Can I change a domain name without losing the rankings we've worked years to accomplish?
 by Kristi Hagen

Is there any way to change a domain name without losing the rankings we've worked years to accomplish?

  • I have a website that, for example purposes, we'll call mywebsite1.com. I would like to change the name to mywebsite2.com without losing the good rankings we've achieved with Google.

    Both websites are hosted on an Apache 2.4.29 and Linux server and display exactly the same content. What's the best way to do this?

Answer:

Anytime you change a domain name you run the risk of losing some ranking. That's precisely why it's risky to do that. So, if you must, then you better have a really good reason for making the change!

But let's say someone made you an offer you can't refuse for the old domain name and you need to switch. It's important to keep as much contact information the same as possible in your new domain name registration. Ideally it would all be the same, except perhaps the contact emails. In other words, same business name, address, etc. The goal here is to help Google/Bing understand this is a domain name change ONLY.

Keep all of the URL site structure the same, avoid making significant content changes to the new domain for at least 90 days. In other words, DON'T change the site template, home page, etc. Keep the site looking as close as possible to the look of the previous domain name.

Then, both new and old domains should be verified as separate properties in Google Search Console.

After the move, use the Change of Address Tool in Google Search Console – https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/83106?hl=en

Use 301 redirects from old domain to new domain as instructed in this article – https://www.searchenginenews.com/sample/content/how-to-use-a-301-redirect

Get as many of the links to the old website updated to the new site as possible. Make certain you've updated any absolute links on your site to the new domain as well. We typically use the

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