Moving Your Site? Bing Offers a New Webmaster Tool to Help
Are you planning on moving your website? Many site owners hardly give it a second thought when they decide they want to move some pages around on their site, or even move their whole site to a new domain. Unfortunately, these types of moves can play havoc with your standing among search engines, especially if you don’t take the proper steps first.
Google has been offering a Change of Address tool for quite some time for this very reason, and now Bing has decided to step up to the plate with a site mover utility of their own.
Aptly titled the Bing Site Move Tool, the new addition to the Bing portfolio of Webmaster Tools actually contains a variety of important and useful tools and functions that the Google tools simply lack.
Move to a Whole New Domain, or Just Move Some URLs
Google’s Change of Address tool allows you to inform them of one big sweeping move with your site, transferring it from its current domain to a new one. While the new Bing Site Move Tool has the same functionality (and it ought to, seeing as this is a relatively common action for site owners to take), it greatly expands on Google’s design by allowing you to inform the crawlers of moves made at the subdomain and directory levels as well. This means that you can notify Bing that you’ve moved individual URLs within your site, without losing any search visibility as a result.
In order to move your entire site to a different domain, you’ll need to first verify that it’s a domain you own in Bing Webmaster Tools.
Make Your Moves Count
With the announcement of its new Site Move Tool, Bing has adopted one of the exact same rules Google enforces with Change of Address: make your moves wisely, because once you move a particular URL, you cannot move it again for six months.
You should also make sure that you still use 301 redirects as you’re moving your site, just to be safe. This will ensure that any traffic you receive during the move will be sent to the proper page, rather than an error page.