Google Search Console Update: Change of Address Tool

Google made an important announcement which will help website owners everywhere. They’ve reintegrated their Change of Address tool from the older version of search console into the new version.

This tool is to help webmasters who need to notify Google when they’ve moved from one domain to another. This may not be a common occurrence but it does happen where you may move your entire site to a completely different domain name – maybe your first domain name choice wasn’t available when you initially launched your site but now it is. You’ll need to move your entire site and all its contents over to the new domain name and then notify Google that you’ve done so.

“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.”

Keep in mind that this tool should only be used in the event of a complete domain name change. Don’t bother using this tool if you’ve simply changed some page URL’s or added an SSL and went from HTTP to HTTPS. Google can figure that stuff out and you always have the option of setting up 301 redirects to point search engine crawlers and users in the right direction.

Follow the proper steps outlined in the link shared above to make sure your site migration is performed with Google’s best practices in mind. Google does provide a detailed 2-step process to make things as clear as possible.