Sometimes, a site move is a necessary and inevitable change and making sure your site can still be found at its new location is a necessity for any business. The way to do this is to set up 301 redirects from every individual page on the old site to the equivalent page on the new site.
If you have any pages on the old site that you don’t need on the new site, don’t worry! There’s nothing you need to do with these. On top of this, you will also need to change all references to the old URLs, such as any important links you may have from outside the website.
However, how long are you meant to keep these 301 redirects in place for once they’re up? Well, turns out the answer is a year, at a minimum. Essentially, this is because Google only crawls your site every few months & it needs to crawl it a few times before it recognises that it has moved permanently.
This answer comes through the latest edition of Googles YouTube series “Ask Googlebot”. Googles John Mueller states:
“At Google we try to reprocess all pages at least every few months. Most pages are checked more often. However, the amount of crawling is limited and there are many pages that we’d like to crawl, so we have to prioritize.
When a URL changes our systems need to see the change in the form of a redirect for at least a few times in order to record that change.
To be certain that a redirect has been seen a few times, we recommend keeping the redirect in place for at least one year.”
Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t keep them longer than one year – you can, you can keep the 301 redirects in place indefinitely without any harm, simply a year is the absolute minimum they should be kept for.
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