If you have an existing blog, chances are that you have search engine authority built to that domain or subdomain. Typically, companies simply start a new blog and abandon their old one. If your old content is lost, this could be a huge loss in momentum.
In order to keep search engine authority, here’s how to migrate to a new blogging platform:
- Export your old blog content and Import them into your new blogging platform. Even if you do this manually, that’s better than starting with no content.
- Write 301 redirects from the old blog post URLs to the new blog post URLs. Some platforms have redirection modules or plugins to make this easier.
- Write a redirect from the old blog RSS feed to the new blog RSS feed. I would recommend using FeedPress so that you can update the feed without interruption in the future (Although I do wish someone would come out with an alternative to Feedburner! It’s terrible).
- If you’re moving domains or subdomains, it’s still possible to redirect to the new blog address. UPDATED: I’ve noticed that clients lose some of their ranking when doing subdomains but they’re sometimes able to bounce back quickly. Changing domains altogether can have a drastic impact. I would try to avoid this at all costs.
- Test many of your old blog URLs and ensure they forward properly.
- Monitor Google Webmasters and Bing Webmasters for pages that are not found and correct them. Don’t bother checking every day – it will take a week or two before you’ll see prob
- Republish your Sitemap and resubmit each time you correct items.
- If you’re changing your domain or subdomain, the biggest loss you’re going to take are on sites like Technorati, which require that you register your new blog address. They don’t have a means of updating your actual address.
Here’s a screenshot of Google Webmasters and how you can look for 404 Not Found references:
By ensuring your content is properly redirected, not only will you ensure that visitors can still make it to the content they were searching for, you’re also going to generate a lot less 404 Not Found pages. One note on this… give Webmasters a week or two to catch up! After you redirect those bad addresses, it won’t immediately fix them in Webmasters (I’m not sure why!).
On that note, I often find that external sites publish incorrect URLs – so I’ll even redirect those bad URLs properly!