing that has changed is the domain)
Richard Hearne: Use the Change Of Address tool. The steps you need to take to use it cover best practices for site moves like this, so you`ll cover most of the bases.
But you should retain both domains. Do not let the old domain expire.
Sean Clarke: Thanks. Actually trying to figure out why the damn redirect (set in htaccess) is now not working 100% of the time
Richard Hearne: Probably not picking up www and non-www. I still get your old domain when click through to non-www.
Richard Hearne: In .htaccess you may need to allow drop through to later rules in order for everything to take effect. If you set rules with L (last) once that rule fires it wont look at later rules.
Sean Clarke: Think I`ve fixed it. Old links in Google now go to the correct new page on the new domain.
Richard Hearne: Looks good, but you should still follow the change of address steps. Best of luck with it!
Sean Clarke: Submitted Your request for a site move has succeeded.
Richard Hearne: Something a bit odd with your site. I go to a page with a black footer with an Asian looking girl lying down. But now all pages I see have a red colored footer. I also used the nav and got a 404 for a catgegory link.
By any chance have you just updated your design?
Sean Clarke: The pages with the black footer are on the old domain with the old design. Everything *should* be redirecting to the new domain with the new domain. I don`t want anyone finding themselves on the old site ever.
Richard Hearne: Hmmm... I just managed to get there, possible from Googles SERPs for the old domain. So it might be that not all your redirects are working.
Entirely subjective, but for me personally the old site looked a lot nicer than new.
Sean Clarke: I have now noticed that clicking a link in the new site causes a very long delay before the page loads. The entire reason for the change of domain was branding and the new site was much much faster. Now we are losing speed somewhere.
Richard Hearne: That red footer is really harsh to look at. I cant now find how I got to the old site, but rest assured I saw girl with tattoos in header and Asian girl lying down in footer.
Richard Hearne: It might be a little slow because I just crawled it. But if so, then I suspect you need to review the infrastructure your hosting on. Also look at optimizing things - WProcket might be of interest.
Sean Clarke: Yeah I think I`ll change the red footer. It was supposed to be part of the red logo branding
Sean Clarke: GTMetrix shows 1.4 secs load time. It`s hosted on a pretty decent Vultr server with Cloudways.
Richard Hearne: Not bad, but at least some requests are hitting levels where people are going to hit back button before everything arrives.
Sean Clarke: I`m in Bangkok. We test from Vancouver as we only sell to the US & Canada.
Richard Hearne: Yeah, like I said it`s fast for some, but very slow for others. That inconsistency should be looked at. I`m in Phuket - nice to meet you!
Sean Clarke: You too! Our Thai site is That will be getting a refresh soon and will be hosted here in Thailand. Currently it`s on Siteground.
Richard Hearne: Mixing langs there may not be ideal. Interesting that you sell in Thailand. Are you producing locally (purely out of curiosity)?
Sean Clarke: Yes manufactured here. Selling glass bongs isn`t illegal only using them is and then only if you use them for weed. We don`t touch weed at all. We sponsored the recent Highland 420 event (and last year) plus we were at this year`s Buriram 420 event which had about 10, 000 people in attendance. Things are changing for sure.