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I have this old site (let's call it oldsite.com), with excellent branding and authority, that I however want to gradually move to a new domain (newsite.com), better suited for a future concept.

Classic redirects won't do, because I want to still use the domain's brand awareness to end-users for a year or two.

I thought about doing url masking - moving the content to newsite.com and mirroring it on oldsite.com, but with all canonical urls pointing to newsite.com.

Will this help transfer link authority from oldsite.com to newsite.com, will there be no change or will search rankings drop as a result? Or is there a better way to go about this?

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    Excellent question!! This is a slightly new take on the traditional 301 redirect scenario. I am not sure of the answer. But I will think on this for a bit. – closetnoc Apr 27 '15 at 17:15
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I think this is a good way to solve this problem. I read something similar yesterday at moz.com Q&A Section (actually i thought it was the exactly same question as here) and it says cannonicalisation quite like 301 redirects in that case. You better read that yourself.

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