It is a very useful and ingenious process designed for all those who are thinking of changing the domain of their project and do not want to lose that position in Google and organic traffic that has cost you so much work and time.
As many of you know, changing the domain of your website can be real nightmares for your project, with the organic traffic and web positioning of your project being very negatively affected. This is because each domain accumulates:
- Your own SEO metric indexes , such as PR, Domain Authority or Alexa Ranking among others.
- Features like domain age, social signals, etc.
- The backlinks :
In this article I will try to explain in the best possible way how we can minimize the risks of losing organic traffic and web positioning and emerge victorious when making a domain change and subsequent migration.
The first step, without a doubt, will be choosing the new domain you want to call your project. For this you have two options when choosing it:
- Choose a new domain : I leave you in this link a trick to be able to choose the best new domain for your project.
- Choose an expired domain that already has strength in the eyes of Google : In the following link you will be able to know how to get those domains with authority for free.
We need to load a simple HTML page indicating that the page is under construction. It is important to load this page a couple of weeks before changing domains. In this way, we will allow Google to index our new domain and to prevent Google from detecting our domain as 'Parked Domain', we must write some content and some line like 'A new website is going to be hosted on this website' in the page of building.
Start by transferring small segments of your website. In my case, for example, if I wanted to change domains, I could start by transferring the subdomain en.germancabello.com. Once verified a week later that this segment (subdomain) we have successfully transferred, we will continue with the web in its entirety. Doing it in parts can help avoid serious positioning problems.
Transfer all web pages
Upload all the pages, images and files from your old website to the new one. If you decide to change the structure of your website, you should write down all these changes since it will be very useful when making 301 redirects.
This is, without a doubt, the critical step in the process. Once the content is successfully updated on the new domain, we will proceed to redirect any and all old URLs to the new ones . We must do permanent 301 redirects and not make the mistake of doing temporary 302 redirects since 302 redirects do not move PR, Anchor texts or any other SEO metrics.
*NOTE: Do not redirect all old pages to the new home.
We must redirect, in case of being an ecommerce:
- All old products to corresponding new products
- All new categories to corresponding new categories
- The old home to the new home
- The same with subhomes, intermediate pages...
We must not forget to change the web address in the Google Webmaster Tool. To change the site address we must:
- Register both domains (old and new) in the same Webmaster tool account.
- Go to Tools and click on ' Change address '.
- Once we are on the screen in the photo above, we will proceed to verify that all the redirections have been carried out correctly .
- We will check that both sites are verified .
- Lastly, we will send the change of address request .
To do this, we must identify through a tool such as MOZ , SEMRush or Sistrix , among others, the most important external links that point to our website. Although through 301 redirects we will transfer the forces from one domain to another, it is highly recommended to update the most important external links that lead to our website.
Now it would only be necessary to make sure that we have followed the previous steps to the letter and be patient. Please note that we must renew the old domain before it expires. In this way we will not lose referral traffic and domain authority from old backlinks to which we have made 301 redirects.
Also don't forget to keep those redirects and renew the change of address in Webmaster tools every 180 days.
If you want to find out more about the subject, I recommend reading the post 301 Redirects vs Page Load Time .