Mega site migration -- google considerations?

CavySpirit

Member
I'm going to be migrating an ANCIENT site -- very old html main pages with a lot of broken links and such, from vB to XF.

I'll have forum redirects and such hopefully configured properly, and will redirect the main articles on the old site to new ones on XF.

But, a lot of crap will be just nixed. All the old articles are getting rewritten.

What, if anything, do I need to tell Google and how? I'm not good with Analytics. I find it just overwhelming. It's so old it's been pretty heavily penalized by Google at this point, so I'm hoping this is going to give me a fresh start in that regard. But, I have around 36K backlinks, too.
 

nocte

Well-known member
If there is a replacement for some content (i.e. the content has a new url), you should use 301 redirects via a .htaccess file in your root folder (given you are using an Apache web server; if XF is installed in your root folder, you actually should have such a file already).

You can also look into route filters (admin.php?route-filters/): Maybe you can use them if you want to keep an old url; e.g. https://yourforum.com/old-url instead of https://yourforum.com/some-new-url.
 

Muddy Boots

Active member
I'm going to be migrating an ANCIENT site -- very old html main pages with a lot of broken links and such, from vB to XF.

I'll have forum redirects and such hopefully configured properly, and will redirect the main articles on the old site to new ones on XF.

But, a lot of crap will be just nixed. All the old articles are getting rewritten.

What, if anything, do I need to tell Google and how? I'm not good with Analytics. I find it just overwhelming. It's so old it's been pretty heavily penalized by Google at this point, so I'm hoping this is going to give me a fresh start in that regard. But, I have around 36K backlinks, too.
@CavySpirit I dont know if you have someone doing this for you but you would not go wrong if you asked @MySiteGuy to take a look and see what he can do re the transfer to get as much over as possible
 

CavySpirit

Member
Thanks! Will keep the referral in mind. Yes, I have an XF and vB consultant helping me. He (they) have been keeping my old site limping along for years. Finally making the move. He's been recommending XF for a long time, but I need so much functionality, in prior years I didn't think the software was ready. Now I feel confident in the XF decision. He'll be able to make sure the redirect mapping will work and such. I can make sure I cover my main htaccess redirects.

It will be staying on the same server, so at least that's one less headache.

I'm just not sure what special notices or what, if anything, I need to do with google to let them know. It seems like there is a thing for changing domains, but the domain is staying the same. Just a HUGE change in all content. A lot of dead and useless urls will simply go away. They were hurting my old site anyway.

But this is a feeder site to two significant ecommerce stores of mine, so I want to get that old traffic back and do whatever I can to 'be good' this time!! :)
 

benFF

Well-known member
I did my migration from VB to XF (450k threads and 4.5m posts) last November and was also a bit nervous about it.

The XenForo Redirects for vBulletin handled all the thread and post redirects perfectly, so you don't need to worry about that side of things.

If you were just using a stock vB then that's all you need - I used quite a few additional addons, so I needed to write custom importers for them, but it all took me less than a week.

As for the Google side - keep a copy of your old sitemap file (which holds all the old vb URLS that should be 301'd), and submit this to Google along with the new XF replacement one - leave it submitted until it finally lists all the URLs as "Excluded".

One thing I missed and I wonder if it affected things is on my vB site I had it showing 25 posts per page, but on the XF one 20. This means that the old Google entries and the new ones aren't exactly equal, so I suspect even though I 301'd them, Google saw them as a new page rather than a "Design update" and this is what caused my massive ranking drop (30% nearly overnight).

Starting to reclaim the ranking now though, so even though it cost a lot in lost revenue, still totally worth it! :)
 
Top