Google: SEO Site Migrations Are Hard Because URL Signals Need To Be Forwarded

Jan 19, 2022 - 7:31 am 3 by

Google Johnmu Url Changes Video

John Mueller is out with another #AskGooglebot Google SEO video, this one is on site migrations and URL changes. It is a short two minute video on one of the most SEO intimidating changes one can make to their site - change all the URLs on their site.

Here is the video:

John explained that URL changes are not simple for search engines to deal with because Google stores in its index a set of URLs, its on a URL or page by page basis. John said "this may at first sound like a small change within a website." He said however "it's not that simple for search engines." Why? John explained that "search engines like Google store their index on a per page basis." "So if you change the address or the URL of a page that page's data has to be forwarded somehow otherwise it gets lost," he explained.

First, John recommends you deeply study the Google site move documentation, it was vastly improved in 2014 and updated since then over time. John then summarized what you should do, but it is important to see all those details in the help docs:

Here is the slide with what you should do:

Google Site Migration Todo

And he said these changes can take Google several months to process with the more important URLs happening faster and the less important URLs happening slower. Google has said most of the time these moves take a few months but again, John reminded us to keep the redirects in place for at least a year.

Forum discussion at Twitter.


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