The arrival of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) has changed the game on the World Wide Web. If you have an unattractive, unnecessary long domain names with hyphens, you need not worry anymore as you can seize the opportunity offered by the new gTLDs, such as .science, .agency, .plumbing, .boutique, .photography and so on. However, it is important for you to take the right steps in moving your website to a new domain so that your SEO will not be negatively affected.
When you buy your new gTLD, you should put a ‘coming soon’ page on it some weeks before transferring your files from the old site to the new one so that search engine crawlers can index the new page. It will also enable them to know that the site is a real one and not parked. You should then transfer your files from the old site to the new one. Your web hosting service provider has tools for file transfer, just log in to your web hosting account or contact your service provider if you have issues in that regard.
After moving all your files, you should then redirect search engines from your old domain to the new one. There are two types of redirect – the 302 redirect and the 301 redirect. The 302 redirect is a temporary one at it informs the search engines to read and make use of the contents on the new site but not to stop checking the old one as it will be brought back. But the 301 redirect is permanent. It informs the search engines that the new domain should take the place of the old one, thereby transferring the old site’s authority, page ranking and visitors to the new one.
When moving to a new gTLD, a 301 redirect is ideal and you should ensure that you carry out the redirect for each page of the old site. To confirm the transfer, you can use a 301 checker send you should use the ‘change of address tool’ at your Google Webmaster Console so that Google will be informed that you have moved to a new site from an old one. It is also important to renew the change of address at 180 days internal.
Moreover, your backlinks should be updated at selected, authority sites. You can contact webmasters and ask them to update your links. It is quite difficult to update all your backlinks but doing so with few authority sites is enough since your new site has taken up the pagerank of your old one through the 310 redirect.