Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Kjell Max Westfehling on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, October 18, 2018).

Moving a site to a new domain without hampering SEO

I am moving a site to a new domain completely, how to least impact SEO for the site without harming the sites last couple of years worth of SEO & gaining rankings is the question.

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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Michael Martinez: If it`s a large site, according to Google, it`s probably best to move one section at a time. If it`s a small site just move everything at once. How large is "large"? They don`t say. I`ve moved sites with hundreds of URLs in one swell foop without any problem. Just be sure you implement the redirects correctly and DO NOT block the old site from the search results. It`s okay to have dual listings for a while. Nothing bad will happen if the search engine lists the old URL next to the new URL. That`s normal. In my experience, things often break on sites that are moved. That`s the real reason SEO would be affected. If it`s a clean move everything should go okay. And advise the client to keep the old domain registration for at least 10 years.
  • Lisa Brown: Get the redirects right. Not just a domain redirect, you want olddomain.com/pagename to redirect to newdomain.com/pagename keep the same names, don`t rename pages, that way you can use mod_rewrite to handle it.
  • Ashok Panda: Why does he want to move to the new domain? Does the new domain possess a descent domain authority ?
  • Dan Thies: None of that “domain authority” stuff matters if they do it right.
  • Ashok Panda: Domain authority is a ranking factor ?
  • Michael Martinez: Domain authority is NOT a ranking factor.
  • Dan Thies: Domain authority is a made up number.
  • Dan Thies: Backlinks are what you’re really talking about.
  • Dan Thies: Important Before you redirect anything, get the site running on BOTH domains. Apply canonical tags to the old domain pointing to the new domain.Then do a change of address in search console and wait. When site: searches for the old domain deliver results from the new domain, go ahead and redirect.Send a 301 permanent redirect, and do not send cache-control or expires headers, just the redirect.
  • Dan Thies: I reviewed this with Michael Stebbins on the Best Practices podcast last year, but we didn’t have a warning on the ways that a 301 redirect can be done wrong with expires headers. https://omcp.org/changing-domains-dan-thies-seo-best.../
  • Kjell Max Westfehling: Thanks for this Dan, I dont understand this exact point, are you able to clarify please? "Apply canonical tags to the old domain pointing to the new domain." Thank you.
  • Lisa Brown: Belt and suspenders! Dan 🙂
  • Dan Thies: Kjell Max Westfehling each URL on the old domain has a canonical link tag pointing to the corresponding URL on the new domain.The search engines will update the canonical URL for each document as they crawl and index.Instead of just slamming a redirect on and hoping it all works out.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canonical_link_element
  • Kjell Max Westfehling: Dan Thies Thanks, read through this, how do i do this please? Can I not do a 301 redirect like this.. http://olddomain.com/ 301 redirects to https://newdomain.comhttps://olddomain.com/ 301 redirects to https://newdomain.comhttp://olddomain.com/* 301 redirects to https://newdomain.com/*https://olddomain.com/* 301 redirects to https://newdomain.com/*

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, October 18, 2018).

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