Google has recently announced that they have migrated all of their Google Blogs from the googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com domain to webmasters.googleblog.com. The purpose of the move is to help people recognize that they are reading an official blog from Google (i.e. greater brand recognition).
John Mueller commented on Twitter that it was “Time to test some of those website migration tips :-).” They can be summarized as following four distinct steps (the full guidelines can be found here):
- Prepare the new website and test it thoroughly.
- Prepare a URL mapping from the current URLs to their corresponding new format.
- Start the website move by configuring the server to redirect from the old URLs to the new ones.
- Monitor the traffic on both the old and new URLs.
Unfortunately, Google failed to test the RSS feeds redirected correctly upon launch, and for a very short time, these failed to redirect to the new blog feeds. Everything does, of course, work fine now.
As the old domain is mapped to the new one, all your bookmarks and links to the Webmaster Blog will continue to work. However, John Mueller did point out that “as with a custom domain change in Blogger, the Google+ comments on the blogs have been reset“. It will be interesting to see how the loss of these comments will affect the blog’s visibility in the Search Results, bearing in mind that they do attract a reasonable number of comments.
In addition to the comments, it seems that Google has lost all their “g+1’s” on the existing posts too, as all comments and g+’s are tied to the canonical URL. John Mueller stated in response “There are some hacks you could do, but they’d be more like hacks than something done well. It would certainly have been nice :(”
This is just the first of many migrations, as it is Google’s intention to move all of their Official Blogs to the *.googleblog.com domain over time. We do wonder why Google has used subdomains on “Googleblog.com,” rather than on “Google.com.” In the end, though, we think “webmasterblog.google.com” doesn’t quite sound as good as “webmasters.googleblog.com,” so we suspect much thought has gone into their choice.