What is a Domain Migration? - Calibre9

Domain Migration

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What is a domain migration?

A domain migration is the process of changing the domain name of a website. For example, if amazon.com wanted their website to instead be called nile.com, they would need a domain migration. Domain migrations are often accompanied by other alterations to the site’s styling and/or URL structure.



↓ Scroll down to See Frequently Asked Questions ↓

Why would I want to change my domain name?

Changing the domain name of your website can be great for your business. One reason a company might do it is because they are undergoing a complete rebranding and want to change how they present to market. Another common reason is that they want a country-specific top-level domain name, such as one with a .au.

What is the difference between a domain migration and a domain transfer?

In a domain migration, the website changes only its domain name without making any changes to the site’s hosting. By contrast, a domain transfer changes who is hosting the domain and where it is being hosted but does not change the site’s URL. Both a transfer and a migration should keep the original content and structure of the site intact.

Will my SEO be affected by migrating my domain?

Domain migrations can have a massive negative impact on SEO. This is because the new domain is viewed as a completely different site. By properly redirecting the old URLs to the new ones however, the site’s authority and backlinks can be carried over. This can be a complex process so we recommend it is completed by an SEO agency.

What are the most important tips for domain migrations?

  • Use a specialist SEO company.
  • Keep a sitemap of your old domain. This will assist your SEO company by providing them with a complete list of URLs to redirect to new pages.
  • Keep ownership of your old domain. Pages from your old domain cannot be directed if you no longer own the domain.


What if I just want to change my URL structure? 

A common issue that businesses have is that they want to change their URL structure for SEO purposes. This can occur because the original site structure was poor or because the URLs themselves are unnecessarily long and confusing for users. Changes to URL structure run the risk of losing the search engine authority and ranking if not implemented properly. We recommend that they are implemented by an experienced SEO technician.

What are the steps for domain migration? 

Transferring domain authority can be tricky and risky, but if you are determined to do it on your own here are the basic steps:

  1. On the older domain, create a sitemap to reference original page URLs
  2. Repeat this process for the URLs on the new domain
  3. Implement a 301-redirect on each URL found in the old domain to the matching URL on the newer domain.
  4. If there is no exact page match for a page on the original site, redirect the soon-to-be defunct page to the page that’s the nearest match on the new site. If there’s no similar content whatsoever, link to the homepage.
  5. If you have pages with matching content on both sites, make sure to implement the rel=canonical tags on the page you wish to rank. This helps search engines see which version of the page is more critical and should be displayed in the search results.
  6. Make sure not to completely close down the old site. 301 redirects will continue to pass link benefits to the new site and ending hosting of the original site will stop all benefits from being passed.
  7. Ensure both the original and new versions of the site are not split between servers and hosted on one server.
  8. All SEO optimisation alongside inbound marketing should be executed on the newer version of the site.



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