Back in August we announced that wikia.com domains will be migrating to fandom.com. We've been doing a lot of prep work for testing the SEO impact of the migration, so we wanted to give you some insight into the process, talk about how the test is going to work, how we’re going to keep your traffic safe, and answer any questions you may have about it.
The basics are that in early October—we are aiming for next week, and we'll let you know the exact date once we have it—we will be migrating approximately 3,200 communities to the new domain structure. Those include roughly 600 English communities, while the rest are international communities across 11 other languages. The international communities will also test out the new language path that we announced in July as part of the global rollout of HTTPS.
Here are the key points about this test.
- Why are we moving these 3,200 communities? First and foremost, to keep your traffic safe and to make sure everything is in order for the full migration in 2019. We believe that while traffic will be lower in the short-term as a result of the domain change, Google and other search engines will adjust after a while and traffic will return to normal. We need to test that, though, so we know for sure what the impact will be. In doing so, our SEO team will be able to quickly fix any potential issues and prevent them from impacting traffic long-term in this and future tests.
- How are we testing this migration? We’ve created a list of 250,000 search keywords that are important to the domains we’re migrating and that cover most languages. After we migrate these communities, we’ll track all of those keywords to see how the content in those communities continues to rank among searches for those keywords.
- What languages are being tested? In addition to English, we are tracking 11 different languages that will provide us information about audiences around the world. The languages are German, Spanish, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, Polish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish. There will also be a few languages, such as Russian, that will see some domain migrations without keyword tracking.
- Will all 3,200 communities be migrated at once? Our goal is to migrate everyone quickly, but we're going to start with a smaller group at first and give ourselves some time in case we need to make any changes to the migration process. We will monitor that initial group for any potential issues. We'll resolve any that arise, but if there aren't any then we'll quickly migrate the rest of the communities to the new domain.
- How were the communities chosen? We chose communities across all verticals and of various different sizes, and that were likely to have keywords that we could easily test. This will give us an accurate sampling of the migration’s SEO impact. We will also send the chosen communities a banner notification so they’re aware of the upcoming migration.
- Why are you testing this now? We need at least 6 weeks to fully track the 250,000 keywords. By doing this now, we’ll be finished with this migration by the time we enter the holiday gift season as well as the holiday game and film release season. There’s a lot of traffic in that period, so the goal is to resolve any impacts by then.
- Is there anything else I should know? Once a community is migrated to the fandom.com domain, its domain will use HTTPS. The new URL language path for the international migrations will also allow those communities to be on HTTPS. This offers improved security for you and all users on your community.
We’ll share the results of this test with you here on Community Central once it’s completed. You can also expect to see information about more migration tests we’ll be doing later in the year, as well as some news about how we’ll be handling non-pop culture communities—which was a big point of feedback from our last blog, and we thank you for that!
In the meantime, if you have any questions about this test, we’re happy to answer them for you!
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