Search Marketing

How to Move Your Blog and Retain Search Momentum

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. Test many of your old blog URLs and ensure they forward properly.
  6. 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
  7. Republish your Sitemap and resubmit each time you correct items.
  8. 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!

One comment

  1. 1

    I agree that WordPress plugin Redirection is a life saver, I really love it. I wish I knew then what I know now, it would have saved me a lot of headaches. Thanks Douglas!

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