/webmasters/community?hl=en
/webmasters/community?hl=en
5/9/16
Original Poster
Blak

GSC: "This site is undergoing a move" 3 months after domain change request

UPDATES IN BOLD - Day 193, no resolution. Grateful for everyone's assistance thus far. We're continuing with improvements to content and site technicalities.

Organic traffic fell 80% after domain change. 301s in place, change of address requested, important backlinks updated, etc. No URLs changed (domain only). Transition should have been relatively smooth. Traffic is gone, however, with little sign of returning.

Has been 6 months since change. The loss in traffic has been a heavy burden. Sought outside counsel from several experts recommended by Moz, etc. No smoking gun. Unable to figure out what may be technically wrong.

Google Search Console says we are "undergoing a move". Google Search Console no longer contains backlink and internal link data  for the old domain.

The old domain is not live, yet 7k+ pages appear via site:domain.com search on Google. All URLs are 301 redirected via the .htaccess file (with the exception of robots.txt, which is set to allow all traffic).

Is this technical? If so, we would love to fix it. Is this a matter of waiting on Google to finish the site move? Our entire 25 year old business (80+ employees) is "shifting" due to this change. Any assistance is very much appreciated!

- Blake
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All Replies (104)
Ashley
1/26/16
Ashley
Without URLs and some screens of what's going on in Search Console, I'm not able to poke around further. :-/

1/26/16
Original Poster
Blak
Ashley, appreciate your attention. Please let me know any other specific screen shots that would be helpful.



Blake
Ashley
1/26/16
Ashley
Where is that message from? Sorry, I feel like I'm missing context here...... What part of the dashboard? What site are you looking at in GSC?


The redirects look good - but may I ask what prompted the move? Is there more info that you can give us that may be helpful. 
1/26/16
Original Poster
Blak
The expanded screen shot shows what and where.

The domain was old, and in the 90s it was fine to use the automotive brand in the domain. However, we are no longer able to continue using it.



Thanks again!

- Blake
Ashley
1/26/16
Ashley
I don't see anything wrong with the screen - though admittedly I haven't had to use that feature much. 

You said it's been 3 months since the site move?
- Any significant downtime?
- Any errors/messages/manual actions or anything in Search Console? 
1/26/16
Original Poster
Blak
Yes, 89 days. No unusual messages or errors and no manual actions. We've had several sets of eyes looking in GSC since day 1.

The biggest consideration is that initially 302s were used instead of 301s. We submitted the change of address when the 302s were in place. This was reconciled a few days after the change of address request. The concern since then is that Google is unable to recognize that the 301s are now in place, that Google is somehow holding on to or caching the 302 redirects (Indeed, many pages [17k] still appear in SERPs under both the old and new domain). If not that, then something excruciatingly technical that everyone has missed.

Almost tempted to "withdraw" the change of address and resubmit to see if that helps anything. Fearful, however, that will reset any progress we've made.

Appreciate you poking into this issue with me. Please let me know your thoughts and anything else I can provide.

- Blake

 


Ashley
1/27/16
Ashley
Yeah, I was also surprised to see that so many of the old URLs were indexed. 

You can withdraw it and then just add it back in (the change of address). I don't think that'd cause any significant issues. 


1/28/16
Original Poster
Blak
Withdrew CoA and resubmitted yesterday. Will give it time, but supposing this has no effect, need to establish what the next steps are. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you again, Ashley.

- Blake
Ashley
1/28/16
Ashley
Just to set expectations - even years after a domain is 301 redirected it can show in Google, especially with a site query because you're specifically asking google to return info about that domain. 

Is the old domain ranking for any general keywords?
1/28/16
Original Poster
Blak
Yes, particularly the HTTPS version, which still outranks the new domain (albeit on page 5 or so) for two very big terms.



- Blake


93 MORE
SeriousJ
5/9/16
SeriousJ
Hi Blake,

Thank you for your answer. This is such a tough blow!
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