I am working with a company that has two company identities, however they have used 1 root domain. In addition, the content for both sites are almost identical (working on separating and fixing this).
example.com - this is the main company.
lovely-company.example.com - this is a different company that needs to have a different identity to the end users and search engines.
The lovely-company.example.com example is performing now better than example.com due to more back links, traffic, each time the example.com is improved, the lovely-company.example.com is as well so example.com's ranking has depleted and lovely-company.example.com is thriving.
The plan is to separate the identities with two separate urls. So there will be a lovely-company.example.com and example.com. However, because the lovely-company.example.com has such as great ranking for eample.com and I can't keep the domain (as the backlinks to the lovely-company.example.com and audience expectations are related to the lovely-company.example.com company) what should I do with the subdomain?
I'm fearful if I point the subdomain that the SERPs will still deliver and the issue won't be resolved. However, if I do a 301, i'm not sure i'll have any better luck. But for sake of UX, we have to do one or the other.
My last thought was maybe on the example.com doing a robot.txt for all of the lovely-company.example.com pages (lots).
Any help would be appreciated. It's a mess! Thanks for reading.