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Google SEO 101: Site Migrations


Google’s Martin Splitt, and Glenn Gabe of G-Squared Interactive, get together to discuss the most common questions SEOs ask about site migrations.

Here’s a quick recap of each talking point, along with its corresponding time stamp in the video.

Redirecting images during a site redesign or migration (0:00)

It’s important to set up 301 redirects for images during a site migration, which is something that tends to be overlooked by site owners.

Will you always experience a drop in traffic with a domän namn change or a site migration? (1:53)

A site move won’t always result in a loss of traffic.

Splitt says:

“If you are literally just moving from one domain to another, copying the entire URL structure and the entire content over, then you will not necessarily see a drop of traffic.”

Buying a new domän namn with history & traffic anomalies (2:40)

There are certain situations when domain history may be a factor, particularly if it was previously used for spamming purposes.

Traffic anomalies may occur during a site move when the new site is not an exact 1:1 copy of the old one.

It’s risky to make changes as part of a site move, Splitt says, because Google will have to re-crawl and re-process everything.

Site merger vs site move (6:24)

A site move refers to moving everything from one domain to another. The end result should be an exact copy of the old site.

A site merger refers to combining two sites, which is by no means the same as a site move. The end result is treated as a whole new site.

What goes on on the Google side once a domän namn change is triggered? (8:12)

When a site moves from one domain to another, and all redirects are in place, Google first checks for similarities between the old and new site.

Again, a true site move in Google’s eyes is creating an exact copy of an old site on a new domain.

If Google recognizes that a true site move has occurred, it will begin forwarding all signals from the old domain to the new one.

The speed at which this process is completed will vary from site to site.

Why would one use the Change of Address Tool? (10:16)

The change of address tool is a way for site owners to send additional signals to Google that a site move has taken place.

It’s a more explicit signal that tells Google a site has been moved permanently and it’s not just a temporary change.

If a site moves, is there a reassessment of content quality by Google? (11:15)

Google is constantly reassessing content quality regardless of whether there has been a site move.

Even if your content is considered high quality now, it doesn’t mean that will always be the case.

The reverse is also true. Low quality or spammy content could, in theory, be seen as high quality if improvements are made.

As mentioned earlier, if high quality content is copied from one domain to another during a site move, then the signals will follow as well.

Should you revert back if a site migration results in a major drop in traffic? (14:54)

Before hitting reverse on a site move, first check to make sure there are not any technical issues getting in the way.

Technical issues could be Google not recognizing the redirects, or the old site isn’t being crawled often enough for Google to pick up on the redirects.

If you’ve done everything right, and traffic has not improved after a month, then start looking into some outside help.

A site move should only be reverted if you’re completely out of options.

Should one unblock URLs normally blocked by robots.txt during a site migration? (17:31)

No, blocked URLs should not be unblocked during a site move.

Most common problems after a site moves & doing things step-by-step (18:16)

The most common problem site owners run into, as mentioned before, is making too many changes during a site move.

A site move should not be used as an opportunity to make changes to the site in any way. At least not until Google has crawled and reprocessed the new site.

See the full Google SEO Mythbusting video below:



Google ska betala $391,5 miljoner för uppgörelse över platsspårning, säger statliga AG:er


Google to pay $391.5 million settlement over location tracking, state AGs say

Google has agreed to pay a $391.5 million settlement to 40 states to resolve accusations that it tracked people’s locations in violation of state laws, including snooping on consumers’ whereabouts even after they told the tech behemoth to bug off.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said it is time for Big Tech to recognize state laws that limit data collection efforts.

“I have been ringing the alarm bell on big tech for years, and this is why,” Mr. Landry, a Republican, said in a statement Monday. “Citizens must be able to make informed decisions about what information they release to big tech.”

The attorneys general said the investigation resulted in the largest-ever multistate privacy settlement. Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, a Democrat, said Google’s penalty is a “historic win for consumers.”

“Location data is among the most sensitive and valuable personal information Google collects, and there are so many reasons why a consumer may opt out of tracking,” Mr. Tong said. “Our investigation found that Google continued to collect this personal information even after consumers told them not to. That is an unacceptable invasion of consumer privacy, and a violation of state law.”

Location tracking can help tech companies sell digital ads to marketers looking to connect with consumers within their vicinity. It’s another tool in a data-gathering toolkit that generates more than $200 billion in annual ad revenue for Google, accounting for most of the profits pouring into the coffers of its corporate parent, Alphabet, which has a market value of $1.2 trillion.

The settlement is part of a series of legal challenges to Big Tech in the U.S. and around the world, which include consumer protection and antitrust lawsuits.

Though Google, based in Mountain View, California, said it fixed the problems several years ago, the company’s critics remained skeptical. State attorneys general who also have tussled with Google have questioned whether the tech company will follow through on its commitments.

The states aren’t dialing back their scrutiny of Google’s empire.

Last month, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he was filing a lawsuit over reports that Google unlawfully collected millions of Texans’ biometric data such as “voiceprints and records of face geometry.”

The states began investigating Google’s location tracking after The Associated Press reported in 2018 that Android devices and iPhones were storing location data despite the activation of privacy settings intended to prevent the company from following along.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich went after the company in May 2020. The state’s lawsuit charged that the company had defrauded its users by misleading them into believing they could keep their whereabouts private by turning off location tracking in the settings of their software.

Arizona settled its case with Google for $85 million last month. By then, attorneys general in several other states and the District of Columbia had pounced with their own lawsuits seeking to hold Google accountable.

Along with the hefty penalty, the state attorneys general said, Google must not hide key information about location tracking, must give users detailed information about the types of location tracking information Google collects, and must show additional information to people when users turn location-related account settings to “off.”

States will receive differing sums from the settlement. Mr. Landry’s office said Louisiana would receive more than $12.7 million, and Mr. Tong’s office said Connecticut would collect more than $6.5 million.

The financial penalty will not cripple Google’s business. The company raked in $69 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2022, according to reports, yielding about $13.9 billion in profit.

Google downplayed its location-tracking tools Monday and said it changed the products at issue long ago.

“Consistent with improvements we’ve made in recent years, we have settled this investigation which was based on outdated product policies that we changed years ago,” Google spokesman Jose Castaneda said in a statement.

Google product managers Marlo McGriff and David Monsees defended their company’s Search and Maps products’ usage of location information.

“Location information lets us offer you a more helpful experience when you use our products,” the two men wrote on Google’s blog. “From Google Maps’ driving directions that show you how to avoid traffic to Google Search surfacing local restaurants and letting you know how busy they are, location information helps connect experiences across Google to what’s most relevant and useful.”

The blog post touted transparency tools and auto-delete controls that Google has developed in recent years and said the private browsing Incognito mode prevents Google Maps from saving an account’s search history.

Mr. McGriff and Mr. Monsees said Google would make changes to its products as part of the settlement. The changes include simplifying the process for deleting location data, updating the method to set up an account and revamping information hubs.

“We’ll provide a new control that allows users to easily turn off their Location History and Web & App Activity settings and delete their past data in one simple flow,” Mr. McGriff and Mr. Monsees wrote. “We’ll also continue deleting Location History data for users who have not recently contributed new Location History data to their account.”

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.


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