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Ask Yoast: Changing the TLD of your website

There could be a reason why you’d want to switch your top-level domain (TLD) at some point. Perhaps you want to use it in your brand name, or maybe you just want something that catches the eye a bit more. But what if your site isn’t performing as well as you thought it would after you’ve made the switch? Is the new TLD you picked to blame? Or could there be another reason for that drop in traffic?

Whatever your reasons for changing, there are some things to keep in mind before concluding that your rankings have dropped permanently. Let’s get into that in this Ask Yoast!

Manolo Macchetta emailed us his question from Milan:

I had a .info domain but I changed it to a .xyz domain. Traffic is much lower now. Do you know if new TLDs rank as well as others?

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

Things to keep in mind when changing your TLD

“Well, your question leads to many more questions in my head. First of all, did you 301 redirect the old domain to the new domain and every individual page on the old domain to the new one? And if yes, did you wait for about six months for your traffic to recover? Because that’s about how long it can take for traffic to completely come back when you do a site migration like that. If you didn’t do either of those, then do them and wait. If you did both, well, then something else is probably wrong. 

Rankings are not tied to top-level domains, so it doesn’t really matter if you have a .info, a .xyz, a .com, a .travel, whatever: what matters is the quality of your content and whether you’ve properly redirected all the old links to your new domain. Good luck.”

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11 Responses to Ask Yoast: Switching the TLD of your website

  1. Andy Kuiper - SEO
    Andy Kuiper - SEO  • 1 year ago

    A timely article – thanks Joost :-)

  2. SSSS Immigration
    SSSS Immigration  • 1 year ago

    It’s really very beneficent blog for getting information.

  3. Laudine
    Laudine  • 1 year ago

    Wow, thank you for this information!
    It will be useful for my blogs. especially the the video, it makes it slightly clearer!

  4. Dwayne
    Dwayne  • 1 year ago

    Joost, you made some good points for things to keep in mind when changing the TLD. It is human nature to expect immediate results, but with this change, it may just take time like you mentioned for traffic to return to normal.

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 1 year ago

      Yep, sometimes you just need to have some patience!

  5. Wishmi
    Wishmi  • 1 year ago

    Is Exact Match Domain rank higher in search results today in 2018.

    • Melina Reintjens
      Melina Reintjens  • 1 year ago

      Hi Wishmi! While EMDs may have helped ranking in the past, that’s no longer the case. So just pick something that fits your business or mission well, and work on an awesome website :)

  6. Hindi Mein Jankari
    Hindi Mein Jankari  • 1 year ago

    That’s True, But Most of the People Prefer “.com” TLD. People Also things that Google gives more priority to “.com” TLD then others.

    • Melina Reintjens
      Melina Reintjens  • 1 year ago

      You’re absolutely right, whether or not your audience will appreciate a switch to a different TLD is definitely something to consider, preferably before you make the change :)

  7. Victor Ikani
    Victor Ikani  • 1 year ago

    Thanks Yoast, I have similar issues recently. I changed from .net to .org and my traffic dropped to the bottom.

    • Melina Reintjens
      Melina Reintjens  • 1 year ago

      Hi Victor! I can imagine that’s frustrating, but hang in there! If you made sure everything is properly redirected, it’s probably just a matter of time before they improve again. :)