Are exchanged or reciprocal links okay with Google?
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Why are you doing this at all?

Why are you doing this at all?

Google’s John Mueller answered a question about how long it takes for Google to process the move from a non-www version of a site to a www version of the site. Mueller answered the question, but he also addressed the larger question of site changes, and whether they are even necessary or not.

What is the best way to change website without affecting SEO?

The person who asked the question would know how to make a major change to the site without affecting their top ranks.

The question:

“My site is on non-www, which is number one on Google. Both pages and posts … I want to switch from the non-www version to the WWW version.

What is the best way to do it without affecting SEO and is there any risk of … changing when you do? ”

Google’s John Mueller replied:

“The best way to do this is to follow the normal guidelines for moving websites that we have. And in essence, everything is outlined there.

So in terms of tracking the URLs that you previously had to go through the following with redirection and making sure all of this is configured correctly, I would follow these things.

My feeling is that a move within the same domain, where you are essentially just changing another subdomain, is something that is pretty unproblematic and should essentially happen quite smoothly.

And if you configure the redirects correctly, if you are not blocking things in a certain way, then I would imagine that this is something that is dealt with within a week or so.

Even for, I do not know, it should be a medium sized site as a fairly straightforward move just from one subdomain to another.

Moving between domains is a little more difficult.

Moving or somehow splitting or merging sites is much more difficult.

But this kind of move from one version to another version is usually completely unproblematic and it is also something where if it should take a little longer it does not change anything for the user because they would click on the old link and just end up on the new side and it would just work.

So I think this is completely unproblematic and probably something that can be easily done. ”


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Related: Website Migration Issues: 11 Potential Reasons for the Decline in Traffic

Changes to the site should make things better

John Mueller raised an interesting point about making changes to the site. The point he makes is that any change made to a site should ideally help the site get better in some way.

This may mean that the site is easier for users to navigate and find content.

Or it may mean that the site has faster performance.

John Mueller continues his answer:

“The most important thing I would think about here, though, is that it’s always like a situation with a move of a page where you have a lot of work involved.

So I want to slightly consider what you’re really trying to do by moving like that?

What is the problem you are trying to solve?

Because it may be that you do all of this pretty much everything is the same in the end if you get it right.

But if everything is the same in the end, then why do you do it at all?

So that’s kind of the direction I wanted to look at there.

I could imagine that there may be situations where you have a CDN where you have to do it to have some sort of separate host name.

Bu if there is no strong technical reason to do so, I would just keep it as it is. ”


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Major changes to the site should be considered as improvements

John Mueller began his answer by answering the question directly. But then he did an interesting thing and withdrew from seeing the tree and looking at the forest and started tackling the bigger problem of successfully implementing major site changes.

The central point he made is to ask if there is a valid reason to make the change, and if the answer is that it makes the place significantly better, then that is a good reason to continue.


It takes time for Google to process non-WWW for WWW changes

Watch John Mueller answer the question at the 37:48 minute mark

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