When it comes to creating a new website, we all hope that it will be done once and for all.
However, there may come a moment when a domain must be relocated.
The operation may be required for a variety of reasons.
This can include domain name changes as part of a rebranding drive, domain mergers after one corporation acquire another, and so on.
Whatever the reason for relocating a domain, it’s critical to proceed with caution and caution.
Otherwise, you risk losing all of the authority you’ve worked so hard to establish for your first website.
Choosing a New Domain Name
Some webmasters prefer to purchase a whole new domain and build its authority from the ground up.
Others prefer to purchase already-registered domains.
The biggest advantage of purchasing a used domain is that it is easier (and faster) to promote.
You can purchase such a name through specialized services or from former owners directly
However, you should thoroughly research the history of a used domain before purchasing it.
You might run into problems if you don’t.
It’s worth noting that many second-hand domains have a terrible Google reputation due to their involvement in illicit or spammy activities.
As a result, before purchasing a domain that has been around for a time, you should conduct a thorough investigation.
Here’s a brief checklist to take to make sure the deal is risk-free:
1. Evaluate the new domain’s utility and repute.
You can do so using the Wayback Machine service.
It’s a historical archive that keeps pictures of the complete history of a webpage.
The service displays how a webpage and its content appeared at one moment in time.
As a result, you can quickly determine whether a site was hacked and what type of content was stored under its name.
This step is critical since it allows you to avoid unwanted shocks.
If the former domain owner was selling low-quality products, you will have to deal with his disgruntled customers if you buy their domain.
In addition, the prior owner’s content may have been inappropriate, explicit, or unrelated to your website’s category.
2. Examine the backlinks to the new domain and their quality.
This is an additional step that should be completed before purchasing a used domain.
The issue is that a domain’s reputation with search engines is irrevocably damaged if it just has spammy backlinks.
Use SEO SpyGlass to check website inbound links – the software will display all domain backlinks and analyze them against a variety of crucial SEO variables, allowing you to determine whether a domain is worth your money.
Start the program and make a new project for the domain you want to examine.
After you’ve gathered your data, go to Backlink Profile > Backlinks to see the domain’s backlinks.
You don’t have to worry about no-follow links because they don’t pass PageRank and so won’t hurt the domain’s reputation regardless of where they come from.
Examine the do-follow links from low-quality domains more closely.
In the vast majority of circumstances, Google will just ignore them.
Even yet, if there are too many poisonous connections, Google’s algorithms may become uneasy about ignoring them, and you may receive a manual action.
Go to the Penalty Risk page to calculate the risks.
Examine the high and medium penalty risk domains with care.
Click the I sign in the Penalty Risk column to learn more about why the domain is considered dangerous.
If you want to disavow some domains or links, right-click the domain and select Disavow from the drop-down menu.
Transferring a domain is a multi-step but straightforward process.
This section of the tutorial will walk you through the domain migration process and teach you how to mitigate any potential SEO issues.
The procedure is divided into three stages: preparation, execution, and monitoring.
Stage 1 Preparing an Old Domain for Migration
At this point, we’ll gather information about your old domain and determine what has to be adjusted for the new one.
To begin, you must first build an.xml sitemap (in case you already have it on your site, skip this step).
Submit your sitemap to Google or Bing Webmaster Tools after it’s finished.
This will assist you in evaluating all of your pages and determining what should be kept, what should be altered, and what should be removed.
2. The next stage is to collect ranking data and traffic statistics (top 10 ranking pages, best-ranking keywords, average monthly organic and referral traffic)
When the transfer operation is completed, you will require this information.
You can see how your website’s performance has evolved by comparing these numbers.
This is where Rank Tracker will come in handy.
Go to Target Keywords > Rank Tracking to determine which keywords bring you the most traffic and perform the best.
Go to Competitor Research > Top Sites and type in your former domain to see the top pages and their SEO metrics.
3. Finally, look for any links pointing to your former domain.
Gather as much information as possible about your prior site’s backlink profile.
You can utilize SEO SpyGlass in the same way that you did for the new domain investigation.
When you’re finished, remove any harmful connections that appear to be too dangerous to preserve and hope that Google will ignore and disavow them.
You should maintain valuable links because they may be useful for your next domain.
Even so, you must direct them to the new address.
Ideally, you should contact the webmasters of each connecting site and request that the links be updated.
If that isn’t possible, use a 301 redirect to move pages with valuable incoming links to a different site.
This will allow you to keep some of your former domain’s SEO value.
Stage 2: Transferring the domain
To begin, go to Google Webmaster Tools and register your new domain.
If you properly read and follow the instructions, the operation is fairly simple.
Then, to ensure that search engines are unable to scan your site while you are transferring and making modifications, restrict a new domain from being crawled by them.
Blocking can be accomplished by the use of robots.txt files, robots meta tags, or demanding authentication.
After that, you can begin transferring your site to a new domain.
If you’re going to update the structure of your site, make a list of all redirects so you can keep track of all old and new pages and keep as much link juice as possible.
And, as previously said, any pages with high direct and referral traffic should be 301 redirected to their counterparts on a new domain.
2. Make a new file called robots.txt.
The indexation rules will be the same as they were on the old domain.
You must ensure that the pages on your old site that were hidden from search engine crawlers will remain unavailable on the new domain.
Also, if you used robots’ meta tags to block some of your previous site pages, the same blocking should be applied to the new domain.
Now is the time to do a comprehensive SEO analysis on the newly migrated website.
WebSite Auditor (Site Structure > Site Audit) can assist you in checking your new site for broken links, HTML code mistakes, missing titles, 404s, and PageSpees difficulties, among other things.
If any of these issues are discovered, they must be addressed.
- Create an an.xml sitemap for your new website and submit it to Google Webmaster Tools once you’ve validated all of the content, URLs, and technical concerns.
- Disabling the blocking (so that search engines may access, crawl, and index your new site) and notifying Google of your transfer via the Google Search Console change of address tool are the final stages.
Stage 3: Examining the Domain Transfer’s Outcomes
It’s time to examine and monitor the migration after you’ve completed the site transfer to a new domain.
Check the rankings and organic traffic of your new domain first.
Determine which keywords bring in the most traffic and which ones don’t.
Compare the figures to the statistics you gathered for your previous domain.
This will assist you in determining what you are doing incorrectly and which areas of your site require your attention.
Google Search Console can assist you with this.
Next, check your site’s backlinks to see if any of them point to your new domain.
If some links still point to your former domain, contact the webmasters of these sites and request that the link information be updated.
When you’ve completed all of the steps listed above, you can confidently delete the old domain and its database.
You now have a fully new site with the same content as before, but with a different domain name.
The moving process may take a lengthy time.
However, if everything is done correctly, the shift will be seamless and undetectable to website visitors.
This article will assist you in streamlining the process and making it easier and more organized.
Have you ever switched your site to a different domain?
Was it a pleasant or unpleasant experience?
Please feel free to add your ideas and opinions to the discussion in the comments section.