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Google Asks SEOs if Domain Changes Result in Loss of Traffic

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?
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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.

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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.

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


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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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