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NEW - Change of Address in Google Webmaster Tools

     
12:42 am on Jun 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Something new in Webmaster Tools. In the "Site configuration" section, there is now an option for "Change of address". This doesn't repace any of the recommended steps [google.com] such as 301 redirects and so on, but the page's information does say "This will help us update our index faster and smooth the transition for your users.

There are four listed steps for moving a site's address to a new domain:

  1. Set up your new site
  2. Put a 301 redirect on your old site
  3. Add new site to Webmaster Tools and verify
  4. Tell Google the new URL through Webmaster Tools
I'd assume that notifying Google about a domain change this way would transfer trust a bit faster, since the account ownership is verified. I'd love to hear reports from anyone who uses this new feature.
2:52 am on June 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I just spotted Google's blog post about this addition:

[googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com...]

6:15 am on June 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Thanks tedster for information
9:24 pm on June 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I wonder if this feature is limited to moving a site from one domain to another, or if it could help speeden up a merger as well.
7:07 am on June 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Google's blog post says that new GWT now only show external links that link directly to the site and not ones that are linking to a domain which is then 301-ed to your site.

I am wondering whether this is connected to PR or is it just a reminder that you should strive to change remaining links to point directly to a new domain you are re-directing to.

We have changed domain to a new domain name back in Feb and have done 301 on a page by page level from old domain to a new domain. At that time we also changed as many links as possible to point directly to a new domain.

After a month or so after the change, the old GWT has shown:
old domain = zero external links
new domain = external links from (new domain + old domain)

The new GWT show:
old domain = external links that still point to old domain
new domain = external links that point directly to new domain

Old domain had PR6. New domain got PR5 at the recent update. A drop in PR could be a coincidence and for other reasons, but it does make me wonder. Otherwise why split links up? To remind you that there are other links you should change to point to your 301-ed site directly?

Both domains are in the same GWT account and registered to the same WhoIs.