Google Search Console

How to Use the Change of Address Tool in Google Search Console?

Written by Akash Navi

When we have a website or blog then we have to involve into many technical things too. But when someone is getting started with the blogs and websites they think just writing and publishing good content is enough to keep the blog alive.

But we bloggers know that it’s not enough.

We have to periodically clean the database of the website and do other maintenance works to keep it running smoothly.

And of course, we should keep the backup of our website too. To avoid any kind of accidental data loss. In this guide of mine, we will discuss about a tool we get in Google Search Console.

I will explain how you can use the change of address tool in Google Search Console. This is a very sensitive tool and you should never use this without proper reason.

Wrong use of the change of address tool can cost you a lot. Because you may lose all the search engine ranks your website has. Which means the website traffic you are getting will be in danger.

Before we proceed to the further part and know how to use the change of address tool. Let’s check out what exactly this tool is and what it does.

What is Change of Address Tool?

This is one of the features which we get in the Google Search Console. With the help of this, we can change the domain name of our website without having maximum impact on our search rankings.

In simple words, I can say this tool helps us to inform Google when we are changing the domain name of our website.

When you use the change of address tool, Google will transfer all the search rankings from your old domain name to new domain name.

Changing domain names means nothing over than changing the address of your website. All the traffic you are getting currently will be redirected to the new domain name.

But the traffic won’t be redirected automatically we have to set up the redirection. Everything you need to know about setting up redirection is also mentioned in this guide.

How to Use the Change of Address Tool in Search Console?

Now let us get started with this guide and learn how to use the change of address tool in Google Search Console. As I have already told you the use of this tool and the way it works.

You are here changing the domain name of your current website which is up and running. And so you have to register a new domain name to which you want to move your current website.

Before you can use the change of address tool make sure that you have registered your new domain name for you.

After the registration of the domain name, you have to add it to the Google Search Console. But make sure that you have both the domains in the same Search console account.

How to Add New Domain to Google Search Console?

Let’s add your new domain to the Google Search Console account now.

Go to Google Search Console, you can follow this link provided here it will take you to Google Search Console in a new tab on your web browser. This tool was previously called as Google Webmaster Tools.

You will be asked to sign in again into your Google account. After you sign in successfully click on Add Property button which is red in color.

How to Use the Change of Address Tool

Now enter your website URL in the space provided, and later on click on Add. You can refer the image embedded below.
enter-website-property-address

Google will now ask you to verify your ownership to this website property or domain I can say. There are various methods by which you can verify your ownership.

You can do that with the help of your Domain name provider, Google Analytics account and Google Tag Manager to verify your ownership.

Once you successfully verify the ownership of your domain it will be added to your property list in the Search Console.

After verifying the ownership you have to redirect the old domain name to new domain name. You can do that by forwarding your domain name.

When you set up domain forwarding all the traffic coming to your old domain will be redirected to the new domain. This is what Google wants from you to change the address of your website in SERP.

To setup domain forwarding or redirection, you have to open your domain name registrar account and add 301 permanent redirection from there.

If you don’t know what exactly 301 permanent redirection is then read it below.

What is 301 Permanent Redirect?

This is one for the HTTP response code which tells the search engines that the content has been permanently moved to a new location. Here what I mean by the location is the domain.

When I add 301 Redirect from BloggingChamps.In to AkashNavi.In

And when someone visits or search engine bot visits any page on BloggingChamps.Com they will be automatically redirected to AkashNavi.In without anything to be done at their end.

How to Add 301 Permanent Redirect?

You have to now setup 301 permanent redirect from your old domain name to new domain name. And to do that you have to open your DNS manager.

Visit the website of your registrar from whom you have registered your domain name and head towards the DNS management of your old domain name.

Look for domain forwarding option in the DNS Manager. Enter your new domain and select the forwarding type as 301 Permanent.

Domain Forwarding

You have to save the changes they will not be saved automatically. If you have registered your domain name with Godaddy. Then you can read my guide to add 301 redirect in Godaddy.

You can setup 301 redirect using the .htaccess file too, that is from the server side. You have to add the below-mentioned code to the .htaccess file of your current domain name.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^olddomainname.com [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.olddomain.com [NC] 
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.newdomain.com/$1 [L,R=301,NC]

It will automatically redirect the traffic from the current domain to the new domain name.

Here you have to replace olddomain.com with your current domain name.

And newdomain.com with the new domain name that you have registered for yourself.

Note: Before making any changes to your .htaccess file make sure you have a backup of the file. Because if something goes wrong while adding this above-mentioned code. Your website can crash.

How to Request Change of Address?

Now comes the main thing, till now we have configured everything that we need to do. And now we are all set to use the change of address tool in the search console.

Let us now check out how you can request the change in search console. Open search console and select the website whose address you want to change.

Click on the gear icon which you can find at the upper right corner of the interface. You will get a set of options when you click on the gear icon, click on Change of Address from there.

We are just four steps away towards changing the address of your website in Search Console, the steps are mentioned below.

  • Picking the new domain name from the property list.
  • Confirming that the 301 redirect from old domain name to the new domain name is working.
  • Checking the old verification methods are still present on the old and new domain as well.
  • And finally submitting the change of address request.

The first step is you have to select the new domain which you have just registered and added to your search console account.

Note: Select the domain to which you would like to transfer the current Google rankings.

After the selection of new domain name, termed as New Site in the change of address tool. You have to check that the 301 redirect which you have just added is working perfectly.

Click on Check button and the Google will check if the redirect is working properly. If it is not woking properly you will get the error on your screen.

Confirm that 301 Redirect Works

If the 301 redirect is working properly you will get a green tick on the screen. Which means it is working properly and you can proceed further.

The third step is to check if the verification methods are still present on the old domain name as well as the new domain name.

Before you click on Check button make sure that you have both the domains verified in your search console account. And the methods by which you have verified the domains are still present.

Check that verification Methods are Still Present

Click on Check button which is corresponding to the third step. If the domains and the verification methods are still present you will again get a green tick on the screen.

Submit The Change of Address Request

And finally, the fourth step click on the red colored Submit button and you are done with it. You have successfully requested the change of address in Google Search Console.

You should note one thing and that is it will take time for the Google bot to crawl your new domain name. So don’t loose the patience and reconfigure the things.

Make sure the 301 redirect from the old domain to the new domain will be always live.

How long can it really take?

As Google says it can take 2 weeks or 14 days to recrawl your website and follow your new web address. But this is nit always true!

What is this? This is the same question you have in your mind now?

At SMX Advanced Gary Illyes said that it can take up to 3 months for Google to follow the new website address. It should take 2 weeks but if you have a well-established website then it may take longer.

So if you have changed the address of your website just now then you have to wait for 3 months. 🙂

You can find some tweets from the SMX Advanced talk below.

Wrapping Up….

So this is how you can use the change of address tool in Google Search Console. I hope you are clear with all the steps which are mentioned in this guide.

If you have any kind of doubts are facing difficulties then you can comment below. I will be happy to help you out. 🙂

3 Comments

  • Hey Aakash,

    Thanks for sharing this guide. You’ve covered every part of the process and loved how you explained things.

    Keep rocking 🙂

    Regards,

    Shafi Khan

  • Hi,

    I have Redirected to new domain by 301. Everything is perfect.

    But in search console, How can we verify both the domains ? I mean If I have redirected the whole domain, How can I verify it via methods like Putting HTML file etc. ?

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