John Mueller of Google was asked about doing site migrations and if it can impact your SEO. The short answer is that it can impact your SEO but if you do everything correctly it can be a matter of days until everything is back to where it was prior to the migration. But that is a big “if” – if you do it correctly.
He said this at the 37:05 mark in this morning’s video hangout. He said in the old days it would take months for Google to work it out but now if you follow the Google site move help docs exactly and you do everything correctly, it can be a matter of days. It is obviously easier if you move from one domain to another without any other changes but if you change the CMS, the URL structures and make a new site with tons of redirects, Google would have to reprocess the site to understand the changes.
Here is the embed when he said this:
Here is most of the transcript:
Does domain migration affect my SEO?
Usually yes. So at least in the past it was definitely the case that it was more visible. In that you would move to a new domain and it would take several months for everything to settle down.
Nowadays our systems are pretty good, in that if you move to a new domain and you follow all of the steps in our help center then sometimes within a day or two things will just switch over. And you’ll see pretty much no change with regards to search .
But any domain migration, any bigger change of URLs within a website are always kind of a scary situation for me still. So I would really be careful about what you do there and make sure that you really follow step by step the help center guides. There are also some really comprehensive external blog posts that cover all of the steps as well with like checklists and all of this. And really go through all of that.
You might look at some of these checklists and say like oh you don’t need to check all of the URLs on my site. Like I know I can set up all the redirects. But on the other hand following a checklist like this really make sure that you’re like making sure that everything is working. So that if something goes wrong in the end you can go through that checklist and see well I skip this step maybe it’s not something I should just skip maybe it’s something I should actually do. Or if you end up getting help from other people like from from Googlers or from external webmasters, having that checklist and kind of saying like I did all of these things, helps them to figure out which parts you might have skipped or which parts you might have done incorrectly.
So that’s something where if you do everything right a domain migration is just a matter of a day or so and everything will look really effortlessly. But there are lots of ways that you can do things wrong and there are lots of other types of migrations that you can do which which do end up taking a much longer time.
Forum discussion at YouTube Community.