Changing domain names in 2016: 10 easily overlooked steps that can save SEO
Moving your site to a new domain can be fraught with SEO issues, even without a redesign or CMS migration. Columnist Glenn Gabe has some insights on what issues to anticipate and how to handle them.
I help a lot of companies with the SEO aspects of their website redesigns and CMS migrations.
As many webmasters know (or find out through hard experience), both redesigns and migrations can be catastrophic if not handled correctly. Unfortunately, you can run into many gremlins during a migration, from technical problems to botched redirection plans to dropping URLs. And when that happens, you can lose search equity, rankings and traffic. I’ve helped some companies that reached out to me after losing 60 to 70 percent of their traffic based on a botched migration. It’s not pretty, to say the least.
But what about simply changing domain names? If you are just moving from one domain name to another, without a redesign or CMS migration, it must be much easier, right? Well, it is easier, but there are still things that can go wrong. And the more moving pieces are involved with your site, the more variables you need to worry about.
The following post covers some commonly overlooked steps that need to be completed when changing domain names (steps that are “beyond the basics”). For example, most webmasters know that you need to redirect the old domain to the new (mapping URL to URL), but there are a number of additional and important steps that often get missed along the way. That’s what I’m going to focus on in this post.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of all tasks that need to be completed when switching domain names. But based on my experience, the following steps can easily be missed and can cause serious problems down the line. Let’s begin.
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