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I'm about to restructure the website of a company called Example. Example used to be a company that only had one kind of business, and so the website example.com was the site for that business.

Now the business has expanded and been split in two subsidiaries:

  • Example Cat Food
  • Example Rodent Food

The websites of the different subsidiaries will be respectively:

  • www.catfood.example.com
  • www.dogfood.example.com

How should the move be carried out, and how can turning example.com into a website for the group of companies (with links to www.catfood.example.com and www.dogfood.example.com) be done with minimal loss in SEO?


Related

How to maintain and optimize SEO for multiple store locations with individual websites as subdirectories from a main landing page?

  • Why just don't use sub directory? – Goyllo Feb 4 '17 at 12:27
  • Something like this, www.example.com/catfood/ and www.example.com/dogfood/ – Goyllo Feb 6 '17 at 11:36
  • @Goyllo Do you mean that sub domains versus sub directories would influence SEO in any way? – PetaspeedBeaver Feb 6 '17 at 20:41
  • No, google consider your subdomain links as internal, but sub directory is more easier in your case, I think. – Goyllo Feb 7 '17 at 4:59
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In order to minimize the reduction in ranking you will ideally keep the changes to the original site minimal. So the way that you would do this is copy certain pages from the original site to the new dogfood or catfood site and add a 301 redirect to the original page address in your htaccess file. By doing this when users connect to the original page they will be directed to the appropriate dogfood or catfood site. This has the advantage of ensuring old links will still map to the appropriate pages on the new sites. You will see a drop in SERP for the original site for the keywords that have moved to the new product specific sites and this is to be expected. The trick here is to forward the old connections but maintain enough content on the original site in order to maintain a reasonable SERP ranking while building up organic links to the new pages on the dogfood and catfood sites.

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