Move a site with URL changes

4. Monitor the traffic

Make sure your site move progresses smoothly

Use Webmaster Tools to monitor traffic

Many features of Webmaster Tools help you monitor a site move, including:

  • Sitemaps: Submit the two sitemaps you saved earlier from the mapping. Initially, the sitemap containing the new URLs would have zero pages indexed, while the sitemap of the old URLs would have many pages indexed. Over time the number of pages indexed from the old URLs sitemap would drop to zero with a corresponding increase of indexing of the new URLs.
  • Index Status: The graphs would reflect the site move, showing a drop in indexed URL counts on the old site and an increase of indexing on the new site.
  • Crawl errors reports: Check regularly for any unexpected crawl errors.
  • Search queries: As more pages of the new site get indexed and start ranking, the search queries reports would start showing the URLs on the new site getting search impressions and clicks.

Use other tools to monitor traffic

Keep an eye on your server access and error logs, checking in particular for crawling by Googlebot, any URLs that unexpectedly return HTTP error status codes, and, normal user traffic.

If you have installed any web analytics software on your site, or if your CMS provides analytics, it's also recommended you review traffic this way so that you can see the progress of traffic from your old to new site. In particular, Google Analytics offers real-time reporting, and this is a handy feature to use during the initial site move phase. You should expect to see traffic drop on the old site and rise on the new site.