If you are changing domains because of a re-brand or for some reason aggregating content, you’ll need to make sure that the change is done flawlessly. Since Google is basically the end all and be all of search, I’ve consulted their resources. There are two basic links to review:
- Google Webmaster Central – Moving Your Site
- Google Webmaster Central Blog – Best Practices When Moving Your Site
The two links above are basically duplicate content (bad Google), but sometimes it helps to see things explained a couple different ways. The basic steps to take care of can be summed up as:
- Setup a Google Webmaster Tools Account and Add New Site
- Place .htaccess with 301 Permantent Redirects on old domain
- Check your database and files for old domain mentions
- Submit Sitemap and a Google Change of Address notification
- Let her rip and monitor logs
I’ve done this exercise twice now with (on the same domain no less) with no noticeable decline in search engine link positioning. I’m sure I’ll be doing this again sometime, so that’s the reason for the blog post. It’s basically for self reference for the next time I inevitably have to move a Web site to a new domain.
It took me about 3 days for Google to index a relatively new domain (21 days old).
- Bing does not provide a Change of Address notification for their Bing Webmaster Tools
Then, on March 09 we became #1 on the result for Red Bridge Internet… Put in the request to move March 01