Hi Gang - Quick SEO question... Would I lose ranking if I change the domain name of my website?
No, if you redirect every old page to the new url. Example. old-page1.html has to be redirected to new-page1.html, old-page2.html to new-page2.html and so on. You should also use the change of address feature in google webmaster tools to notify google about this. Also, add the new domain to google webmaster tools.
The domain name itself is not important. There is no benefit in having a keywords rich domain. Better to have the company name or the person`s name in the domain name.
It`s the fact that it`s a new web address which needs to be handled correctly with 301 redirections for all urls from the old domain to the corresponding ones on the new domain.
Best way would be to make no other changes while you change only the domain and wait for the changes to be reflected in the index.
If you also need to change other urls internally do that later, after the new domain`s urls have been indexed and replaced the old ones. Use appropriate 301 redirections from old to new urls for any that have been changed.
One caveat on changing the domain: if that domain has ever been used for any other site by anybody else in the past, it may have a bad history content-wise as well as an accumulation of backlinks which will likely be not just useless (an irrelevant) to your site, but potentially harmful. Always check the domain`s history and backlink profile.
I think in most cases no. In my opinion you`ll just want to make sure you`ve setup either sitewide redirects or your 301 redirects properly. If you`re creating entirely new URLS, Id redirect the old URLS to their new home or to pages that are relevant.