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I migrated my blog from one domain to the other and initiated a change of address using Google Search Console's change of address tool recently (three weeks ago).

I'm starting to see a comparable amount of organic traffic now (about ~90%), and I have some updates I want to implement on the core content I 301'd.

It's my understanding that you don't want to change anything during a change of address migration, so I've been holding off.

My question in two-fold:

  1. How does Google let me know they're done with the change of address?
  2. Is it safe to make updates if I'm starting to see a good deal of the original traffic coming through?
  • Where did you hear that you don't want to change anything? I can see not making wholesale site changes such as: changing the CMS or template, changing the permalink structure (URL paths), or changing the copyright and ownership information. However, I would expect you to go about making small changes as needed even during the change of address. You should be able to add new pages and make necessary edits to a page here and there without encountering any problems. – Stephen Ostermiller Sep 8 '17 at 9:04
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How does Google let me know they're done with the change of address?

Is it safe to make updates if I'm starting to see a good deal of the original traffic coming through?

I'll answer your questions in reverse order since it makes more sense.

Since you're using Webmaster Tools (a.k.a. Search Console), the best way to tackle both situations is to first make sure your website is updated FIRST, because if you update it after, then you may confuse friends of your guests that may also visit your site. Why? because your guest will tell your friend something like "I found this and that on page (insert number) and the 2nd paragraph" and then you go update the site then your friend may see that paragraph missing which in turn is an example of a bad user experience.

Once you have done your updates, create a sitemap or two containing your new URLs and submit them to google. Google will then list how many URLs were submitted and how many were processed and it will tell you within about 10 minutes of you uploading the sitemap file whether the sitemap file format you submitted has a problem or not.

You can safely assume that google checked your whole site over at least once when the number of URLs processed in the sitemap matches the number of URLs contained in the sitemap itself.

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I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "change of address." What I understand you is to say that you've moved your blog from Domain A to Domain B? What do you mean by Google being done with the change of address? Usually Google isn't involved in that process.

Now, if you mean to say that Google's Webmaster Tools have been updated to analyze your new domain, and you're seeing stats coming in, then it's likely working and done, since you 301'd your content. Making updates shouldn't be an issue, since they're going onto the new domain, anyway.

Otherwise, the best way to be sure is to either:

1) Shut down the old domain or... 2) Remove the old blog or access to it from the host

...and then see if you have stats trickling in.

  • Google has a change of address tool that is part of Google Search Console. You use it when you are changing domain names and you want all your rankings in Google to apply to the new domain. If you don't use the tool, rankings usually suffer. The documentation for it is here: support.google.com/webmasters/answer/83106?hl=en – Stephen Ostermiller Sep 8 '17 at 8:59

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