Lost 90% of traffic after domain migration and it still has not recovered after 4-5 months.

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- Redirected matching every URL 1:1
- Updated every internal link
- Requested the change of address in GSC
- Monitoring the logs on both new and old domains. Nothing strange, every request on the old domain redirects to the new one, and every request on the new domain requests 200 or 304.
- No errors in GSC. All pages on the old domain appear as "Redirect" and all pages on the new domain appear as "Crawled and Indexed"
- Uploaded the old sitemap with the old URLs on the old domain for crawling's sake.
- I'm using Cloudflare on both domains (done the redirects with Cloudflare's page rules)
- Both domains have the exact same contact details and server IP.

Other important insights:

- Strangely, the website is ranking pretty well with the new domain on a couple of pages while the rest of the pages that used to rank before domain migration are vanished from SERP (don't receive a single impression, like they are not even ranking in the first 200). How is possible to have like 7-8 pages taking the first position in Google for some solid keywords with decent competition while the other 500 pages (some with almost no competition and better content than the ranking pages) haven't appeared in SERP not once during these 5 months? The old domain doesn't receive any single traffic though, that's a good sign, right?

- The crawling rate on the old domain is deadly slow. Google keeps visiting the category pages on the old domain over and over again. Sometimes Google crawls a category URL 15-20 times in a single day while the inner pages are rarely crawled.

- The crawling rate on the new domain is decent, however, I noticed Google crawls more aggressively the pages that rank (like 15-20 times a single day). Is this normal?

What have I done wrong? I don't get why the traffic has still been not recovered after 4-5 months.

My guesses are:

- Google released several updates after I changed the domain name. Though the website wasn't impacted by either of them (the website maintained the exact traffic and ranking pages through every update), it could slow down the process or even break it.

- The migration is still processing. I have seen people claiming they have recovered after 6 to 8 months and some even after 1 year. But I also saw people claiming the traffic is usually recovered after 1 month. What are your thoughts on this?

- Someone did something very nasty while I changed the domain name (like black SEO or something like that) that I couldn't find and killed the website?

This is it. I'm done, hopeless and clueless. I asked dozens of people about this but no one could figure out what is going wrong. Everything seems to be done perfectly.

(Moderator edit: cannot solicit contact on forum)
#90% #domain #lost #migration #months #recovered #traffic
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  • Profile picture of the author wiyakalutawiyan
    This has happened to me, and it is almost certainly "the migration is still processing". I am completely baffled how it is that Google can index a new page and sometimes even rank it in a handfull of days but then take most of a year to "recover" from a simple upgrade to a new server even when the IP didn't change. It is extremely frustrating, no doubt. However like I said this did happen to me and it was just a touch over 8 months before pages started ranking again.

    In fact it is because of that that I shifted the way I do business so that I do not rely on SEO at all. If it happens great, but I put literally zero effort into it because I don't want my business dependent on the vagaries of any one company.

    My business is now RAN on advertising, any traffic/sales that happen because of search rankings is just icing on the cake.

    My .02 anyway
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