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How long will Google keep old URLs indexed after a change of address?



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How long will Google keep old URLs indexed after a change of address?

Ok, so this question is only directed to the SEOs here that dealt with a website migration from one domain to another at least once. 

I want us to share our experiences and maybe find answers.


I personally coordinated a few dozen domain changes over the years, and I simply had no problem with the old URLs, most of them were out of the index in a few weeks. 

But with my last client, I ran into a pickle. 

It's been three months already, and ALL the old URLs are still indexed, and I believe I did everything by the books.

Here is what I've implemented so far, let me know if I missed anything:

  • Redirected 301 all URLs from the old domain to the new domain.
  • The content remained the same, only the domain changed.
  • The website had only 60 or so index pages, nothing complicated, the structure was straightforward. 
  • Made sure to submit a change of address in Search Console to let Google officially know about the change.
  • I moved the old sitemap to the new domain and implemented a 301 redirect. Basically, olddomain.com/sitemap.xml now redirects to newdomain.com/old_sitemap.xml
  • Submitted newdomain.com/old_sitemap.xml in the Search Console of the new domain so that Google can understand the move. 
  • Submitted a new fresh sitemap to Search Console with all the new links. (newdomain.com/sitemap.xml)

In the past, all of my change of address migrations were fairly uncomplicated because the new domain was freshly bought and I always insist on a server/hosting change also. 

The current client I'm currently having problems with has the following weird factors:

  • The new domain used to 301 redirect into the old one (for at least six months). 
  • The server is the same.
  • The IP hasn't changed.
  • Basically, everything is identical from hosting point and folders point of view, the only thing that changed was the domain.
  • Olddomain.com/robots.txt is still accessible.
What am I doing wrong? The server/hosting change is off the table. If you think there is something I missed, please let me know. Do you think it just takes a lot more time because of the shared similarities, or will I still be seeing the old domain index one year from now?
What do you think I should do about the old domain robots.txt? Because I've read some messed up stories about people messing with the old robots.txt which in turn affected and influenced their new domain because Google for some reason,n still saw the old domain robots.txt as the main robots.txt and applied the same rules to both domains, new and old. 
Also, how much should I keep the old sitemap around? Because I know for sure, Google recommends keeping it around for a few months. But when should I remove it, and should I just delete it completely? 

Again, if any of you know what I'm talking about and had similar experiences, let me know and let's discuss! 
 

Comments

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cmoneyspinner

Since the website didn't have that many indexed pages, why don't you just manually request removal of the URL using the Google webmaster tool for removing URLs. It's a lot of work but still … it might work!



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SiamSEO

It's better to leave the old URL's there instead, because they should get removed by Google after they handle the redirect, removing them yourself will negate the benefit. Changing domains is always a very drastic measure, and many things can and probably will go wrong, so it's better to just leave the old stuff wth 301 redirect.



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kgord

This might be the simplest thing to do, and if you haven't tried it then I think that you should do so. It doesn't hurt to try and it might actually take care of the problem. Best of luck!



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seoconsul

Respected Sir,
SImply write to them. They will certainly help you.
Contact them either within Search Console Or Google Webmaster forum

With regards,



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Cristian

That may be a good idea, but I'm afraid Google as well as their webmaster forum, will give me some generic answers I already know. Like: it can take time, read this resource and that resource (which I already did and know about).



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seoconsul

If its still there, then, may be the related links has been providing some value, to user of Google search better than the current one.

Better contact within Search Console. First reply may be generic
Then, they may reply the proper solution ,,,takes 2-4 days



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overcast

I think in some cases they usually index new URLs pretty fast. And the traffic is properly diverted. And usually if the account is properly managed on the webmaster console. Then it's possible that they can do it quickly. And old urls get vanished. Now that they have data rules. You can see that it is going to have more impact on their retention rates.



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Cristian

The new URLs and the new domain, in general, got indexed in Google without any problem! Most of the organic traffic actually comes on the new domain and not the old.

The only problem I'm having is the old domains being still in Google's index. I feel like the authority of the old domain wasn't completely redirected to the new domain as long as the old URLs are still indexed.



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Corzhens

Does it mean that the indexing of new URLs will treat the new address as a new website? If that is the case then the old URL will still be in existence until it is tagged stagnant and removed from the index. Anyway, my idea of a change of domain for a website is like getting a new website altogether that the old one will have no bearing anymore because the backlinks will not be working like before since it had changed address already.



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vinaya

In my experience, your new links will be indexed pretty soon. I have found my new link index on the next day. However, the outdated links tale time to get de-indexed. Sometimes it might take more than 6 months. Usually, I go to Google Search console and submit my links for removal. When submitted, your link will be removed within 24 hours.



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seoman2013

not more one week as i think



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Judas2018

Google is usually very prompt about this sort of thing. I think you will see your new url(s) indexed and crawled then listed, within two weeks or less of the initial changeover.



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Martinsx1

It should be taken care of in at least not less than 24 to 48 hours but if it goes beyond that time gap, then I suggest that you should contact support as it would give you an immediate response to taking care of it.



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EfficientNinja

In my experience, the longest it took must be about 2-3 weeks. I just let the old URLs sit in Google's database and let them do their work. But if you are in a hurry or it has taken longer than that, you should follow other people's advice above and ask Google for assistance.



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Cristian

Where do I do that exactly?



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Corzhens

This is an issue that was discussed in our office last year. There was a plan to change the URL of our office website and we were evaluating the pros and cons. But in the end, we decided to stick to the present URL since it is working all right. I remember my boss saying that why fix it when it ain’t broke. When the website addressed is changed, it will have an issue with the search engines that the ranking will be affected.



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yantramstudio

Hi,

A change of address notifies Google about the new URLs for your existing content, so that we can update our index to reflect the new domain for your pages. This updated index status remains in effect for 180 days, by which time Googlebot will have crawled and indexed the pages at the new address.

http://www.yantramstudio.com/



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Derpx9

HI,

Google Waits (15) Days.
And Re Creates New Cache.



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