For SEO Safeguarding: Bing Webmaster Tools Adds Site Move Tool

It’s important to always let search engines know when you’re making a major change to your website or moving domains altogether. You don’t want to lose any SEO value you’ve gained, and you don’t want to lose any type of ranking just because you’re doing some spring-cleaning. Google and Bing both urge companies to institute 301 redirects and let them know of a move through Webmaster tools, but just this week Bing added in a new layer by creating what they call a “site move” tool. In short, the new tool allows you to move domains as well as move from URLs within the site quicker than in the past.

How the Site Move Tool Works

The first thing to understand is that Bing still utilizes 301 redirects. This tool does not replace these redirects, but rather just helps to speed along the process. You can alert Bing if you are doing one of two things:

  1. Moving within your site. If you are going to redirect URLs to another page within your site. This typically occurs if you’re trying to change the construction and/or navigation of your site.
  2. Moving to another site. This is probably the more common change that a company will make. If you bought a great domain and want to transfer over all of your content, you can let Bing know faster through using this tool. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that you must be moving to a domain that is verified in Bing Webmaster tools. If not, go here to learn how to verify it in just a few minutes.

Once you have decided what exactly it is you’re trying to move, the new tool allows you to pick one of three different options:

  1. Domain. This is the option that you should choose if you are going to move everything about one domain to another domain. This includes all subdomains.
  2. Subdomain. This is best if you’re planning to only move one subdomain to another URL within your same website.
  3. Directory. And no surprise here, this should be used when you are moving all URLs from one directory, or one folder, to another location.

What is so exciting about this tool is the fact that Google doesn’t offer the option of alerting them from a move within the same site. Bing now does, and for many this is going to be a huge benefit when it comes time to try and index webpages before the competition.

You can find the tool under the Diagnostics & Tools section of the Bing Webmaster Tools.

The only thing you really need to keep in mind is that once you have notified Bing that you are making some sort of move, you are not going to be allowed to move somewhere else for approximately six months. In other words, make sure you’re absolutely sure!

What the New Site Move Tool Means to You

The biggest takeaway for companies is the idea that you will be able to make changes faster and simpler. If you were considering buying a great domain and switching over your content, or if you were considering doing some major website redesign, now is a great time to make it happen with confidence that Bing will follow your moves.

You can learn more about Bing Webmaster Tools here on their own blog.

Have you used the new Site Move tool for Bing? What was your experience?

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