Our current GWT setup reflects our current setup of 23 geotargetted individual sites each on its own subdomain of the same parent domain.

We will be moving all to subfolders/subdirectories all running under the www subdomain of the same parent domain.

Cannot currently see a place or form to allow us to manually edit the URL for each of our sites within GWT to make the change from uk.xxxyyy.com to www.xxxyyy.com/uk

The "Change of Address" option seems to be for switching to different parent domains which isn't what we are doing, everything will be under www.xxxyyy.com (which is also currently registered as a site itself within GWT, it is a global landing page)

Do we just keep the 23 subdomains in GWT as they are and just run 301s to the subfolders or is there a way to notify Google of the change within GWT? DO we create 23 new sites within GWT reflecting the subfolders?

Thanks in advance for the insights.. Have searched high and low but cannot find a definitive response to our particular problem even though I would have thought it was quite common.

All the best.

1 Answer 1


Google does not treat a move from a sub domain or any other move on the same parent domain as a complete move. You should use a standard 301 redirect that tells Google that the content has permanently moved to a new address. What you are attempting to do is effectively the same (so far as Google cares) as moving a page from one folder to another within the same site.

Once you see a significant reduction in traffic (60% - 80%) reduction in traffic then it is a fair chance that Google has re-indexed based on the 301 header and you can delete the old sub domains. The biggest issue you will encounter with this sort of a move is if there are any organic links still pointing to the old sub domains and those sub domains no longer exist and so are no longer forwarding then you may loose the rank you gained from those organic links. In practice I have tended to keep old sub domains in this situation running with 301 redirects for 12-24 months to allow time for new organic links to be established to the subfolder destinations, then the removal of the sub domains isn't as big of an impact on your ranking as the newer pages have an established organic link base.

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