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No posts ranking 3 months after site migration

     
6:23 pm on Oct 25, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hi guys,

Just after some experience about the impact a domain migration has on new posts ranking after the migration.

I performed a domain migration on a wordpress site, which had around 240 articles at the time of migration - this was three months ago.

I've created a fair amount of new content since that time, about 50 articles actually and I'm surprised that not one of these posts is ranking in the top 100 of the SERP. It's odd. Before the site migration, they would rank (albeit not initially high) but they'd be somewhere in the top 50 before they started moving up over a 6-8 month period. They are all keywords that get traffic and created in the same manner as the posts created pre-migration.

There are no manual actions and all the articles have been indexed, with no problems with canonicals.

I thought that it might be seeing the new domain as a totally new site so it would be a bit slow but even with my other new sites, posts start ranking somewhere after a short amount of time then start to move. All the new ones on this new site seem to come in around 180/190 SERP and stay there.

Has anyone who has performed a domain migration experienced this or does anyone have any advice? 'Waiting' is good advice I know, but after three months - it just doesn't feel right.

Any pointers appreciated!

Thanks,

Matt
4:16 am on Oct 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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What KIND of "domain migration" are you addressing?

BTW, @biondi ... Welcome to Webmasterworld!

Same dns registration but on a different host?
A change in dns?

Inquiring minds and all that...
6:59 am on Oct 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hi tangor, thanks for replying. Apologies for not supplying this information. Initially, it was using the same host but after having some issues with them that I thought might be a factor in the site's poor performance, I switched to a faster hosting provider. So yes, although initially it was 'just' a domain migration, it has ended up being a domain migration and a change of hosts. Although, I have read that the latter shouldn't impact but then again, I also read that a domain migration should be pretty transparent - so who knows :)
11:54 am on Oct 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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did you perhaps 301 all to the homepage? did you check search console for indexing? check the sitemap? check redirects? setup a migration in search console? check canonicals?
12:02 pm on Oct 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Yes to all of those ^
12:32 pm on Oct 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Redirecting all traffic to one page is probably why you are seeing a decline. To maintain the value of old content, people (and robots) landing on the old page should end up on the new page, not (NOT) on another site's home page. IF you still have the old domain and can change that to pass the old traffic and links on to the new site's replacement pages you may see what you hoped to see.
1:55 pm on Oct 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Yes, redirecting all traffic to one page is going to be a bad user experience. It can also be seen as an attempt at manipulation, trying to funnel PageRank instead of simply returning 404s (or 410s) for old pages that have expired.

I'm assuming that this is the migration talked about here, in the Wordpress forum

Wordpress 3-site migration to one new - traffic loss and other things
https://www.webmasterworld.com/wordpress/4968706.htm [webmasterworld.com]

Were these three sites...
a) all yours, on the same relevant subject, which you had decided to consolidate? That could be have been a good move if pages are redirected to relevant pages on the new domain.

Or...
b) Were some of them alias domains that hadn't been previously promoted, but which you wanted to use to protect the names or for cosmetic reasons? This too would probably have been OK, and only three shouldn't have caused any problems.

Or...
c) Were these previously promoted domains picked up and used to funnel "link juice" into one new domain? This can well be seen as manipulative, and can be very problematic... and if set up as described (ie, all redirected to the new home page) would be a bad user experience. Multiple potential problems with this arrangement. At best, this arrangement might take Google a long time to figure out what appropriate linking credit would be.

2:31 pm on Oct 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Sorry, I was obviously too quick to hit reply! Each individual page was redirected to the same url on its new domain via 301 wildcards set in the .htaccess file.

So each page on the original 3 domains (yes that was my post on the other forum) pointed to the same page on the new domain.

All the three original niche's (and domains) were focused on a particular breed of animal, the new domain consolidates these into one higher-level niche (general pet-based domain rather than a specific breed of cat domain). So, the articles are all relevant to the new domain but Google would have perhaps put more emphasis on the original ones as they were more focused I guess.
3:56 pm on Oct 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Sorry, I was obviously too quick to hit reply! Each individual page was redirected to the same url on its new domain...
That's good then, but it will take time to be sorted. It sounds as if you have done things properly to achieve your consolidation goal and Google is just not as rapid as it once was to sort through such changes. Don't forget that your changes set your site against a whole new set of competitors.
4:32 pm on Oct 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I performed a domain migration on a wordpress site

I'm 99% sure that it's WP confusing G and which is now probably treating this as a completely new site.
5:14 pm on Oct 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, and you know something - I would take that. It's just so frustrating not knowing what actually is going on in G-land.