Website transition is a make-or-break moment for your SEO ranking.
But many SEOs stumble upon this.
Don’t fret – Google has something for you!
In the recent episode of Ask Googlebot…
…John Mueller, a seasoned advocate for effective SEO practices…
… shared invaluable insights on how businesses can navigate this crucial journey.
(Find the video below)
Well, in this episode, he hinted for…
…a combination of updating, redirecting, and vigilant monitoring.
Let’s dive in!
Table Of Content
Updating Or Removing? A Crucial Decision For SEO Success
Mueller’s advice echoes a fundamental principle: bid adieu to the old one when launching a new website.
Because the rationale is clear—leaving outdated information lingering online can confuse users and threaten your site’s SEO standing.
Consistency is the key.
In fact, Mueller stresses the importance of ensuring that the old site is either updated to reflect current information or discreetly taken offline.
Redirects: The SEO Compass For Seamless Transitions
In Mueller’s playbook, redirects emerge as the unsung heroes of website transitions.
So, his hits are pretty clear.
Redirect the old website to the new one.
This not only aids users in finding the correct website but also facilitates the seamless transfer of signals to the new domain.
And potentially elevate your rank.
Again, Mueller’s pragmatic approach emphasizes the necessity of professional assistance in implementing redirects.
Thus, he advocates maintaining them for at least a year to ensure a smooth transition for users and search engines alike.
Understanding The Dynamics Of Redirects
Their role is twofold—ensuring users effortlessly find the new domain and transferring the value of links from the old domain to the new one.
This transfer of link equity is pivotal for retaining search engine rankings.
Additionally, redirects are crucial in maintaining user experience and SEO integrity. It is important to understand their significance in order to maintain the quality of your website.
How to implement redirects? A Symphony of URLs and Web Servers
In this regard, Mueller introduces the 301 permanent redirects as a preferred choice during website migrations.
So, he mentions its ability to pass on link equity from old pages to new ones.
Depending on the web server, .htaccess or server config files are edited to map old URLs to new ones. It adds a practical dimension to the implementation process by mentioning plugins for content management systems.
When Redirects Aren’t Viable…What’s Next?
In instances where redirects aren’t feasible, Mueller offers alternative strategies.
So, you can consider updating the old site with a notice about the move or taking down the old site as viable options.
(if that’s not possible.)
Importantly, Mueller reassures that search engines won’t penalize the new site for outdated content on the old domain.
However, there is a word of caution—the old and new sites may still coexist in searches for a while, necessitating clarity for users.
Post-Transition Vigilance – How Do You Ensure Smooth Sailing?
Do you think transitioning to a new website is not a set-and-forget affair? NO!
This is why Mueller advocates post-transition vigilance that comes with:
The use of analytics software to verify redirects.
Monitoring search engine rankings for unexpected dips.
Proactive communication with users through emails, social media, and website announcements.
Basically, this holistic approach ensures a comprehensive evaluation of the transition’s success.
Being in the content writing landscape for 4+ years, Tuhin likes to go deep into the minds of his readers through his writing. He loves sharing content related to SEO, digital marketing, content writing, copywriting, Education, and lifestyle. Besides his inherent inclination towards creating content, he is also a sports enthusiast and travel freak.