To maintain the competence of the Google crawler machine, Google updates the Algorithm from time to time. One of the latest updates released recently this year is the Google Search Console Change of Address Tool Update. The update was announced in February 2020.
The Google Search Console is a widely used tool by webmasters to gain insight into the performance of the website on organic search results. The Console assists with information about penalties, site errors and other indexes that can potentially affect the website visibility on Search Results Page.
The new update of the Change of address tool
Google has announced the Change of Address feature on 19th February 2020. With this updated tool, websites can now change their domain site address to go onto to a sub-domain with a separate address with ease and seamlessly. As a webmaster, you need to use the 301 Redirect to redirect traffic to the new site address.
The change of address can be set from the Search Console to inform the crawler and the algorithms that the site has moved to the new domain address. With the use of the tool to do so, the search engine will give higher priority to the new domain address to index the site and gradually start to ignore the old address.
With this new update, webmasters can now validate and check the redirect requests. By doing so, admin can not only redirect the new domain address but also redirect the trust and the credibility of the old website address to the new one. Plus, if users are still trying to access the old website, they will automatically be redirected to the new site.
This is a significant change from the earlier feature. Before the update, webmasters had no way to validate redirects. Now, they will be clear if the redirects are happening properly or not by using the Search Console.
However, Google has also mentioned that it will take some time to complete the entire process of the redirect. Typically, it will take about 180 days to complete the process. A lot will, however, depend on how heavy the site is in terms of the number of webpages on the site and the backlinks on the site.
Google will now notify the users and the administrators through the search console dashboard. They will be updated on each move and given a status update. It will show in the form of, ’The site is currently moving to www.abc.com’.
To use the tool, webmasters need to use the Google Search Console and use the 301-redirect feature from within the site and the pages therein. The notification that the administrators will get is supposed to be switched off within 180 days.
With the New Update, the pages and the site will not only get redirected to the new domain name but also the change of address tool can be used to migrate the site completely to the new site address.