Guidelines for a smooth SEO transition when moving your website
Search engines give each page their own unique pagerank and, as a result when you move your website over to us if the page name or the location of the page changes, Google will by default just assume that the page no longer exists and remove it from its index.
As a result, we typically find that when a client moves their website over to our servers their ranking may drop for a period of time before it is eventually built back up again - and in most cases with a better rank due to the SEO-friendly nature of the websites we build.
To help Google understand the change in your page names, you will need to create 301 redirects from the old page name to the new page name.
To quicken the transition, you can also submit your XML Sitemap to Google.
Domain Name Change
If you are changing your entire domain name, this can cause a much greater issue as the length of time that a domain name has been live contributes significantly to its rankings online - this is called domain age.
You can, however, smooth over this transition by following these steps:
- Create a Google Webmaster account (Knowledgebase walkthrough is available here).
- Add your old website and verify you are the owner.
- Add your new website and verify you are the owner of this domain as well.
- Go to the profile of the old website in Webmaster Tools, and click on "Site Configuration" and then "Change of Address".
- Choose the new website from the dropdown list, and click on "Submit".
- To speed things up, you can submit your sitemap to Google to tell them where all your pages are. Your sitemap is located at http://yoursite.com/sitemap.xml.