Webmasters and web owners can notify Google when they move from one domain name to the next.
With a feature that is simply called 'Change of Address', they can tell Google to update the index it has on their website to reflect the new URL.
The change will stay in effect for 180 days, by which time Google would have crawled and indexed all pages at the new URL.
"Use the Change of Address tool when you move your website from one domain or subdomain to another: for instance, from example.com to example.org or example2.com. This tool tells Google about your change, and helps to migrate your Google Search results from your old site to your new site," said Google on Search Console Help page:
This feature was available on old Google Webmaster Tools, but wasn't migrated when Google launched the new Search Console interface and shut down the former.
Launching today in Search Console: a new interface for "Change of Address". Let us know when you're moving a domain or subdomain, and we'll guide you through the process. Check it out https://t.co/RJxiJf8sHV pic.twitter.com/24oe57vTXh
— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) October 2, 2019
In a tweet, the search giant of the web announced on Twitter that it's finally adding the Change of Address tool to the new interface of Google Search Console.
This migration is expected, as the feature is crucial for webmasters.
A change of web address, while may not be experienced by most webmasters, is frequently done when a site has undergone some significant changes, like a rebrand, being blocked or some other reasons.
While the tool can be used for a variety of reasons, Google said that the tool should not be uses when:
- Changing address from HTTP to HTTPS.
- Moving some pages from one location to another within a website: For example, from example.com/oldpath/... to example.com/newpath/...).
- Moving between www and non-www in the same domain: For example, from www.example.com to example.com.
- Moving a site without any user-visible URL changes.