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I recently took up a project for a website overhaul. I went on to deploy my website on the client's hosting service. It uses cPanel. On the hosting service they had the old version of the website.

I moved that to a subdomain named old.example.com. I rigged my version of the website to the main domain. Everything seems to work except for one thing.

If I search the web for their website, the only search result that appears is the old.example.com. The only way to access the current version is via direct link.

The old version of the website was maintained by another outside developer.

Is it possible the old developer is running some sort of indexing service or what not on their version that automatically updates the domain of their site or is this some sort of cPanel option that I can change?

Forgive any vagueness in the question, if there is more info that I should provide, I'll add it in an edit. It's also important to note that the clients aren't all too tech savvy so the amount of info I can acquire is quite limited.

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That is unexpected. The new site effectively inherits the ranking of the old site since incoming links that predominantly influence search results still point to the same domain. This would normally be the same as updating an existing page, which may impact search results eventually.

Presumably old.example.com did not exist before and so it makes no sense that it would have been indexed prior to you moving the site. This suggests that a redirect was created at some point and had time to be indexed so that the search engine recorded the change of address which is would do only if the current domain returns a 301 Permanent Redirect.

This brings the question of how you moved the site? Did you use a tool that would have setup some redirection rules? You mentioned that if you type the domain URL, you can access it, so the redirect is obviously no longer there. It would definitely be worth looking in the Google Search Console to see if any issues are reported.

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  • Well my process was sophisticatedly jerry-rigged - the old site was in the www/root folder. In there I made a subfolder, where I moved the whole thing and my site now inhabited the www/root folder. The main domain used to lead to the old site. Now it leads to mine. The old.example.com subdomain leads to the old site. But the old site is the only thing that indexes. Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 13:42

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