What is a domain name?
A domain name (internet address) can be compared to a postal address in the real life. It is the element that your customers will use to find (website) you on the web. It is one of the most important thing to work on when you want to create a site.
To connect with each other, devices are identified by a unique domain name, called IP address (Internet Protocol). This address is presented in the form of a sequence of numbers, for example: 220.127.116.11. To summarise, a domain name was generated because IP addresses are difficult to remember. It makes it easy for Internet users to access a site.
Does domain name affect ranking?
Yes, back in the days the name of your site could affect your ranking positively because it would make it easy for audience to find you. That point would lead to more traffic. For example, www.facebook.com match exactly the service it gives. You cannot go to another site to access Facebook. Same as bed &breakfast. However, in 2020 Google’s John Mueller said:
“Just because a site has a specific keyword in its domain name does not mean that it is more relevant than others for that keyword. In short, you do not need to put keywords in the domain name.”
We still think that the advice given by John Mueller is not 100% true.
Impact of domain change on rankings
One of the most important risks you might face after a change of domain, is the loss of your search ranking or traffic. It might not happen but it something you must expect. In fact, when you update or change a domain name, search engine needs to re-scan your site or re-index it. The period associated with this action is unknown. It can be fast or take more time. Therefore, your traffic can be down for a while.
Also, your previous domain had a specific history established. This history gives an authority to your domain. In fact, it is your previous domain’s authority which helps boost your content to the top of the search results.
Changing domain name without losing traffic
Even though the change of domain can affect your ranking, there are certain things you can do to attenuate the consequences.
Checking the domain name age
Older domain names tend to receive more credibility by great search engines like Google. A domain age is an SEO ranking factor. So, consider acquiring a domain name and then keep it for a while before using it. It can help mitigate the risk of ranking drop.
Buying a premium domain name
When buying a domain consider premium domains name. There are keyword-rich, shorter, and more memorable. You need to check them thoroughly with some domain history checker before using them. The good thing with these domains is that:
- They have been formerly registered,
- Also, they often have a history of search traffic,
- They are familiar to search engines. If you decide to go that route, investigate the history of the premium name.
Changing a domain name is a good thing but it does come with some inconvenience. If you are ready to practice patience, go for it. Do not forget to choose a name which represent you better and stand as a call to action.