I recently changed the domain name of this website from nudeseo.com to noodseo.com and ran into a problem with Google Search Console’s (GSC) change of address tool.
About the change of address tool
This tool can be found in GSC by clicking on settings on the left-hand side. It is used to inform Google that you have moved a website to a new domain so that you can retain the domain equity (authority, link juice etc.) of your old domain.
This is one of the final steps of website migration to a new domain without losing Google rankings (click here for a full list of steps).
Validation Failed Error Message
However, when I tried to submit the change I got the following error:
Failed one or more of the required tests. Cannot proceed with the request.
Required: 301-redirect from homepage
Couldn’t fetch the page
I also had several warnings of 301-redirects from sample pages.
How to fix the error
I pissed about with this for a while ensuring redirects were set up correctly and fetching pages manually through GSC to ensure they were working correctly.
Everything seemed fine, so I went to work on something else to give my mind a break from the issue.
Then I realised that the cause of the issue may be that I had only added the new domain to GSC a couple of hours before. For those that do not regularly add properties to GSC, you may not know that it usually takes a few days for Google to start gathering data for the new domain.
I hypothesised that Google’s validation tool may be experiencing problems because the new domain property was not fully configured in GSC yet.
I confirmed this over the next few days by regularly trying to submit my change of address in GSC without success…until i received this email:
Within about ten minutes of receiving the email, I resubmitted the change of address request to Google and it passed the validation first time.
This was on April 2nd 2021, 3 days after buying the new domain name and adding it to GSC.
Changing a website’s domain name is not a task I perform very often. Nine times out of ten it is not the best solution to a problem and it is fraught with risk.
But when I do come to migrate a website in future, I will ensure I add the new domain to GSC first and then wait a few days before performing the other steps in the process.