Yes, changing your domain name will impact your SEO. Your current domain already has trust and authority built up. If you change it, it will take some time for them to re-evaluate and understand that the new domain is you.
However, If you do the domain change correctly, the negative impact should be minimal.
Why would you change your domain name?
There are a number of reasons why you might want to change your domain name:
- You’ve outgrown your current domain and need a more professional-sounding one
- Your current domain is hard to pronounce or spell
- You want to rebrand and changing the domain is part of that process
- Your current domain is too long
- Your website has been penalized by Google
Most often, businesses change their domain names because of branding reasons.
Here are some of the biggest companies that changed domain names:
- Facebook.com was originally thefacebook.com. Someone has purchased facebook.com and asked a price that was too high at a time for Facebook. The company eventually purchased Facebook.com for $200,000 in 2005.
- Twitter.com originally was twttr.com. The reason for the change was that the company wanted a domain name that is easier to type.
- Paypal.com was x.com. Elon Musk, Founder of X.Com thought the company needs a name that better explains the services they offer. Back then, transferring money online was not a popular thing to do, so they needed a domain that would be easy to remember and explain what they do.
Can you change domain name without losing SEO?
Yes, you can change your domain name without losing SEO rankings and Organic Traffic. You have to follow certain protocols while changing your domain name so that you won’t lose any SEO rankings in the Search Engine Results Pages.
How to Change Your Domain Without Losing SEO
- Securing the Domain: Before you start the migration to a new domain, make sure you have bought the new one and have every access that is needed for you to move to that new domain. This could be access to your hosting provider, your domain registrar, emails, sometimes Cloudflare or any other CDN provider.
- Make a List of the Needed Changes: One of the biggest issues when it comes to moving to a new domain is that a lot of internal links will still point to the old domain. If you are using a CMS like WordPress, the change will be automatic by changing the domain in the settings.
However, if you are using a static website or a website builder like Wix or Squarespace, this might not be automatic, so you will need to make a list of the pages where you will have to change the internal links.
You can also use a tool like Screaming Frog or any SEO audit tool to map these internal links and create a sheet for easier change.
- Change to the new domain: You will have to change your DNS records for your new domain to point to your server and remove it from the old one. It is the best to aks a help of a developer or your hosting provider to solve this for you.
- Redirect to the new domain: Once you have changed records to point to the new domain, you will have to set up redirects in order for people and search engines to understand that you have moved to a new domain.
This can be done by:
Setting up a wildcard redirect (if you want all old URLs to redirect for example to your new homepage)
You can apply a .HTAccess Redirect with mod_Rewrite and RewriteCond
You can set up Individual 301 Redirects if you don't have a ton of URLs. You can use a tool like Monkey Mapper to match old URLs to new URLs.
- Verify Your New Domain in Google Search Console: Once the redirect are done, it's time for you to add the new domain and verify it in Google Search Console. This way, you can let Google know about the new domain and if you add the Sitemaps in there, you can also help it to Crawl the New URLs faster, which will speed up the recovery of your rankings.
- Update Old Internal and External Links: Although a redirect will make sure that no internal links in your website or external links pointed to your website are broken, it is still the best practice to change these so they point to the new URLs and domain. Make sure all links to your website on your social profiles, Facebook, YouTube and other website are changed to the new website.
- Monitor Rankings and Traffic: Your last step is to measure the rankings and the organic traffic coming to your website, to see if the migration went well. This means adding a new Google Analytics to your website and monitoring keyword positions on Google Search Console.
Does changing domain registrar affect SEO?
No, changing domain registrar has no effect on SEO whatsoever. Whether you're using GoDaddy, Namecheap, Hover or any other domain registrar, it will not impact your website's ranking in search engines.
Changing your domain name can be a daunting task, especially if you are worried about losing traffic and rankings in Google.
However, if done correctly, changing your domain should not have a negative impact on your SEO.
Just make sure to follow the steps outlined in this article and you should be fine. Thanks for reading!