Do you want to move your site to a different URL or a different infrastructure but you have incomplete and sketchy information on this? Google has decided to help you out by providing an in-depth guide in the Webmaster Central Blog, on how to handle site moves in a Googlebot friendly way. It has also updated the site move guidelines in the Help Center to let webmasters design and implement site moves accurately.
Let’s look at it through Google’s own glasses. Site moves can be of two types:
Site Moves With URL Changes: The URLs on the website can be changed in either of these ways-
- The protocol can change from http://www.example.com to https://www.example.com.
- The domain name can change from example.com to example.net. After moving a site to a new domain if you want to move it back again, you can first use Webmaster Tools to take back the change of address notice, and then remove the 301 redirects, in case you have implemented one, to direct traffic from your old site to your new site.
- The URL paths can change from http://example.com/page.php?id=1 to http://example.com/widget.
Site Moves without URL Changes: There are no visible changes to the URL structure, only the infrastructure of the website is changed. You can move www.example.com to a new web host, but with the same URLs and site structure.
Google’s Recommendations for Site Moves:
- Divide the Move into Smaller Steps: If you are changing both your hosting provider and URL, it can be a little difficult. Google recommends separating these steps. But you can do them for all URLs at the same time if possible.
- Schedule Your Move During Low Traffic Hours: If your traffic is seasonal or falls on certain days, you can move your site during this time. This will reduce the impact of anything that happens and will let your server help Googlebot update the search index.
Google has also provided a detailed guide on how a website can be moved from separate mobile URLs or dynamic serving to a responsive web design. You can know more about how to implement this configuration change here.Know How to Move Your Site to a Different URL or Infrastructure with Googleâ€™s Updated Guidelines on Site Moves!,