Newbie here. This question is a little similar to a post from over five years ago (link at the bottom). In this instance, I've already taken some action, probably a little hastily, but need advice from people who know what they are doing so that I can accomplish my mission! 😁

My old website, hosted by Wordpress.com, was coming up for renewal. It was in need of a redesign so I redesigned it using Elementor Hosting, and kept the same URLs and slugs for all pages that were recreated.

The new website went live, with hosting moving to Elementor, at the end of Feb, and thankfully from an SEO perspective it continued to perform well, with five key search terms in the top three and quite a few SERPs. It took a couple of weeks for the appearance of the search results to update to the new look but this wasn't a problem as the links were the same...but in the past two weeks it's all gone wrong, with search terms dropping day by day.

I noticed that the search results had become a mish-mash of the old and new site, in fact the search terms that had dropped seem to pretty much look like they used to on the old site with sitelinks in the search results showing old wording (ie nav labels). I also noticed in Google Search Console that my now redundant site on Wordpress had become a referring site with the URL of myname.wordpress.com, even though it was now marked as 'private'. I assumed it would be out of the picture when the new site went live but it looks like it has started to interfere. I can't imagine this was a coincidence.

So I took the following actions:

  1. I deleted the old site (myname.wordpress.com) as I didn't need it anymore and then resubmitted pages and sitemaps for the live site via GSC.

  2. I then submitted the old site home address to Google to request removal and this morning I submitted all URLS (there are only 13 pages) via the same tool.

My intention is to wait until those URLS have been accepted and to then resubmit sitemaps and all pages on GSC... and then wait.

I imagine I did the things a little hastily, but can someone advise (a) what I need to do now, and (b) what I should've done to prevent the issue from arising in the first place?

Thanks for your help!

Here's the post from a few years ago that I referred to at the start...


  • Its a bit late when you have already done it. Are the page contents identical? Are the new and old urls identical? Commented May 2 at 14:12
  • Yup. URLs identical although content has been edited.
    – Kam Mistry
    Commented May 2 at 14:36

1 Answer 1


Assuming this timeline:

  1. example.com exists on the .com version of WordPress
  2. You decide to move to Elementor hosting and redesign it there
  3. The site on Elementor hosting becomes example.com, and the version on WordPress becomes you.wordpress.com
  4. example.com get's crawled and indexed
  5. Later on you.wordpress.com gets crawled and indexed

Also assuming everything does line up URL-wise (absolutely no changes), I would first set canonical URLs across you.wordpress.com to the example.com versions and redirect them with HTTP 301.

Controlling indexing is all about taking steps to be as clear as possible with your intentions. Doing this first clears up the confusion, explaining what happened to the best of your ability.

I would let that sit until I see that the SERPs look right. Finally, I'd retract the 301 redirects and issue a site-wide 410 on the you.wordpress.com.

Once everything is gone, I'd delete the old site and cancel the WordPress plan.

  • Hi Mike. Thanks for your reply and please accept my apologies for my very slow response - I went on holiday around the same time that you replied and have only just returned. Your assessment is accurate although I had already deleted the old site and plan before attending to the actions that you suggest - ie setting canonicals and redirects. Since your reply, I am still seeing you.wordpress.com in GSC indexing but some movement in search results - sometimes showing the old site search result and sometimes new. Is there a Google cache somewhere that needs to be attended to? Thanks again!
    – Kam Mistry
    Commented May 15 at 15:25
  • @KamMistry In GSC go to indexing and and file a removal request. Make sure that the old pages are gone after 6 months, or they'll show up again. If you deleted the site, this shouldn't be a problem. Commented May 31 at 1:24

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