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I am setting up a website for a client that I will be hosting and maintaining, and I am trying to determine what will be the most pain free setup. My thought is to do the following:

  1. Set up the clients domain at
  2. Have the client update their DNS records for * to CNAME

From a practical perspective, this feels best for me because then I don't have to maintain access to their DNS control panel especially if they want to do other things with it. Furthermore, if I decide I need to move the website to a different host, I can do it seamlessly without their even knowing just by updating where points.

This being said, my concern is that I will affect the SEO for If I impact SEO at all, I will just go with the A-Record route and call it good, but if there is no impact, the CNAME route seems nicer to me.


(As an aside, I do have Google Maps included in this app, and the API key is yelling at me when I hit the app from a different tld... and Is there a way to ask for a single google API key that can work with CNAME'd domains? I can work this out in code, but didn't know if there was a simpler solution.)

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welcome to this site! :-)

Using a CNAME does not impact search engine ranking. It is common practice to use a CNAME. A classic way of setting up DNS is to have (servernames) and then create (servicenames) as CNAME's pointing to server names (where service names are fx "www").

If your DNS setup is particularly convoluted and it takes a looong time to resolve your DNS hostnames, then you could maybe rank a little lower with services like Google Adwords. Adwords takes the site 'quality' into account, and speed is a part of this. Generally DNS lookups are quick, so I think this is highly unlikely to be an issue.

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Yeah. But, in the prior question, which will be the domain to receive SEO benefits... or – Alvaro Lourenço May 3 '13 at 16:21 will receive the SEO benefit. – ceejayoz Jun 17 '13 at 18:06

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