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Sorry for the newbie question I may be totally off with my understanding, but I am unable to find anywhere where my question is explicitly listed.

From my understanding SEO can be preserved if a totally new domain name and hosting is registered with a new registrar, and a 301 redirect was employed from the old registrar (with the old domain and hosting still intact).

But is there a way to migrate the previous domain name to the new registrar and preserve SEO rankings (on both the root directory and sub-directories)?

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If I understand your question correctly you are not changing the domain name, just the registrar behind the domain name. If that is the case then there is nothing you need to do special to preserve the SEO as SEO is attached to the domain name and web pages specifically and is not attached to the registrar behind the domain name (ie: you can change registrar as often as you want and still preserve SEO).

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  • Thank you for your help. Does Google also preserve SEO for sub-directories? For example: If a client wanted a website totally redone on a different CMS, with a different registrar for hosting and domain - and sub-directories were different (e.g. the old website sub-directory was /contact, and on the new hosting it is /contact-us, Google would not know to transfer SEO to this new sub-directory, right? – indysavvy Jan 25 '17 at 11:46
  • That's right, it would be considered a new page. You can use a 302 moved header to temporarily use the old pages seo but the only way to properly do it for long term is good organic back links to the page. – Chris Rutherfurd Jan 25 '17 at 13:09
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Changing the domain registrar doesn't really have anything do to with SEO (probably why you couldn't find a similar question).

When you change registrar you are changing the organisation through which the domain is registered, that is all. The DNS does not necessarily change. However, if the DNS is also managed by the registrar then you will need to make sure that the appropriate DNS records are also configured at the new DNS host/registrar.

As far as the end user (and search engine bot) is concerned, nothing has changed. So, no change in SEO.

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  • Thank you for your help. Does Google also preserve SEO for sub-directories? For example: If a client wanted a website totally redone on a different CMS, with a different registrar for hosting and domain - and sub-directories were different (e.g. the old website sub-directory was /contact, and on the new hosting it is /contact-us, Google would not know to transfer SEO to this new sub-directory, right? – indysavvy Jan 25 '17 at 11:46
  • Yes. If the URL structure changes then Google will not know how to "transfer SEO". In this case you would need 301 redirects from the old to new URLs. That is a very different question to what you asked above. "a different registrar for hosting and domain" - just to clarify, a domain registrar is simply the organisation through which the domain is registered. They don't necessarily have anything to do with website hosting and DNS management. – DocRoot Jan 25 '17 at 12:46

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