Using a synthetic record instead of an A record on Google Domains for the apex domain

I have set up my custom domain according to Netlify’s instructions. That is:

  • An A record pointing @ to 104.198.14.52 (Netlify’s load balancer IP), since Google Domains does not support ANAME or ALIAS records
  • A CNAME record pointing www.example.com to “example.netlify.app”

However, Google Domains has a feature called “synthetic records” that allows me to redirect the root domain to a URL. I imagine that I could permanently redirect @ to www.example.com and benefit from Netlify’s global DNS traffic direction even when users visit the apex domain. Is this correct?

  • Is there any difference between using synthetic records, as described above, instead of an A record for the apex domain?
  • How would setting up a synthetic record interact with the SSL certificate? (there is an option for enabling or disabling SSL, please see the image)

Thanks in advance!

So, I have deleted the A record and set up a subdomain forward (@ > https://www.example.com) as described above.

I have noticed a slight improvement in latency when pinging the naked domain and an improved score in Google’s PageSpeed Insights (before the change there was an “avoid multiple page redirects” warning, now it’s gone).

However, now there’s a “Check DNS configuration” warning for the naked domain on Netlify:

Can I leave it like that or will this cause problems when the SSL certificate is renewed? If I understand it correctly, Google Domains now handles the certificate for the naked domain, so the forwarding can be made using HTTPS.

It will:

  • absolutely NOT allow the SSL certificate we have generated to be used (google would need to have one of their own for example.com)
  • absolutely break future SSL certificate provisioning from us
  • causes an extra “point of failure” and also a bottleneck: all requests to the bare domain must go through google instead of direct to our CDN, and if google’s forwarding service is down, so is your site, even while Netlify is up.

TL;DR we do not recommend this, and the warning in our UI reflects that recommendation correctly :slight_smile:

Thank you for your answer! I have reverted the changes.