Google: How To Reverse A Site Move & Go Back To Original URLs

Apr 19, 2018 - 8:14 am 7 by


Site moves in the SEO world are always scary, moving from one domain to another or one URL structure to another can be nerve racking. But imagine you go through with a site move and then the client wants you to revert back (love that GIF) and go back to the old URL structure or old domain name. That is even more stressful and probably isn't something so common for most of you.

Well, John Mueller of Google addressed that question in a hangout from earlier this month at the 46:08 mark into the video. He said in short that you need to redirect back to the old domain, make sure that all the external links, internal links, sitemaps, canonicals, etc are probably back to the way they originally were and make sure to do it fast because the longer you leave the new URLs up, the longer it takes Google to revert you back to the old domain.

He also mentioned "good luck" which makes you feel like this is dangerous territory, which it really is.

Here is the video embed, listen to it:


So I guess they set up a redirect from the old site to a new site and now they want to go back to the old site again.

In general, this is something that might might be a bit tricky on on our side. So what I would recommend doing is redirecting back at least. So that from the old site, we or, from the site that you initially redirected to we see a redirect back to your preferred version. So that anytime we crawl the version that we found from the initial redirect we can get back to the version that you actually do want to have indexed.

So that's kind of the first step that I would do there, like you would with any other site move. And then just from there kind of follow the the general guidelines with regards to site moves. And in particularly trying to make sure that like all of the external signals are aligned with where you want your site to be placed as well. So things like external links, internal links, sitemaps, canonicals on these pages, everything kind of aligned with the URLs that you do want.

Sometimes this works fairly well, sometimes it's a bit tricky depending on how long you've been redirecting to the other site. So wish you luck, I guess.

Anytime you do a site move it's a bit of, it can be a bit tricky. And if you have to do a site move one way and then you redo that and redirect back again, it makes it tricky as well. So sometimes you just need to be patient for everything to settle down properly too.

Forum discussion at Twitter.


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