Google’s Official Webmaster blog has put up a post about moving your site from one domain to another, making sure to mention that if the IP address is changing, there is a caveat which they talk about in a search engine optimization post they wrote a while back.
Here are two of the half dozen points they give:
Test the move process by moving the contents of one directory or subdomain first. Then use a 301 Redirect to permanently redirect those pages on your old site to your new site. This tells Google and other search engines that your site has permanently moved.
To prevent confusion, it’s best to make sure you retain control of your old site domain for at least 180 days.
They also provide some other advice, which could be listed as interesting or helpful, but most of it is specific to watching Google do its magic, and making sure that you track the process and notify them of any issues.
It is an interesting post, but I feel that Google could have gone into more detail about what is happening behind the scenes with Google. Like with one point they mention rolling out a domain and design/code change as two different steps to help users, but what do search engines think when they come to a site that has changed both domain and code?