Will changing my business name hurt my SEO?
I am been thinking about changing my business name for a while. I want to use it as a way to reengage my customers with an exciting new brand launch. The only thing holding me back is I don't know how this will affect my SEO. I rely a lot on search traffic.
In this sense, the question is if a change in your website's domain name will hurt SEO -- technically speaking, the answer is no -- although, Google is entirely unpredictable and your rankings may or may not fluctuate.
In order to maintain your rankings, every individual page of your old website should be 301-redirected to their counterparts on your new website. If your new website is simply the old site with a new domain, there is a quick and easy 301-redirect rule that will simply tell Google to update its records to recognize the new domain with all of the old pages still in-tact (search: "301 redirect old domain to new domain")
When this change is in place, it would be best to update your listings in any local business listing, especially Google My Business, Bing Places, Aabaco, and any business directory, such as Manta, YP, etc. If you're a member of a Chamber of Commerce, have them update your business name link on their website.
The last measure you should take is to use a tool like Open Site Explorer to see other websites on the internet linking to you. See if you can edit those links to reflect the new domain name. Although the 301-redirect will help forward visitors over to the new domain, nothing beats actually having links pointing to your current domain.
Here are my two cents... Scott is absolutely right in regards to the negative impact changing your company name can have in terms of local search.
It's best to keep your URL if you can and if not then follow Robert's advice or tips in regards to Redirection of old domain URLs to new domain URLs.
However, again just as Scott said you MUST not forget about the online directories and business profile pages out there. Having old, outdated or incorrect information about your business, even simple things like a phone number can easily confuse the search engines and really hurt your rankings.
I would highly recommend if you're going to change your company name, try working with an SEO consultant like myself to do what I refer to as on Online Brand Optimization for you. Just let me know and connect with me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenniferhuntbbp.
The team I work with at RevLocal specializes in online optimization for local businesses across North America. One thing we have seen over the years is the impact a change in Name or Address can have on local businesses and their local rankings.
If you're not a business serving your local area then this might not have an effect on you but could impact other readers.
Our team has seen that old information dies a slow death online with the vast number of directories that are out there containing business information. If you've ever come across information for a local business online that is outdated or the business is closed, you've experienced this.
Changes in a business name or the business address or even a new business moving into an existing commercial space that has been home to other businesses before could lead to data collisions preventing that business from showing up in searches to local consumers.
If you currently rank well, there is a lot of historical merit in the eyes of Google and other engines. If you simply change to something else and start fresh a lot or all of that good can be lost immediately. With that said companies change all the time to new websites and even different URLs, so if planned and executed by a professional web/SEO expert you should be able to minimize the impact of such a change. Seek professional advice from those that have successfully implemented such a change previously with minimal impact. You may need to engage their services from start to finish and beyond.
At the end of the day, your long term benefits in changing your business name must outweigh keeping it as is - which isn't limited to SEO of course.
Hi Kathy, I've been doing SEO for 11 years and run my own agency here in the UK called Odyssey New Media (odysseynewmedia.com). I've done domain and brand domain switching many times so I can advise you on this.
I don't know what your domain is or what brand you are switching to but below are 3 key items to consider and put in place before you switch your domain to reflect a brand change.
1) Change of domain name due to brand name change:
> If you are changing your brand and your main domain then it can affect your SEO.
> For example, if a company that deals in cars were called 'ATP' and their domain might be atp.com.
> If they changed the brand t to 'ATP Cars' then the domain would be atpcars.com. This would potentially be an SEO upgrade because they have the word 'cars' in their homepage domain.
However, if it was the other way around, they'd be losing the word 'cars' and this would affect any 'cars' domains they had currently ranking.
2) 301 redirection of old domain URLs to new domain URLs:
> The other thing you have to consider when changing domain names as part of a brand change is the redirection of all your URLs.
> Again using the example above, if all the pages were on atp.com, you would need 301 redirects to the corresponding pages on atpcars.com.
> You need to make sure to verify the new domain in Google Webmaster Tools in the same account as your old domain. Google Webmaster guidelines explain the process of domain address change here: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/83106?hl=en
3) Updating existing offsite links linking into your old domain:
> Currently you might have links linking to your old brand domain with anchors for your domain and brand name - so for the previous example the anchor text could be 'http://www.atp.com' or 'ATP Cars'.
> Google uses anchor text as a signal for what your site is relevant to or what brand you are relevant to.
> Ideally you would try and update all your offsite links and anchors where possible so as to reflect the new brand. This requires SEO link management and updating. It also takes time though to contact all the sites and switch them because you'll probably have to contact site owners or log in to listings, etc.
I hope the above helps cover some of the key areas. Switching brand and/or domain shouldn't be taken lightly and I'd expect in the short term, you might experience some fluctuation or drop in overall SEO traffic while Google has to figure out you've changed domain and/or brand.
