How to move a site without harming traffic
Today we will tell you some practical tips on how to move your site to a new domain without any negative consequences. We’ll also talk about how to properly connect domains and get the most out of it.
Domain linking: what is it and why do we need it?
Domain linking is a kind of “gluing”, that is, combining several domains in search engine indexes. As a result of this process, we will get one main domain, which will be the best for search engines, other domains are mirror, that is, they will not be included in the search.
Mirror domains are so-called duplicates of a resource. As a rule, they are located at other URLs or on other servers altogether. Why are such mirrors needed at all?
Domain merging is usually necessary in cases where the domain name changes, for example, due to a company rebranding. Also, “gluing” is used for duplicate resources, if they are located at different addresses. Sometimes the site may be available at addresses with or without the www prefix. In this case, we can also use domain linking. And finally, this procedure will be useful when installing SSL certificates, as well as when hosting in different domain zones.
Methods of gluing domains
Before starting the gluing procedure, it is necessary to choose a priority domain. Here it is important to pay attention to such factors as the age of the site, its history and positions in search results, they should be the best. Also, the domain must not be under sanctions.
The next step is to make sure that search engines can index and crawl the domain. With the help of the Netpeak Spider service, you will be able to provide such access.
In the future, it is necessary to ensure that two similar addresses do not actually appear in the results due to the search for one web resource, because this will affect the ranking of the site in the worst way.
In this case, the logical step would be to set up a 301 redirect. This is created so that when you navigate, you will be redirected to the main page.
So, to configure a redirect from a duplicate to the main resource, we add a message about redirection to the web page’s .htaccess. This procedure must be repeated as many times as there are mirror copies.
It will be important to add about the structures of the sites. If they are identical, then the redirect should be made to the same pages of the main resource, but if the structure is slightly different, then the redirect settings should be aimed at the most similar pages. However, a situation often occurs when the structures are radically different, then the redirect will look like this: we redirect pages that have no analogues in the new structure to the main page of the main resource.
Google Search Console for pasting domains
Thanks to the update of this resource, we will be able to transfer the site from one domain to another. To do this, use the Change Address tool, but this service will not be able to help solve such things as switching from http to https, switching from www to a non-www domain, moving site pages from one section to another, etc. In such cases, it is better to use a 301 redirect.
Domain connection check
Such a check must be done in order to understand whether the main domain has been correctly defined. There are several ways to do this.
To begin with, you can use the search, where you enter “site: new site domain”. The main domain is selected correctly if no other copies are highlighted in the search.
We can also use a special resource – Redirect Path. With its help, you can see the 301 redirect settings.
And finally, let’s use it to test GSC. It is only necessary to review the statistics of mirror copies, and if it is positive, that is, transitions and views go there, then the “glue” was created incorrectly.
Avoid mistakes about merging domains
We offer to consider typical errors that may occur during gluing:
- Unable to index for domain. You can find out if a domain is open for indexing using GSC tools.
- Excellent content. Filling domains should be as similar as possible, otherwise there is no point in gluing.
- Errors when setting up a 301 redirect, such as redirecting to irrelevant pages, etc.
We hope that this short guide was useful for you and that you were able to learn something new for yourself.