How long does it typically take for Google to index a site once a proper sitemap has been uploaded?
In the past it has taken a couple of months from moving to a new domain for the site to be fully indexed and cached.
At the moment the new URLs aren't showing up and the old ones are of course blocked by robots.txt
I have seen GoogleBot spidering my site since uploading the sitemap (and it is regularly checking the sitemap as it should) but it only stays on the main index page at the moment, it doesn't appear to be accessing the other forums yet.
I'm just getting a bit nervous, as all my old URLs are dropping off Google's index.
Did you implemented some HTTP 301 redirection while changing domain ?
If not, it could still be interesting to add some in order to keep the old backlinks.
Anyway, with PR3, it usually takes about one month to see all pages listed in the sitemaps in Google's cache.
The pattern is nothing for a month, and all the sudden, all pages showing up.
If your old URLs are still listed in Google's cache, then, there is a urge to HTTP 301 redirect them.
I was able to change both phpBB SEO forum's URL without even a single visit lost from the Search Engines. So it may be still time to save some.
If it's only phpBB related, please start a new thread in the phpBB forum, if it's about another script, please post in the SEO techniques forum instead.
And we'll see what's doable
OK, it's now two weeks since the friendly URLs and the sitemap were implemented. So far, the only new URLs showing are forums and threads that happen to be linked to from the home page. I know you said it takes a month, I hope you're right that they will all suddenly appear...
You asked if I had a 301 redirect from the old domain. I'm not sure if it was a 301 but yes, the old domain had some form of redirect and the old URLs are still indexed.
Google also still has the old URLs from the current domain (viewtopic.php?t=xxx type) indexed as well, but they are no longer cached because GoogleBot is blocked from seeing them by robots.txt.
The problem is that there are a few pages that are still linked to from other sites, so obviously I would like Google to be able to "see" these so I can restore the PageRank for these pages. Is there a way of telling Google that these pages have changed?
So if it follows a link from another site to -http://www.example.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=285 - is there a way to tell it that the page is now at this link? Some of these older pages have far more external links to them because I have only recently switched to friendly URLs.