As a Website Designer and SEO consultant, I often get questions from clients. Here's a question that doesn't come up too often, but does come up:
How to get Google to index a Changed Domain?
A client renamed the business, and as a result, they changed the main domain. The client had redirected the old domain to the new domain, updated the business name in the text content the website and through meta tags, adjusted the Wix SEO and SEO Wiz, and set up Google Search Console for the 4 new domain variations, resubmitting sitemaps. It's been almost 2 weeks, and I am seeing no evidence of the new name in Google search. As expected, the ranking dropped down (hopefully temporarily). Is there anything more that I could do to expedite the indexing process? Or should I just wait this out? I'm concerned because my client had used the previous domain for about 10 years... Any advice is appreciated!
SEO Hero Answer:
First, be patient, I find that Google typically takes at least a couple weeks to a month or two to index new domains. Changing a domain IS bad for SEO, as it takes time to regain momentum. So if changing a domain is un-avoidable, just know it will take time.
That said, there are ways to speed up getting a new domain indexed by Google and Bing.
If you post the new website domain often on social media, including Google Business, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc – it will be more likely that Google and Bing will index the new site and start to shift the name to the new name and domain. First, the new domain has to be indexed. Then, they will slowly start removing the old domain over time, and the the new domain will eventually start to rise in the rankings.
But it does take time and there is no way to speed it up other than to stand out with lots of online (social media, blogs, forums) with posts linking to the new domain.
Make sure to have a Google Business account setup for the new business name (or modify existing Google Business account listing). Then, make sure to create posts as the Business on Google and include lots of links to the new site, also upload more photos to your Google listing, and add any other relevant information (hours, logo, etc) to help get the new website indexed faster. Ditto for Bing, setup a Bing Business Account and fill out all the information (or edit an existing listing if you have one and have access.)
Consider using Google AdWords and Bing paid ads and spending some money on PPC to get Google and Bing to sniff out the new domain and index it faster. You don't have to spend a lot, so you could set the daily limit to whatever is good for the client ($1/day+). I find this helps greatly as Google tracks all the ad clicks and therefore starts to notice your new domain and pages more quickly.
On the old domain, make sure to setup 301 redirects for any subpages on your site to go to the coordinating pages on the new site if possible. This will help Google sniff out all the same content if it exists on the new website.
Also, if you're doing this on a Wix platform, even if the domains are registered elsewhere such as GoDaddy or Network Solutions, it's good to connect both domains to the Wix website and set one as the primary. Read more about Changing Domains with Wix & GoDaddy »