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Domain 301 Redirect - How Long to Change the Index?

     
10:33 am on Sep 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Hello frieneds,
I have 301 redirected one domain to another. For rebranding purposes... The first website was not penalized or anything wrong.. it had perfect rankings.

in webmaster tools (after about 2 weeks) the new domain is shown on the same place in serps as the first domain.

How long should it take to substitute the first domain withe new one in Google index?
1:05 pm on Sept 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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New one should appear in days.

Old one can take months to drop out. This is not a problem.
1:10 pm on Sept 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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but it has gone about 15 days... and do not see the rankings for the new domain, just the in webmaster tools I see it ranking fine....not in real world.
1:15 pm on Sept 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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the old domain is already out of index...

when I type olddomain.com in google, my new domain comes up... but no rankings for keywords...
1:50 pm on Sept 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Another question, when you 301 pages, do you remove the old pages?
1:59 pm on Sept 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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yes... the old ones where removed... and the new contents where added to the new one.... unique contents of about 100 pages...and already indexed... and adding daily
2:20 pm on Sept 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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If the 301 redirect is working properly, then that's all any user agent will see - including googlebot. It doesn't matter if the original file is still sitting around somewhere, no one can access it.

As a matter of perspective, years ago it could take up to six months to regain rankings after a domain level 301 - even when there were no technical errors at all. Today it is usually a lot better. But I have noticed that for websites whole trust level is not strong (due to their history) if can take a lot longer for the rankings to show up for the new domain name.

Have you verified that the 301 is working properly for internal URLs as well as the domain root? The redirect should go to the new URL in one step, even if there is a canonical redirect in the mix.

olddomain.com/page-1 >>301>> www.newdomain.com/page-1
2:30 pm on Sept 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I think the redirect is ok, because in google webmaster tools it is seen on the old domain rankings. and also when I type olddomain.com in google I get the newdomain.com...

Also when I type in the browser old domain it is redirected to new one...

After this can there be any errors?
6:19 pm on Sept 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Also when I type in the browser old domain it is redirected to new one...

After this can there be any errors?

Check with a server header checker to make sure it's being seen as a 301.
6:31 pm on Sept 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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"Check with a server header checker to make sure it's being seen as a 301."

can you elaborate on this?
what is server header checker? how to check with it?
6:42 pm on Sept 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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can you elaborate on this?
what is server header checker? how to check with it?

Check out my longish Sept 23, 2012 post in this current thread, which explains in great detail...

"Googlebot can't access your site"
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4497999.htm [webmasterworld.com]
6:44 pm on Sept 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I found out what it is and checked:

URL: http://www.olddomain.com
CharacterSetiso-8859-1
Content-Length-1
Content-Typetext/html; charset=iso-8859-1
IsFromCacheFalse
Last-Modified9/25/2012 1:41:48 PM
ProtocolVersion1.1
ResponseUrihttp://www.olddomain.com/
ServerApache
StatusCode301
StatusDescriptionMoved Permanently
Keep-Alivetimeout=5, max=75
ConnectionKeep-Alive
DateTue, 25 Sep 2012 18:41:48 GMT
Locationhttp://www.newdomain.com/


Now what?...

Is there any problem?
.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 6:47 pm (utc) on Sep 25, 2012]
[edit reason] Disabled auto-link to make olddomain url display [/edit]

6:57 pm on Sept 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Looks fine. As an additional step, you might try to get some of the sites that had been linking to your old domain to change their links to your new domain. (You should have checked your backlinks before moving the domain to see where your inbound links came from. You still might be able to get that data from an historical links database.)

If you control multiple domains, I should note, I'd leave the links you control alone for a while.

Also, make sure that any absolute urls you use in your site's internal navigation have been changed over.

Additionally.. did you make many changes on the site, or was this basically the same site with some content under a different brand? That can sometimes make a huge difference, and it might affect whether Google trusts the redirect.
7:04 pm on Sept 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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no I did not change the structure of the website...

Thank you all guys,

It seems I need to wait a little more...
7:09 pm on Sept 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Just a tip to people doing server redirects (this may have been covered elsewhere).

I did a bad redirect and had a hard time diagnosing the problem. Both fetch as googlebot and the live http headers in firefox were telling me it was fine. And when I accessed the page in FF, it worked fine. Looked like the 301 redirect was perfect.

But the page had lost all its landing page traffic.

Then I tried the old page in Internet Explorer 7 (I know it is old), and I got a page not found error instead of a redirect to the new page.

Turns out there was a VERY SLIGHT error in my 301 syntax. so slight that fetch as googlebot said it was fine! But enough of an error that it was lost from the google index.

Once I fixed the error, it took about three weeks for the traffic to come back.

Hope this helps.
7:44 pm on Sept 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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thank you for the tip... I'll try other old browsers...
7:51 pm on Sept 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Depends on what your crawling frequency is. If new articles from the domain were getting indexed quickly, the same frequency should follow, however depending on how many articles you've got - it might take days to get everything indexed. I've seen sites with upto 500 pages get indexed in a week and those with 5000 pages get indexed in 2-3 weeks. They had pretty decent crawling frequency too - about 48 hours for new articles to get indexed.

Note: Make sure you take down the old site ONLY after the new one is all in place.

All the best.
10:42 pm on Sept 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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You have checked you get a redirect for www requests on the old site.

You should check what happens when you request non-www URLs on the old site. My guess is that you'll see an unwanted multiple step redirection chain instead of the required single step redirect.
6:52 am on Sept 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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g1smd,
thanks for comment.
I checked and got the following results:

URL: [olddomain.com...]
CharacterSetiso-8859-1
Content-Length-1
Content-Typetext/html; charset=iso-8859-1
IsFromCacheFalse
Last-Modified9/26/2012 1:49:45 AM
ProtocolVersion1.1
ResponseUrihttp://olddomain.com/
ServerApache
StatusCode301
StatusDescriptionMoved Permanently
Keep-Alivetimeout=5, max=75
ConnectionKeep-Alive
DateWed, 26 Sep 2012 06:49:38 GMT
Locationhttp://www.newdomain.com/
6:54 am on Sept 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Do you think anything wrong here?...
8:44 am on Sept 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Finally I got rankings!...

it took about 3 weeks. after initial redirect.

thank you guys, wish you success too!
2:54 pm on Sept 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Glad to hear it.

I remember a while back people were talking about how it took longer to get re-ranked after pages became unavailable for a while.
4:36 am on Feb 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Planet can you share the syntax you used to fix your 301? Mine looks fine also but who knows. After two months I still don't rank for any term i used to
5:44 am on Feb 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Both fetch as googlebot and the live http headers in firefox were telling me it was fine. And when I accessed the page in FF, it worked fine. Looked like the 301 redirect was perfect.

<snip>

Then I tried the old page in Internet Explorer 7 (I know it is old), and I got a page not found error instead of a redirect to the new page.

Turns out there was a VERY SLIGHT error in my 301 syntax.


Is there an earlier thread about this? Now I'm curious too. Was the redirect done at the server level (mod_rewrite or, uh, IIS equivalent) or via some kind of php business within the old domain? Or some other way entirely?
9:07 am on Feb 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Please share what the error was, so that others do not make the same mistake.

I assume you missed the protocol and hostname from the redirect target.