Web Migration and Sitemaps

2 weeks ago we moved one of our websites between 2 servers and migrated all of the content to a new domain name. We needed to do this fairly quickly and were pretty worried that all our hard earned SEO work would go out of the window along with the backlinks we had created. Amazingly Google changed its index within 2 days and our rankings have stayed the same.

Here is what we did:

  1. Created a single 301 re-direct for all pages from the old site pointing to the proper URLs on the new site URL
  2. Make sure that both the old site and the new site have been verified and have sitemaps submitted at Google’s Webmaster Central
  3. Change all backlinks we control/paid for to link to the new website URL
  4. Changed Google Adword campaign to point to the new URL, and left Ad’s unchanged

There are loads of other tips and tricks that people recommend, but we found the move very smooth and Google rankings changed to the new URL within 1 week. I have heard of this taking up to 3 months, however ours was dramatically faster, and results for our targeted keywords changed within 2 days. The domain we migrated to was also a new domain, which makes this even more amazing. We havent followed the websites progress on any other search engines, as Google is our number 1 marketing tool for this website. Hopefully the other seach engines followed suit and loved the new domain as much as Google did.

Ask.com Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft Live Search now autodiscover Sitemaps aswell. The new open-format autodiscovery allows webmasters to specify the location of their sitemaps within their robots.txt. More information at Sitemaps.org, and Ask.com blog.

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