Have you changed your domain name and looking to implement best practices? Or wondering what implications changing your domain has to Google? Let's dive in!
I recently moved my website from one domain to another and needed to inform Google of this change.
I took two primary steps:
- Added 301 redirects from old to new domain
- Changed my domain in Google Search Console
Adding 301 Redirects
To properly correlate your old domain to your new domain, you need to ensure every page redirects to the new domain.
I did this using Cloudflare.
Sidenote: Cloudflare is an excellent companion to any website. I highly suggest using it for reasons beyond this one use case.
In Cloudflare, I added a Page Rule that forwards (redirects) every request from the old domain to the new domain while keeping the path intact.
For example, if someone went to olddomain.com/path/1, Cloudflare would forward that to newdomain.com/path/1.
With one rule, all your pages are 301 redirected.
Change of Address in Google Search Console (GSC)
Just like Cloudflare, GSC is a tool you should be using for many reasons beyond this one use case.
You need to verify both your new domain and old domain in GSC. You can view my GSC tutorial to learn more, but it's super easy.
Before moving forward, ensure the following are true:
- 301 redirects are working
- Your new domain shows up in GSC
- Your old domain shows up in GSC
You also need to make sure you don't use this tool if one of the following applies:
- You added or removed https (no domain name change)
- You added or removed www (no domain name change)
Now, head over to settings in GSC and click "Change of Address".
This tool informs Google of your domain change and will help migrate over to the new domain.
You can view Google's Change of Address documentation for more info.
After I moved the site to a new domain in Google, the following image is what my GSC showed.
Google Move Site to New Domain
GSC Advanced Features