Moving a site
Sometimes you need to move a site to a new domain, from a domain with the "www" prefix to a domain without it, or change from HTTP to HTTPS protocol. The Yandex robot treats all these cases as different sites. Therefore, moving a site essentially means grouping the old and the new site URLs as mirrors.
For the new address to be included in the search results, the robot must define it as the main mirror of the old domain. This will also allow you to transfer some accumulated metrics from the old site to the new one, for example:
- Original texts of the old site are handled as texts on the new site.
To specify the main mirror for the robot, follow these steps:
Step 1. Add your old and new sites to Yandex.Webmaster
Add your old and new sites to Yandex.Webmaster and verify your rights to manage them. For more information, see Quick start.
Step 2. Check if the sites' content matches and they are available to the robot
Make sure that:
- The sites' main content matches (text and graphics, contact information and so on).
- The new URL is not grouped with someone else's site mirrors. If it is, separate the sites. You don't need to separate sites if:
- The grouped mirrors differ only in protocol (HTTP/HTTPS).
- The site URLs differ only in the "www" prefix.
- The new URL is recognized as a secondary mirror of the site you are moving from.
- The old and new URLs are available to the robot:
The robots.txt files on the old and new domains are allowed for indexing by the Yandex robot. The robots.txt files must have the same content so the robot can use the same URLs for checking mirrors. You can also configure a redirect from the old site's robots.txt to the robots.txt of the new one.
Step 3. Set a redirect or specify canonical URLs
Set a redirect with HTTP code 301 from the old site's pages to the corresponding pages of the new one that should be included in the search.
If the site's domain name and directory names have changed, you need to install a double redirect. For example, the page URL http://сайт.рф/стр/ changed to http://example.ru/page/. The redirect should work like this:
http://сайт.рф/стр/ -> http://example.ru/стр/ -> http://example.ru/page/
If possible, don't set a redirect from all pages of the old site to the main page of the new one. Such redirects are inconvenient for users and, consequently, slow down the new site indexing by the Yandex robot.
Step 4. Use the “Relocate site” tool
The robot learns about the main mirror the next time it crawls the site. To speed up detection of changes, use the “Relocate site” tool:
- Go to Yandex.Webmaster and choose the site you want to move from.
- On thepage, send a request using one of these methods, depending on the type of relocation:
- To a new domain or another domain zone — enter a new URL in the field or select one from the list.
- From HTTP to HTTPS — turn on the Add HTTPS option.
- To a domain with the "www" prefix — turn on the Add WWW option.
- To a domain without a prefix — turn off the Add WWW option.
- Click Save.
The main mirror is changed within a few weeks. To get messages about changing the main mirror, subscribe to notifications.
After the main mirror is changed, the new site URL is included in the search.
Questions and answers
- The site is unavailable or responds with a long delay.
- The sites' content doesn't match. Check if the internal page URLs and headers match.
- The site is moving to another domain zone without a redirect.
- Site indexing is prohibited in the robots.txt file.
- The request was sent from the site to move to.
- Internal service error. Try sending the request later.
- Both sites are available to the robot.
- The old site URL redirects with the HTTP code 301 to the new one, which will be considered the main mirror.
- The site relocation request in Yandex.Webmaster is processed.
It will be in the search until the corresponding pages of the primary mirror are indexed, even if you set a redirect. The pages will be excluded from search results after several updates of the search databases.
Secondary mirror pages may still be stored in the robot's database and displayed in Yandex.Webmaster, but not in search.
To keep track of search database updates, subscribe to notifications.
If a new domain is already recognized as the main mirror, there might be slight changes in the number of site pages in the search results, site ranking, or traffic. These changes might be noticeable over several search database updates.
See the recommendations in Site structure.
Select what the mistake in the request was:
If you selected the wrong site from the list on thepage in Yandex.Webmaster and sent the request, it will eventually be rejected, and the site won't be moved.
The site relocation request is fulfilled when the new site URL becomes the main mirror and is included in the search results. This can take from a few weeks to months, depending on the relocation type, the speed at which the robot crawls the sites and the mirror updates in the search results.
If all conditions are met, the data will be updated automatically over time.