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Webmaster Blog

March
15

Bing WMT Launches Site Move Tool

Moving domains? Site IA redesign? Finally managed to get your hands on a coveted domain name and willing to make the jump? Have you just gone through a big site redesign with a new directory structure, and want to let us know about it so that we can update our index to reflect your redirects? Then we have good news for you!

Let us know via the Site Move Tool.

Today we’re adding another item to your toolbox that lets you do just that. The new Site Move tool under the Diagnostics & Tools section in Bing Webmaster Tools can be used to tell Bing that you have moved and permanently redirected your site, or a section of your site, to a new location. Although permanently redirecting your URLs using 301 redirects is normally enough and the new tool doesn’t replace these redirects, the Site Move tool can help speed things up and get your redirects reflected in our index more quickly. More details are available in the Help & How-to Section of Bing Webmaster.

Not just for domain moves

Whereas other Webmaster Tools only allow a "Change of Address" from one domain to another, we wanted to allow web publishers more flexibility. So, we will offer two different types of move notifications to support the following scenarios:

1. You are moving and redirecting a bunch of URLs from one place to another within the current site. This scenario is great if you want to notify us of a major URL move within the same site. This comes in handy when you’ve redesigned your Site Architecture and are now redirecting many URLs to new locations, and you want us to pick up on this change as soon as possible.

2. You are moving and redirecting URLs from this site to another verified site. This type is a great way to notify us that you are moving from one domain to another domain. You can move to any other domain that you have also verified as a site in Bing Webmaster Tools.

However, that’s not all! Once you’ve selected one of these two options you can also select a move scope using the corresponding drop-down menu. Let's look at the options offered here:

Domain: the domain option should be used if you are moving an entire root domain and all its contents to a new address. This option is available if you are working from within a verified site that represents a domain (not a sub-domain or directory) and when you have selected to move from one site to another. It’s similar to what other tools call “Change of Address”. For example, you want to notify us that all URLs on http://contoso.com are now permanently redirecting to http://contosonew.com. This will let us know that all subdomains on the contoso.com domain, including, for example, www.contoso.com, static.contoso.com etc., are now redirecting to a new location on contosonew.com

Subdomain: this option allows you to tell us that you are moving all URLs from a specific subdomain elsewhere. Example: you want to tell us that all pages under http://blogs.contoso.com/ are now moving and are permanently redirecting to http://www.contosoblog.com/.

Directory:  the directory option allows you to let us know that you are moving all URLs in a directory (folder) to a new location. Example: you want to notify us of the fact that all URLs under http://www.contoso.com/old-folder/ are now permanently redirecting to http://www.contoso.com/new-folder/.

Here’s a quick screenshot of what the Site Move tools looks like inside the Webmaster Tools – the example shows a notification of a move within the same site, reflecting that the folder http://www.bing.com/community/, and all of its contents, has moved to http://www.bing.com/blogs/. (click image to enlarge)

     

How long should I keep my redirects in place?

As stated before, the Site Move tool doesn't replace the need for redirects from the old location to the new location, so before notifying us of a site move, you should make sure that the permanent redirects are set up correctly. That said, over time, the redirects will become obsolete as the new locations start to gain traction (in the form of links, clicks, trust, etc.), but since this transition will take time, you should plan to keep the redirects in place for at least several months.  

Are there any restrictions?

The Site Move tool does restrict a couple of things: one of them is that we will check, before accepting the notification, whether you’ve correctly set up your redirects to be permanent (using 301’s) and if we can resolve the URLs at the new location. The other is that once you’ve notified us about a move of from A to B, we will not allow you to move the new location (B) for at least six months.

Comments

  • Hey Duane, Does the Site Move Tool allow us to also move Canonical URLs as well?

  • It moves what you enter, so managing canonicals would remaion in your control - we do not automatically track canonicals and remap, but if your canonical remains the same, and you redirect the main page, the canonical should still remain valid.

  • You've stated in the past that there is link value degradation using 301 to move pages, would this tool help eliminate/reduce that?

  • okay now I am really confused!

  • Thank you for the article but what did I just read haha

  • Duane - some feedback on our false malware alerts by bing that finally got resolved after 12 weeks. FYI - there was no third party malware we were associated with, and the malware alerts were all false. See the post you posted your earlier feedback at www.bing.com/.../9693550.aspx