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Is it possible to move an old domain to a new subdomain permanently without losing search engine rankings? For example, going from https://www.example.com/ to https://blog.newexample.com/?

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2 Answers 2

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No

Whenever you put up a forward you will lose some "Google Juice". That is not to say your new pages will not rank, just to say they will rank slightly lower. Googles Algorithm willing, you may get this back in time - but your site will take at least a short term hit.

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    Also, and this may be controversial, there may be reason to believe that a subdomain (other then www) will usually rank noticeably worse then a non-subdomain, all else being equal.
    – davidgo
    Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 5:46
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@davidgo answer represents the general consensus reached by experience and is uncontested, even by Google themselves. But recent comments suggest if the new location is up for a period of time, as to establish its existence -- the risk in the opinion of those at Google could be reduced.

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Is it possible to do the redirect one portion at a time?

I imagine if the whole site is a blog the home page gets the lion's share of traffic. Can you put up the blog.newexample.com and make a static copy of the home page, with links going to blog.newexample.com which remains on www.example.com, redirect the posts but not the static content until blog.newexample.com is coming up to speed.

Basically, copy-paste the home page of blog.newexample.com onto www.example.com and wait.

You can have other content mixed in with a Wordpress blog

It may benefit you to know the basic htaccess for Wordpress.

# BEGIN WordPress

RewriteEngine On
RewriteRule .* - [E=HTTP_AUTHORIZATION:%{HTTP:Authorization}]
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

# END WordPress

Only redirects for directories that do not exist !-d ("!" not "-d" a directory IE its a 404) or files that don't exist !-f ("!" not "-f" a file). So if the server is the same you can just upload static content onto the server.

The 404 page will be created by WordPress if there is no post for that URL.

To Redirect only non-existent (non-static files or 404 pages) to a subdomain you only need to change the last line. To redirect it to the new subdomain, (with the URL scheme intact!).

or

RewriteRule /old-blog-site/index.php [L]
# copy past index.php to /old-blog-site/ 

So if the goal is to have content on the site with is not part of the blog and with static content WordPress off the shelf supports that. You are not forced to use a subdomain.

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