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Google Asks SEOs if Domain Changes Result in Loss of Traffic

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Matt Southern
Matt Southern SEJ STAFF
Google Asks SEOs if Domain Changes Result in Loss of Traffic

Google’s John Mueller recently put a call out for feedback from SEOs, asking whether site owners should fear a loss in traffic when changing domains.

More specifically, Mueller asked three similar yet distinct questions in one tweet.

  • If you’ve done a domain change, how did it go?
  • Are the fears well-founded?
  • Does it help to plan and follow-through systematically?

Mueller’s tweet attracted dozens of responses from SEOs, with most agreeing that the fears are justified.

However, there were a few responses suggesting that a domain change can be done smoothly, as long as meticulous planning is involved.

I have rounded up a number of responses from both sides, which you can see in the section below.

Should Site Owners Fear Domain Changes?

For the most part, SEOs agreed that domain changes carry a lot of risk and will almost always result in a loss of traffic.

I managed to find only a few responses from those who believe there is nothing to fear as long as it’s done “right.” That means following Google’s instructions every step of the way.

Popular opinion suggests that domain changes will more than likely result in a loss of traffic.

This is due to a number of reasons, most of which involve ignoring the complexities of a site audit.

Restrictions imposed by web hosting platforms may also make it difficult for site to change domains without a serious loss in traffic.

While a traffic loss is to be expected, most SEOs agree that traffic will eventually recover after a few months.

The bottom line is — if you absolutely must change your domain name, proceed with caution. It’s reasonable to expect a loss in traffic, so make this change when traffic would ordinarily be slower than usual.

For further assistance, please see our article: How to Retain Traffic After Domain Change

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Matt Southern

Matt Southern

Lead News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt ... [Read full bio]

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