Our change of address seems to not be taking effect. Here's the story so far:

We're a web company and our product is called The New Hive. Our site used to be at thenewhive.com, but we decided to switch to newhive.com (drop the "the", it's cleaner).

So the timeline of what I've tried, starting on July 29th:

  • used 301 redirects for all pages (e.g. thenewhive.com/tag/art => newhive.com/tag/art)

At this point we noticed that we had disappeared from search results when searching "The New Hive", the front page used to be all links to our site plus a couple news articles about the company. So on August 5th I:

  • verified new domain in webmaster tools (old domain was already verified)
  • submitted a change of address request on August 5th with Webmaster Tools / Configuration / Change of Address

Then after another week, on August 13th I did this:

  • Went to Webmaster Tools / Health / Fetch as google
  • fetched our homepage and a couple sub pages, all successfully
  • clicked "Submit to Index" for homepage

As of today (August 23rd) we're still not showing up in the index. We're getting no warnings or feedback of any kind from the dashboard so I'm inclined to think something's broken with the dashboard rather than that something's wrong with our site from an SEO perspective.

From the dashboard:

No new messages or recent critical issues.

Crawl Errors: No data available.

From Health -> Index Status:

Total indexed 0

Ever crawled 42,490

Not selected 12

Blocked by robots 0

I'm really at a loss here, any help would be appreciated.

  • 2
    Have you verified the new domain with Google and Bing, have you deleted your old sitemap file and submitted a new one from the new domain? – Anagio Aug 21 '12 at 8:11
  • Also, try submitting a sitemap to Google, and maybe creating a robots.txt file that exclusively allows robots. (And preventing it from being 404'd). http://thenewhive.com/robots.txt goes to the new domain, which further has a 404. Google doesn't know if it's allowed to crawl, I guess. – ionFish Aug 21 '12 at 15:43
  • @Anagio, I did verify the new site. I've never submitted sitemaps for either site, but I'm going to try that. – Duffy Aug 21 '12 at 19:45
  • @ionFish, that's interesting, I always thought of robots.txt as just for excluding bots, which I don't need to do, but you made a good point. I added a robots.txt to explicitly allow bots, we'll see if that helps. – Duffy Aug 21 '12 at 19:47
  • 1
    So I got a response on the google product forum that the problem might be that the previous owner of the domain had content that violates their guidelines. I think there's a good chance this is the issue and I submitted a reconsideration request, I'll report back when I hear more. @Anagio, I checked a number of urls that the google bot accessed, going back as far as August 5th (almost a week after we started 301-redirecting to the new site and over two weeks before today) and they're not showing up. – Duffy Aug 22 '12 at 1:21

I hope the above link will help you a lot.

Moving your site

|improve this answer|||||
  • Thanks, this is good advice, and a good reference for anyone stumbling across this question. Unfortunately I followed all the steps in that tutorial and I'm still having issues. – Duffy Aug 23 '12 at 4:19

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