Someone was asking recently about the steps involved with switching domains.
The current domain is hyphenated abc-xyz.com and want to switch to abcxyz.com. What's the recommended course of action here?
While it's possible to switch domains, there's a short-term risk to their SEO.
The best path is to follow these steps:
- Hire an SEO pro to oversee the process and setup all of the stuff needed to be transferred.
There are dozens of minor things that need to be done (e.g. Search Console, canonicals, absolute urls, etc) but an SEO pro will know those.
You want to make sure they've done this many times before. Mistakes here can cost you weeks of lost SEO results (and sales).
- Add the second domain AS A REDIRECT to the current domain (e.g. abcxyz.com redirects to abc-xyz.com)
If you add the new domain and it loads the Shopify store, you could run into duplicate content problems and have the two domains fighting for positioning.
By keeping the new one as a redirect-only, you avoid all of that.
- In slow season switch the domains so the new domain is the live domain and the old one is the redirect.
This would be the "launch" of the new domain but if you and your SEO did everything right in step #1, everything should just work.
Even then, expect to see lower organic traffic and the loss of Rich Results for the next 6 months or so. It takes Google time to process and trust a new domain, which is why you only want to switch domains in a slow season.
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