Google’s Mueller on Keys to a Successful Web Site Migration
Two tips on methods to make sure a a success website migration consistent with Google’s John MuellerTrack the “Before and After” URLsMigrating Interior LinkingSite Migrations Can Feel ScaryCitation

Google’s John Mueller replied what he felt were the highest things to pay attention to so as to have a a success web site migration. Mueller introduced how one can assist minimize disruptions.

In a Google SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING Administrative Center-hours hangout, a person asked John Mueller about handling a domain migration for a site that acquired every other one and they at the moment are joining the 2 internet sites right into a single web page. they are also changing the domain name.

the individual asking the query requested if Mueller had any most sensible issues on what they should look out for.

John Mueller responded with tips for how to conduct a website migration.

1. Monitor the “Ahead Of and After” URLs

His first suggestion is a fair one. He said to track all URLs of the present web sites sooner than commencing the positioning migration.

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Having a map of each web sites permits you to make use of the ones URLs as an inventory that may be uploaded to a tool like Screaming Frog to search out pages that don’t have a 301 redirect to a new URL and likewise to seek out URLs that can were lost sight of and are actually returning a 404 Blunders Reaction Code.

John Mueller responded:

“i believe essentially the most vital phase is truly to trace the individual URLs, so that you've gotten a clear map of what prior to now was and what it may be in the long run.

And in accordance with that, at the one hand to be sure that you simply have all of the redirects set up correctly.

So a few of the equipment that you just can use to more or less put up the list of the old URLs and test to see that they redirect to the appropriate new ones.”

Screaming Frog is ready to easily deal with this task. In the top navigation bar simply make a choice Mode > Checklist Mode. Then to the fitting a new set of buttons will spawn where you'll choose an Add button from which you'll decide to upload a document, input URLs manually, paste the URLs or to apply an XML sitemap.

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Screaming Frog will then report on the redirects and other components just for the ones URLs. I’ve used this for corporate site migrations for the same scenario where a multinational organization purchased any other company then absorbed the URLs into the larger company’s website online.

2. Migrating Inner Linking

This 2nd tip is a elementary aspect of a website migration and something that Screaming Frog will also be useful for tracking earlier than a domain migration.

a full web site move slowly can display the inner linking construction for every web page and this information may also be exported into a spreadsheet.

in general though, antique content material from one web site is frequently redirected (merged) with existing content material. And under that state of affairs the inner linking construction of the web page that may be ultimate goes to be preserved (until new pages are added).

i believe that the key to creating the transition work is that redirected content material is redirected to pages that are notably an identical. So the antique web page that is going away should redirect to a page at the new web page that may be significantly the similar.

If there’s no match for the old web page to redirect to, then normally do not redirect that page to the house page. Google’s going to treat that as a cushy 404. So in that situation it’s very best to simply permit the page 404.

John Mueller on Twitter About 404s to Home Pages

@JohnMu what does Google do while a site redirects all its 404s to the homepage? Seeing more and extra websites do this and it's such an anti-trend.

— Joost de Valk (@jdevalk) January 7, 2019

Yeah, it's not an excellent observe (confuses customers), and we most commonly treat them as 404s besides (they are soft-404s), so there is not any upside. it's not significantly broken/bad, but additional complexity for no excellent explanation why – make a better 404 web page instead.

— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) January EIGHT, 2019

Google’s Seek Vital page outlines the most efficient practice for coping with a site that not exists.

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Google describes the best way to handle a web page that has no clear replacement:

“in case your page is now not to be had, and has no transparent alternative, it will go back a 404 (now not discovered) or 410 (Long Past) response code. Either code clearly tells each browsers and search engines like google that the page doesn’t exist. you'll be able to additionally show a customized 404 web page to the person, if suitable: for example, a web page containing list of your most well liked pages, or a link on your house web page.”

that is what John Mueller said:

“the other thing i would be careful for is all of the inner linking, so that you really be certain that every one of the inner indications that you just have to boot that they’re forwarded to whatever new URLs.

As A Result Of what now and again occurs or what I’ve once in a while noticed with those kind of restructurings is that you redirect the URLs, you progress them over but you overlook to set the rel canonical, you forget to set the hyperlinks in the navigation, or within the footer somewhere.

And all of those different indications there, they wouldn’t essentially break the navigation. However they make it so much more difficult for us to pick the new URLs as canonicals.

so that’s kind of the effect that you just could see there. It’s no longer such a lot that it would prevent score but it’s more that we might just stay the vintage URLs for far longer than we really wish to.”

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Website Migrations Can Feel Horrifying

There are many anecdotes of website online migrations resulting in misplaced scores. On A Regular Basis there is a blip in traffic as Google figures out the place the whole thing should rank. But a site migration will in most cases turn out positive as long as web pages on the antique web page are redirected to pages on the vintage website online which are considerably the same.

looking to trick Google into sending PageRank to a web page that may be substantially other may in fact confuse Google approximately what the web page is set and backfire. So if there is not any appropriate page to redirect to then it’s best to go back a 404 blunders reaction code.

Site migrations can end up smartly as long as they’re performed in a sensible means that preserves the meanings of the antique pages within the equivalent new pages.


Watch Google’s Mueller speak about web site migrations about about the 18 minute mark.

Website Migrations – 18:26