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In Google Apps Domain Management, There is a page for me to change how my naked domain http://example.com is redirected.

However, in that page, it tells me You must change the A-record at your domain host for this change to take effect.

Now if I have to change the A-records in my domain host manually, why do I still need to access this page for?

If I change the A-records in my domain host manually, everything will work fine just as a usual non-Google domain setup process isn't it?

So what's the purpose of that form at all?

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The A-record only specifies the server (IP address) where the domain is hosted. Redirecting a domain is entirely different. If you have example.com and you want to redirect to yoursite.com the A-records for both domains would likely point at the same server (although they don't have to).

When the server sees a request for yoursite.com it will just display the site. But if you go to example.com, the same server will see the request and tell the browser to redirect to yoursite.com.

If Google is giving you a different A-record from the domain you are redirecting to, then it's possible they have a special server set up just to handle redirections.

Also note that you can usually set your domain to redirect in your domain name provider's control panel instead, if you so choose.

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