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I have set up a holding page to announce a new version of a website coming soon.

I wanted people to still be able to access the original site, so my approach was to place the holding page in the root folder on the server, and move the original site to a subfolder and link to it from the holding page.

However, on testing this setup it appears to have hurt the SEO placing of the website. Is there a better approach to this? I'm a bit stumped as I want both to share the same URL.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The internal and external links to your site will no longer display the content which got you indexed and ranked in the search engines, so that's not a good solution as you suspect.

If you want to make announcement for a new website, you'd do much better to add that to your previous content, either through a blurb under "News", or if you were really intent on making visitors aware of it, you could use a lightbox, which can be implemented in the original home page and require visitors to click on to see the home page.

You should note however that now that your SERP has been affected, you'll have to restore your site to its original location, resubmit your sitemap, and request for search engines to crawl it again to potentially regain your rankings (hopefully) while you develop your new website.

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Thanks. I've restored the directory structure and added the page seperately to the main root folder, and used javascript to link to the page on first visit via a cookie. Seems to be working ok, so now I'll resubmit to Google as suggested, thanks. – jasonbradberry Jul 2 '13 at 8:33
You're welcome! Not sure I follow this part: "...and used javascript to link to the page on first visit via a cookie." Search engines might not process cookies and complex JavaScript, so just be sure this won't affect their bots from crawling your home page. See the "Technical Guidelines" section here: support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35769?hl=en – dan Jul 2 '13 at 22:40

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