URL Changes Aren’t Simple For Google Search

Recently, Google has released a video describing the SEO impact of making changes to the URL structure of your site.

In the video, John Mueller of Google said that when you make changes to the URL structure of your website, search engines don’t typically get updated instantly. He said that these changes are “not that simple for search engines” and can take several months to get fully processed by Google before everything is updated.

John Mueller summarized the key points of a detailed documentation on site moves (which you can find here), and here are the key points:

  • Do the research before doing the migration
  • Time the update when it is a good time to have a dip in traffic
  • Create a list of the old and new URLs for mapping purposes
  • Implement the migration with 301 redirects and internal site updates, like navigation, XML sitemaps, etc
  • Monitor the migration with analytics and Search Console