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I have a website that is splitting into two. For the sake of easily describing the what and why, let's say I run a classifieds site and I want to move all the adult content to its own domain. (very far from the actual situation)

What I think is best for my users is if I do the following:

For the first 60 days:

  • All of the adult sub-urls load and show a "Moved to adultclassifieds.com, this URL will be disabled in 60 days" message with a link to the new location and no other content. Throw in a rel="canonical" in case Googlebot finds the page anyways.
  • When Googlebot loads an adult sub-URL, they get a 301 redirect to the new site.

After 60 days:

  • All traffic gets a 301 to the new site

Has anyone tried this, or heard of this? I want to make the transition as smooth as possible for the users, but I also don't want mess up the SEO rankings.

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2 Answers 2

I like everything except for the When googlebot loads an adult sub-url, they get a 301 redirect to the new site. part. Show Google the same content the user's will see at the old URL. The canonical URL will ensure they know the new page is the URL you want shown in their search results so it's okay if they crawl it. Then the eventual 301 redirect 60 days later can be the final nail in that old URL's coffin.

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I guess I need to look into rel canonical a bit more, my understanding was that it didn't go quite as far as what you're suggesting. Thanks. –  Ted May 14 at 18:02
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WikiPedia Entry –  eyoung100 May 16 at 16:57

If anyone cares, this is what our ultimate resolution was

Logged in users:

  • Get a "this page has moved" message on http://original.com/path with a link to the new page at http://new.com/path

Non logged in users:

  • Get a 301 redirected to http://new.com/path

We did this using custom Django middleware on both sides and the Django messaging framework to add the messages.

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@Zistoloen -- maybe time to take a break or go outside. I get that you care, but this level of editing of an answer with 29 views is almost definitely not worth anyone's time. –  Ted May 17 at 19:56
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Welcome on Pro Webmasters! I just apply our formatting rules. –  Zistoloen May 17 at 20:00
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I'm honestly not sure if I'm impressed or scared. Either way, thank you for making it a bit prettier. –  Ted May 17 at 20:01

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