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Do changes in CNAME Affect SEO Rankings?

Do changes in CNAME Affect SEO Rankings

There may arise different scenarios where you have to make changes to the CNAME (Canonical Name) in DNS. However, the one dilemma everyone has is whether these changes will mess up the SEO rankings. We believe we have the answers.

Migrating CNAME

There may be times when you need to migrate the CNAME record due to various reasons. Would this negatively impact your SEO rankings in any way? 

One of Twitter’s users was in a similar circumstance and turned to Google’s John Mueller for assistance.

“I need your help on CNAME change. Site points currently to CNAME A, I need to migrate it (duplicate/same content) to CNAME B, (same A record, but to have access to updated/new features), then delete CNAME A. Does this affect the site’s SEO/ranking?”

Here’s John Mueller’s reply:

“Changing IP addresses doesn’t change much for search, at most er might need to figure out how fast to crawl the site again.”

Thus, confirming that changes to CNAME have no effect on Google Search rankings.

Hiccups in Crawling

As pointed out by John Mueller, Google will need to quickly crawl your website after the CNAME migration has taken place. It is therefore important to make sure that you make provisions for Google to crawl & index your pages without errors. Make sure you do not have DNS/Server errors and your website responds effectively to the Google crawler’s requests.

Understanding CNAME

CNAME (Canonical Name) is a record in the Domain Name System (DNS). The CNAME record is used to create an alias from one domain name to another domain name. 

Let’s understand this with a simple example:

Suppose you have a website with two versions: a www version (www.seo.com) and a non-www version (seo.com) that both point to the same application and are hosted on the same server.

In such cases, the CNAME comes in handy. You can use the setup below:

  • Create a “CNAME record” for www.seo.com pointing to seo.com
  • Create an “A record” for seo.com pointing to the server IP address

As a result, seo.com points to the server IP address, and www.seo.com points to the same address via seo.com

In SEO language, the CNAME can be thought of as a record that specifies a canonical domain at the server level.

The good news is that making changes in CNAME does not impact search engine rankings. Have you come across situations where you had to alter the CNAME records? Do let us know in the comments section below.

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