Notifying Google of a Domain Name Change

Wed, Jun 17, 2009

Tech Tips

Can I Notify Google that my Domain Name has Changed?
Yes you can. In the past, Google simply recommended that you redirect you domain using 301 Redirects. Now they offer a service on their Webmaster Tools to notify them that you are changing your domain name.

Here is overview of the steps:

  1. Your current domain name should be registered on Google’s Webmaster Tools. If it is not, then the notification will probably not help and you should just stick to the 301 Redirects.
  2. Add your new domain name to Google’s Webmaster Tools and go through the verification process.
  3. Once you have both sites registered, click on the old site to bring up the Dashboard. On the left menu, click Site Configuration -> Change of Address.
  4. Select your new domain name that you want to use from the drop down and submit the request.

Is There Going to be a Penalty for Changing my Domain Name?
Google isn’t very clear on that so you are at the mercy of Google once you change your domain name. Generally it is not good practice to change your domain name, especially if it is a site that earns income (or if it is a client’s site). I recently did a domain name change for my own site (this site). I didn’t have much to lose and was willing to accept a temporary loss in traffic.

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