At the present moment I have a website hosted on example.com/myWebsite, where example.com hosts in its root directory a different website. I have the domain example.net, which redirects to example.com/myWebsite. The point, however, that right now when somebody accesses example.net they are redirected to example.com/myWebsite and consequently to example.com/myWebsite/dirA, example.com/myWebsite/dirB etc..

I am now thinking about upgrading my account so that example.net no longer redirects to example.com - I was however wondering, however, since Google shows results searches in terms of example.com/myWebsite, how would this affect my rankings?

2 Answers 2


Ideally, there woud be 301 redirects from example.com/myWebsite/ URLs to example.net pages after you have upgraded. Ask your host about this.

If the 301s are not possible, the next best way is to use meta-refresh redirects without delays (while keeping the old pages there for this purpose).

For example, on the head section of example.com/myWebsite/dirA, there should be

<meta http-equiv=refresh content="0; url=http://example.net/dirA" />

Google recognizes these as 301 redirects, so the ranking benefits are transferred to the example.net pages.

It's important that you do these from page to page, in an unique manner - not redirecting every page to example.net root.

  • Hi Arttu, this is qute different from what Stephen answered, coul dyou please clarify on whether benefits are transferred or not? :)
    – MrD
    May 19, 2013 at 22:40
  • Hi Dario, if you use meta-refresh or regular 301 redirects as I suggested, most (not necessarily all) ranking benefits are transferred. 301 is a way to tell search engines about mere URL and domain changes. This is common SEO knowledge, not anything controversial. :) May 19, 2013 at 22:49
  • Your search engine trust is more site-specific than domain-specific. As long as the site stays the same, the domain change doesn't reset the trust (if you have the 301s/meta-refreshes in place). May 19, 2013 at 23:04

When you move content from a sub-directory to its own domain, you typically lose Google rankings for up to a year until Google starts to trust the domain.

Google has launched features in Webmaster Tools to help change the domain name of an entire site, but they don't support moving a portion of a site.


Since this answer was originally written the Google change of address tool now supports subdomain moves:

Use the Change of address tool when your site move entails a domain or subdomain change, such as changing from http://fish.example-petstore.com to http://example.com or http://example-petstore.com.

  • 2
    Any site move will result in some fluctuations for some time, as the signals propagate, but you shouldn't lose rankings for a year (for most sites it's somewhere between days and a month or so, depending on the size). May 22, 2013 at 11:49
  • That is better than last time I tried it a few years ago. I lost rankings for 8 months when I moved a site from a subdomain of my main site onto its own domain name. May 22, 2013 at 12:02

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