HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY MIGRATE URLS
URL migrations can be very complicated and tricky, even for experienced webmasters. If the URL migration is not done carefully and accurately, there is a possibility that you might lose your search positions in the process. Here are a few tips on how to successfully migrate URLs without losing position.
How long do you have to keep 301 redirects in place?
You can keep 301 redirects for months or as long as it might take so that your traffic is restored. If you remove the 301s too early you might end up breaking the link juice that Google has between the two URLs.
You should also ensure that the new URL is ranking for branded searches before doing any 301 redirects. This may take a couple of months but please remember to use a 301 when you finally redirect.
Do my pages have to be identical?
For the 301 redirects to be able to work it is not a must for the web pages to be identical. You should redirect your web pages’ users and bots to web pages that are identical to the old one only when possible.
At Go Mungo SEO we often redirect just few of our clients' previous web pages to just one of their new URLs and it has worked well for them. The only thing we refrain from doing is redirecting web pages that are irrelevant to equivalent web pages. We also ensure that all of the keywords that were in the old web pages are also available in the new site's pages.
You should not redirect all of your old pages to your homepage
Redirecting all of your old web pages to your homepage will lead to a soft 404 error or multiple ones which could have negative effects on how some of your web pages rank. This is because Google will class these redirects as improperly redirected links, hence why they are called soft 404s.
To avoid this, simply redirect the old web pages to their relevant new web pages.
Ensure that all duplicate content across both sites is removed
Removing any duplicate content across both sites is important in helping Google know which pages to rank for in the search results. This may be a blog which was on the old site or any content that is identical on both sites. You should also make sure that you request no-follows for the old site's content if it is still visible.
Moving a site's URL can be very hectic, but with the proper team, you should be able to migrate URLs without incurring any rankings losses. To ensure that the whole process goes smoothly, you just have to make sure that you maintain a good relationship with the web development team to ensure all onsite work is completed. You should also make sure that all parties involved are on board. If you're unsure of what to do or would rather have a pro help you, feel free to get in touch with us at Go Mungo SEO and we will be more than happy to help.