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Google has finally moved the ‘Change of Address’ tool to the new Search Console interface. Previously, it was only available in the old version of Search Console.
Launching today 🚀 in Search Console: a new interface for “Change of Address”. Let us know when you’re moving a domain or subdomain 🚚 🚚 🚚, and we’ll guide you through the process. Check it out 👇 👇https://t.co/RJxiJf8sHV pic.twitter.com/24oe57vTXh
— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) October 2, 2019
This tool is important to the lives of SEOs and site owners as it’s a way of notifying Google when a website has moved from one domain to another, or from one subdomain to another. Notifying Google about these changes helps with maintaining ranking positions in search results.
Here’s exactly what the tool does, in Google’s own words:
“When you file a change of address request using Search Console, it tells Google to emphasize crawling and indexing your new site over crawling your old site. It also forwards various signals from the old site to the new site, and tells Google to prefer the new site over the old when determining canonical pages. These actions continue for 180 days after you start migration in Search Console.”
This tool should only be used when the entire address of a website is changing. It should not be used, for example, when moving from HTTP to HTTPS or moving pages within the same domain.
The ‘Change of Address’ tool in Search Console is only part of the domain change process. Before using the tool, site owners should implement 301 redirects for the homepage as well as all canonical pages.
One of the great things about the Change of Address tool is that it checks to make sure you’ve completed all the required steps. It also walks you though the necessary pre-work. Only when all the pre-work is completed will the tool notify Google about the address change.