If you need any further advice or services to help you with this, feel free to contact me on +44 7940420201 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the last 9 years, I have been working in Digital Marketing. I also happen to run a digital marketing agency in India - Acodez. I have tried changing domain and brand domain several times, so I can definitely advise you on this.
Here the top important things to consider before planning to change the site.
1. We need to update our incorrect business information in all the local listing channels especially NAP.
2. 301 re-directions of the old domain URLs to new domain URL, with same URL structure.
3. We need to update the backlinks and anchor text pointing to the new domain wherever possible after analyzing our backlinks.
4. All social media channel’s URL link and brand name need to change.
Here are some blogs which you can read about the success of the brand changes:
I hope the above points have covered some of the key areas. Switching of a brand and/or domain shouldn't be taken too casually. It is likely to expect to experience some fluctuation and an overall drop in SEO traffic until Google finds out the change in the domain or in the brand name.
No, you have to work at it though. Change the other platforms you post on. Redirect your links. Go back into Manta, Google, Facebook, etc and redirect your links, your search words will be the same unless you changed business. Get a good social media management company to help you get traffic too, like FB ads.
If you need help with that, I can help you.
The rest you can do. It takes time, test links before you leave pages, just to make sure. Hope that helps.
Hello, we are a digital marketing company in India having more than 15+ years of experience. I have changed many time domains but there are some points that you should need to remember.
1. Use 301 redirects for your pages permanently.
2. Update your business and reviews on Google my place.
3. Change all social media pages or channels name.
4. Update all your backlinks and ping them for fast processing.
I don't think changing your business name can hurt your SEO until and unless you are not changing the domain of your website. If you are changing the domain then there is a fair chance of hitting your SEO negatively. In that case, take advice from a web design company to get your old links to 301 redirects to your new URLs.
I have been working for over 5 years in the field of core SEO analysis and currently as a digital marketing lead in a mobile app development company - Mindster.
I have carried out similar scenarios involving a change of business and domain name. If you are changing the business and domain name as well then it could really affect your SEO unless you carefully consider the underlying parameters.
First of all, I strongly propose that you make a checklist of major actions to be performed beforehand.
My checklist for a similar scenario will contain the following actions:
1. Replace the old internal and external links manually with the new links wherever possible.
2. Implement the 301 Redirections for all the old links to your new domain.
3. Update the new information in all your local listings and social media channels especially NAP Data.
4. Update the old canonical URL with new URL.
5. Never migrate to your new domain without conducting a trial run on a test server. Check and ensure that your redirects are working properly.
Here are some helpful resources for migrating an old domain to a new domain.
I think your business name should remain the same. If you're going to change the name of your business, then you have to start everything, yes everything from the scratch and if you change your business name, eventually, your site's URL will get be changed to a different domain and your entire efforts in SEO. Not just SEO, but your overall branding will have a huge impact and you have to start from the beginning.
So, think of all the impact you'll have just by changing the name of your business.
Your question asks if changing the name of your business will hurt your SEO. In general, we can say yes changing the business name will impact to your business because changing business name means you have to change the domain of your business with a relevant business name.
Like previously you might do SEO for the name of your old business name so when user search for a relevant keyword then your old business name will appear.
One solution you can apply is to change all word with the name of old business to new business and leave the domain as it is. By doing so, your SEO work will be constant and will work perfectly.
For further acknowledgment, feel free to directly message me on my profile. Good luck!
Will you be changing your website URL? If so, it will most definitely affect your SEO. If it's just a legal name change without a new URL, then there will be no impact.
I have 5+ years of experience in SEO, and successfully completely couples of SEO projects. If you want to change your URL then you need to do 301 redirects. With 301 redirect your old URL automatically convert into new domain URL that you choose (an old page that indexed in the search engine will automatically redirect to the same page on the new domain).
If you have good search results on your current site, I wouldn't take any chances. Just start a new site with the new name and URL. You can slowly phase out the old (original) site over the next 2 years as you concentrate on building up your new site's ranking.
Put a link to your new site on your old one.
As a web design and digital marketing company, we changed the URL for our website and also our client's websites several times. If you are looking to change the URL, then you need to use the 301 permanent redirections from the old URL to the new URL. By doing this, SEO won't hurt you overall but you may lose ranking for some positions.
Yes, changing the business name will affect your SEO. SEO gives importance to NAP - Name, address, and place. So obviously changing the name has a considerable impact. In my past experience, I changed the URL name for one of my clients. This brought about a considerable change in the traffic and my organic position.
Yes, definitely. In SEO we use the business name in submission activity and in profile creation for content marketing so this is the reason it's not advisable.
Yes, it will affect your local business and website too, instead of changing it. Register new business, create a new website, new local page, everything new and let the old company remain the same till your new name becomes a reputable brand.
The simple answer is yes, it will hurt your SEO performance. Changing your business name may impact your Google My Business rankings and will get stable after a few days.
Building up your SEO takes time. On average, it takes a minimum of 6 months to see results. If you are planning to change your business name, do yourself a favor and hire a local SEO specialist to help with this transition.