The .yu ccTLD for Yugoslavia will cease to be available for websites on September 30th. This has been known for a while, but there has been a two-year transition period for existing sites using .yu.

Since the date is only a few months away, Google is offering some tips for easing the transition on the company's Webmaster Central blog. Search Quality Senior Analyst Luisella Mazza says to:

- Check your backlinks
- Check your internal links
- Start moving the site to your new domain

The second two are pretty obvious, but the first one may go overlooked by some webmasters. "Since it won't be possible to set up a redirection from the old .yu domain to your new one, all links pointing to .yu domains will lead to dead ends," says Mazza. "This means that it will be increasingly difficult for search engines to retrieve your new content."

You can find out who is linking to you by searching Google using the link: operator. For example, "link:http://maximizingrevenuetips.blogspot.com/" would bring up sites that link to the My blog homepage. You can also use Google Webmaster Tools and select the "links to your site" option under "your site on the web."

"While you're moving your site, you can test how Google crawls and indexes your new site at its new location by submitting a Sitemap via Google Webmaster Tools," says Mazza. "Although we may not crawl or index all the pages listed in each Sitemap, we recommend that you submit one because doing so helps Google understand your site better."

.you domains will be transferred to either .me (Montenegro) or .rs (Serbian). According to Wikipedia, the .cs ccTLD was reserved for Serbia and Montenegro after the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia became Serbia and Montenegro in 2003, but it was never used.


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