Does Change of Domain Name Ownership Hurt Rankings?

Nov 2, 2006 • 7:46 am | comments (3) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Does the change of a domain name ownership, i.e. the whois records, by itself, have an effect on the site's rankings? For example, if I sell, with the content and everything as is. And if the new owner does not make any changes to, but rather continues the same old daily work on the site as the previous owner. But the only change the new owner makes is that the name is now registered under a different name. In that case, would you see a downgrade or upgrade in rankings, on those changes alone?

A WebmasterWorld thread seems to support the answer of NO to that question. A domain name registration change, in of itself, will not have an effect on ones rankings.

I've sold a few sites with number one rankings, and the change to the whois/server/ip etc. has had no effect, they still rank perfectly after many months. I see no proof to suggest otherwise.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Aaron Rubin

11/02/2006 09:32 pm

I can verify that rankings are not effected on any of the big 3 for purchases as recent as 4 months ago.

Search Engines WEB

11/03/2006 02:27 am

It would be unlikely to affect rankings in any way - especially since so many webmasters are now opting for Domain Privacy which does change the information in the Whois. This would mean literally, Millions of immediate declines - if this were the case - it would certainly be much more obvious.

Dan Abbamont

11/03/2006 08:48 pm

I don't believe so. Of course, a change in the "Registered On" information will cause the engines to devalue all of your inbound links, but that is done to prevent the buying of already linked to expired domains. There may be other situations where a change will affect ranking, but the only logical reasoning behind such a mechanism is to thwart spam, not penalize legitimate changes of legal ownership.

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