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  1. #1
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    January 17th, 2005
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    SEO question re: site updates
    Hi,

    I have a site with a few areas of interest, which I call "zones". I want to separate each "zone" into its own subdomain, so that they will be more separate independent sites. I've heard that SEs can treat subdomains as full sites, unlike the current arrangement where each zone is just a folder on the main site.

    I'm doing this to bring some of the deeper pages higher up (instead of home->zone->tier3->tier4, where the tier4s haven't been indexed by Google at all, it'll be zone->tier2->tier3). I think it'll also be better this way in that each zone/site is more focused.

    I plan to use a horizontal navbar across the top to link to the other zone/subdomains, and a vertical side navbar to the pages within the zone itself. At the bottom will be links to the main domain, where there are contact, links and terms pages.

    My question is will linking to the main domain page and the other zones (each being its own subdomain: zone1.mysite.com, zone2.mysite.com) cause the SEs to treat it all as one site anyway and then start indexing from the main domain (in which case I haven't accomplished much)?

    Also, what is the best way to move those pages which have done well with the search engines to the new subdomain directories without hurting their current rankings?

    Thanks for reading and your input.

  2. #2
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    >>>Also, what is the best way to move those pages which have done well with the search engines to the new subdomain directories without hurting their current rankings? <<<

    Google and one other SE have a sitemap routine that "could" help; Google's sitemaps system supposedly clues the SE as to where everything is/has-gone-to, but mileage may certainly vary.

    But any move can hurt for a while. And will the moves have an affect on prior visitors who have bookmarked individual pages as opposed to the site?

  3. #3
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    I was thinking about keeping the old files on the server with a link to the new ones at the top of the page for the time being, until the new locations have become primary and indexed.

    Alternatively, I've heard that 301 redirects are SE friendly. I'm sure I can learn that easily enough and do that.

    Or a simple redirect header for each page?

    Which is the better option?

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager inflatemouse's Avatar
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    The 301 -- Moved Permanently redirect is a good option for you. You should have it delay for a few seconds and prompt the user to change their bookmark. Setting up a site map and updating your robot.txt are important components as well.

    Submitting a site map to the search engines will help your site to be spidered deeper. Alternately you can put a site map link at the top of your page the site map can include all of the pages, but if you have more than 100 pages I suggest that you just include the major branching points.

    While you are moving things it is a good time to freshen up your content and start a link campaign to your new zone sub-domains.

  5. #5
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    Thanks Carlos,

    Yes, I'm actually redesigning the pages to make the site clearer and more user-friendly. That's why I chose to redo the structure, it was getting hodg-podgey.

    When you say a new link campaign, does that mean that subdomains don't benefit from links to the main domain?

    And should I leave the legacy pages and folders intact for a few months, with a header announcing the "go here for the new page" link?

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager inflatemouse's Avatar
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    Theoretically any robot visiting your main domain will travel the links to your sub-domains. But why leave it to chance, work in some time to get links directly to your sub-domains since your are spending time on the site already why not come out with a bang.

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