Web Development and SEO Tip: How to Properly Switch SSL to New Primary Domain
Many businesses buy a domain name, like datadriven.design, then at some point in time later, want to buy a different domain name – like dataoveropinions.com, but make it the primary for their preexisting website.
This means that instead of simply forwarding dataoveropinions.com to datadriven.design, the business actually needs dataoveropinions.com to host the website, for whatever branding reason.
Tactically, this isn’t that hard to pull off. It’s a matter of changing the primary domain on your webhosting account to the new domain, then forwarding the old primary to the new primary, and you’re pretty much good to go.
However, there are risks with this. SEO will suffer in the short term, but only for about 8 weeks if done correctly – more on this later.
For now, we’re going to focus on a super simple but important step that needs to happen before you forward the old primary to the new primary.
After changing your webhosting account to resolve to your new domain name, you have to re-key and manage your old domain’s SSL certificate over to your new domain.
Here I explain how that’s done within GoDaddy.
As for the SEO risks I mentioned earlier, here’s what you can expect:
- As long as you re-verify your new URL with Google Webmaster Tools / Google Search Console, and submit a new sitemap and fetch/render request, you’ll be able to likely maintain your previous search rankings after a small dip for about 1-8 weeks.
- The reason for the dip is because Google all of the sudden sees that there is no longer content at your domain (datadriven.design in my example), but rather it’s just forwarding to another website (dataoveropinions.com).
- Then, over the next few weeks, Google re-indexes your new domain and matches it to the same content it saw weeks earlier at the old domain. The new domain eventually regains the previous ranking of the old domain after Google takes it’s time on this.
- Don’t panic when this happens, just make sure your SEO company and Web Development company know what they’re doing, and you should be fine in the intermediate term.
Thanks for reading, and have a great day!
Paul Hickey, Founder / CEO / Lead Strategist at Data Driven Design, LLC has created and grown businesses via digital strategy and internet marketing for more than 10 years. His sweet spot is using analytics to design and build websites and grow the audience and revenue of businesses via SEO/Blogging, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Social Media Content Marketing and Email Marketing. The part that he’s most passionate about is quantifying next marketing actions based on real data.
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