Bing’s new Site Move Tool
Moving domains isn't something that any site owner takes lightly - or at any rate, it shouldn't be! The potential for a domain move to upset rankings is down to the way search engines consider domain-level metrics as well as those further down at page-level, so it's always vitally important for any changes to be carefully planned and transition managed.
Undoubtedly the sharpest tool in the webmaster's toolkit in this type of scenario is the 301 redirect. Using this particular status code means that not only can everyone still find you, the vast majority of your link juice is retained (estimates vary, but up to 99%).
However, in order to facilitate domain moves while making things easier for webmasters, the Bing search engine now offers a new Site Move Tool which will allow any changes in site structure to be represented in the Bing index as soon as possible. While it's not intended as a replacement for the 301 redirect, this tool means that any effects of site moves will be minimised.
Site redirects are very often followed by a resulting fluctuation within the SERPs for terms that the site ranks for. While it's completely understandable that this happens - the effect of the algorithm and the site's structural change being manifested in the search results - Bing's newly introduced Site Move Tool is welcome for these reasons:
- Increase speed of visibility within SERPs post- domain change
- Lessen rankings fluctuations after a site move or structural change
- Offers greater flexibility for site owners who want to move URLs within and between sites, and lessens the impact of doing so
- In a world where site owners need to be responsive to lightning-fast change, it's important to have search engines that are alert to a site's structural change or domain moves without any detrimental effects in the SERPs.