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I'm using the Yoast SEO plugin on a WordPress site on a new, more memorable domain to replace an old static HTML site with no SEO. I've followed Google's documentation for moving a site, set up 301 redirects from the old domain to the new one, and filed a change of address in the Google Search Console. However, after a few days, the old site still shows in search results, and is ranked higher than the new one if you google our company name.

And, if I try to set the preferred domain in the Google Search Console Site Settings for the new site, I see this in place of the options to prefer www/non-www/http/https:

Not all options are available because of a Change of Address request related to this site.

I've read of some cases where this condition has lasted for least least a month.

Is there anything more I can do to fix this? Have I done something wrong, or do I just need to wait, and for how long?

  • What?? Are you trying to hurry up Google? Do you know what makes Google mad? It can take months in fact. You will just have to be patient. The Internet is a HUGE place and quite frankly, your site is just not a high priority to any search engine just like all the rest of the sites. It is a matter of standing in line for your government cheese. (humor - please take it as intended) – closetnoc Jan 6 '16 at 2:05
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Yeah, "after a few days" isn't much time at all for a small site. It sounds like you've done what you need to do and are just in the waiting phase.

The one thing you didn't mention was using the Fetch as Google feature in Search Console. That can be used to ask Google to crawl and index your URLs.

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It sounds like you've Google's guidelines for moving a site (301 redirects, filing Change of Address in Google Search Console, upload new XML sitemaps, etc). That's great!

The issue that you're encountering is "URLs from the old domain still appear in Google search results, not URLs from my new domain".

Your old URLs are likely to remain visible in Google SERPs for several weeks, and it could be as long as several months. This is not a problem.

Google has lots of historical data about your old domain, and virtually none about your new domain. Since you've filed Change of Address, Google is now in the process of transferring authority and trust signals from your old domain to your new domain. This process takes time.

New URLs will begin to replace old URLs gradually, once Google has done all the recursive calculations that confirm that, in fact, your new URLs are the canonical destination for your content. Nothing to worry about.

Run a spider like Screaming Frog against your old site to confirm that all your 301 redirects are pointing where they should be, and wait it out.

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