Back in early 2006, we called for a Google Certified Domain Change solution to allow webmasters to communicate to Google when we move domains. Moving domains is one of the biggest concerns SEOs and webmasters have for when it comes to losing rankings in Google.
This tool, named the change of address feature allows you to verify two domains in Google Webmaster Tools and then tell Google that one verified domain is moving to another verified domain.
There is complete documentation on how this works at this Google document. Plus, you should 100% read the moving your site guidelines before making such a move. Here is a picture of the change address form.
One issue is that the change of address feature seems like it is currently not working. Scott Clark posted in Google Webmaster Help that when he tries the feature, it returns an error that reads, "Hm. Something isn't right. We're checking into it now." Googlers said they are looking into the issue and hopefully it will be resolved shortly.
In addition to the change of address feature, Google also launched the new Google Webmaster Tools design, which they have been testing for just about a month. Plus, Google added a neat feature to be emailed when a message is sent in the Google Webmaster Tools message box.
Forum discussion at:
- Change of Address feature seems to be broken, Google Webmaster Help
- Google Adds Change of Address To Notify Google Of Domain Change, Sphinn
- Google Webmaster Tools Has New Look!, DigitalPoint Forums
- NEW - Change of Address in Google Webmaster Tools, WebmasterWorld
- You Can Now Officially Tell Google When You Change Domains!, HighRankings Forums
Update: The issues with the new webmaster tools and change of address feature have now been resolved.