You’ve finally bought your own domain name and need to transfer your site located so far on a free hosting? Or you want to use a new address and a new domain name for your identity and improve visibility on the Internet. Google gives you some tips to make this transition goes well for both your visitors and your ranking.
- Do a test limited to a directory or subdomain of the site and redirect pages to new URLs using a permanent redirect (R301).
- Verify that the new URLs appear well in Google and if OK to transfer the site. Do not do a single redirect to the homepage of the new field, which is convenient to avoid 404 errors but frustrating for users. Redirect each page to its new URL is more work, but is less distracting for visitors. If the old pages no longer exist in the same, the redirect to the new pages to the nearest content.
- If you change your domain name to revamp your site, consider a transfer in two stages: redirect the old site to the new ndd first, and put on line changes in a second time. This allows you to manage these changes more easily, and reduce the number of unknowns in the event of problems.
- Check all external and internal links pointing to your site. Ideally all external links should be updated. If this is not practical, make sure that all pages have been redirected links are well to the new site or domain. Also check the internal links on your old site and have them point to the new. Once everything is in place at the new address, use a program like Xenu to check for broken links. This is especially important that you use absolute links instead of relative links in your original site.
- To avoid confusion it is best to keep control of your old domain name at least 180 days.
- Add your new site in GWT, perform the verification step and add a sitemap. This confirms that your content is now online at the new address and that Google can crawl it.
- Recently, keep both sites in GWT with the status verified, and review crawl errors regularly reported by Google to monitor that redirects R301 worked well and that the new site does not generate 404 errors involuntary.
It must be admitted that a transfer is never easy, but following these tips you should avoid damage to your reputation and visibility on the Net.