Change Domain name without losing Google ranking

Many times you might come across scenarios where you need to change domain name without losing Google ranking due to a rebranding of the business, or have a better domain name or some other reason. You need to come up with an execution plan before you take a decision to switch to another domain name.

If your business is very old and well established then it will have a good website ranking, domain authority, page rank, good amount of backlinks and traffic. Hence moving on to a new domain is very risky and you might end up losing everything at one shot if  you have not planned and executed properly. However, there is an easy solution now change domain name without losing google ranking, backlinks, traffic, and Domain authority.

How to change domain name without losing Google ranking?

It is now easy to switch to the different domain name without affecting the ranking, DA, and website credibility. Follow all the steps carefully and you will be able to switch to new domain seamlessly

Planning

Planning on how to execute the domain switch is an important task. You need to plan properly before changing the domain name. The impact might be severe if you don’t execute the things properly. Below are some of the things which need to be considered during the planning phase.

  • Purchase new domain name
  • Getting all the URL’s of your website
  • Implementation of 301 redirections for all URL’s from old domain to new domain
  • Testing on 301 redirections
  • Fetching all the backlink information
  • Communicating to subscribers by sending mail notification on the new domain.

Perform Audit on Inbound and Outbound links

Most of the time we receive traffic from the referral sites where our website link might be placed, we call it as backlinks. These links might be on social media sites, or other blog comments, guest post mentions etc. These links drive a huge traffic to our website and we need to identify all the URL’s which “Links to your site”.

The easiest way to get the complete list of backlinks is from Google Webmasters tool. Login to your webmasters and Expand Search traffic on the left menu and click on Links to your site. This will give complete details of backlinks which you can export to excel sheet.

Links to your site

Another way is to use third party tools like MajesticSEO, Open Site Explorer, SEMRush to find out the backlinks and export the complete details into excel.

Implement 301 Permanent redirection to new domain

Once you implement the 301 redirections  for all the links so that all the traffic will  drive to newer domain automatically. This will not only help in driving the traffic but it lets the Google and other search engines that the web page has been permanently moved to new location and the link juice and credit should be passed to new URL.

Maintain the same URL structure

It is better to retain the URL structure when you move from old domain to the new domain for some time. In that way, Google knows that only the domain has been moved and rest of the things remain same.  This will avoid any manual SPAM action and will not affect the search engine ranking.

Request for Change of Address in Google Webmasters

Login to webmasters and click on the Gear icon on the right-hand side and select change of address. Follow the below steps carefully to complete the domain change process.

  • Verify your new domain in Google webmasters
  • Add the new domain URL in a change of address.
  • Verify and test thoroughly on 301 redirections you made.
  • Submit the change of address request  to Google in the change of address page.

Change Domain name without losing Google ranking

Congratulations you have now successfully moved your website to the new domain. If you have followed all the steps properly then you should have the same amount of traffic with very little variation.

Below are some of the things which need to be monitored after changing your website name.

  1. Keep a close eye on the messages in Google webmasters, It will notify you if there are any warnings and messages.
  2. Manual Actions – If your site has received any manual penalty you can get the details in the manual actions section.
  3. Check the crawl rate and the errors in the webmasters to see if everything is working properly.
  4. Check out the index status to ensure all the URL’s on the old domain are de-indexed and your new domain is re-indexed.
  5. Monitor search queries, this will give an update on the impression count, CTR (click through ratio), Average Position etc.
  6. Monitor for 404 errors
  7. Keep an eye on Domain Authority, Page Rank and Alexa ranking for some time. These results will not appear immediately it will start appearing after some time.

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