How To Transfer Domain With Google Search Console
Migrating a website can be a big task and requires a lot of behind the scenes management to run smoothly. Once all the URL and design elements are complete, transferring your domain in Google Search Console is your next crucial step.
When you move from one domain (or subdomain) to another, you need to use the Change of Address Tool within your Search Console account so that Google can ensure your new website shows in the place of the old within the search results. Doing this incorrectly can lead to traffic loss and a failed website launch, so ensure you follow this guide to a smooth transfer.
Do not use this tool for:
- Moving from http to https – all your existing URLs should be redirected to the HTTPS version via server-side 301 redirects. Read our guide on the difference between 301 and 302 redirects.
- Individual URL Redirects – Changing the URL mysite.com/faq to www.mysite.com/faqs should be done using 301 redirects. Ensure you update your sitemap accordingly when changing URL paths. Read our guide on how to set up 301 redirects in WordPress.
- Moving from non-www to www (or vice versa) – this must be done via canonical tags or 301 redirects
Before using the Change of Address Tool you must have set up 301 redirects for all pages on orginalsite.com to newsite.com to ensure that no 404 errors occur upon launch. You must add your new website to your Google Search Console and fill out the change of address form to confirm that originalsite.com will now become newsite.com and to not show originalsite.com in the search results.
Benefits Of Using The Change Of Address Tool
- Google’s Change of Address Tool is the best and only way to tell Google directly that there has been a site wide migration, unlike 301 redirects which tell Google that individual URLs have been migrated to new destinations
- Once you have submitted the Change Of Address form, this information is passed on to Google straight away, unlike 301 redirects which may take time to be picked up on
- It prevents any duplicate content issues between your existing and new website as well as minimising any negative impact of your Google rankings
- If you change your mind on the migration, your request can be cancelled up to 180 days after it was submitted
Migrating a website can be detrimental to the success of your business if done incorrectly which is why we always recommend using an expert to make these changes for you. If you are struggling to make sense of where to start when moving website, get in touch for some advice.Back to Blog