Ranking drop after sub domain to sub directory migration!

8 replies
  • SEO
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Hi,

So as it's a popular strategy, we have moved one of our sub domains to a sub directory expecting a ranking improvement of our website. But it didn't work out as expected. We thought our website and pages will improve ranking as the domain will keep receiving more visits to the recently migrated sub directory content. But what actually happened is the sub directory pages improved ranking very much but website pages didn't. Any idea what went wrong?

Thanks
#directory #domain #drop #migration #ranking
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  • Profile picture of the author expmrb
    Sub-domains are treated as different domains. So when you merge your sun-domain to your main one it will be like merging two websites. Anyway, have you correctly 301 redirected them? Many times it happens people do it but don't check it whether it is correct or not.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    Originally Posted by michealtech View Post

    Hi,

    So with the popular strategy, we have moved one of our sub domain to sub directory expecting the ranking improvement of our website. But it didn't workout as expected. We thought our website and pages will improve ranking as the domain will keep receiving more number of visits to the recently migrated sub directory content. But what actually happened is....sub directory pages improved ranking very much but website pages didn't. Any idea what went wrong?

    Thanks

    I'm not sure where you got the idea that doing so is a "popular strategy". It's not.

    Did you 301 redirect each individual page of the subdomain to its corresponding new page in the subdirectory? If not, that was a big mistake.
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    • Profile picture of the author michealtech
      Yes. We set all redirects correctly. I mean every old URL will be redirected to new one smoothly. Any checks required?
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  • Profile picture of the author Mattsaas
    You definitely need to redirect your old URLs to your new URLs, using a 301 redirect.

    If you have Google Analytics installed go through your previous pages visited data and collect of your old URLs, load them into Excel, and list next to them all your new URLs for each page.

    Then look into how to do a 301 redirect from every single one of the old URLs, to the new page. It would be better to do this sooner rather than later.
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  • Profile picture of the author michealtech
    I think all replies here are about the redirection set ups of new sub directory pages. We made them correctly. My actual question is, after this migration, we have seen ranking drop of website pages (Not sub directory pages). So this sub domain to sub directory migration didn't help with ranking improvement of main domain pages.
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  • Profile picture of the author AdHustlers
    @expmrb mentioned that sub-domains are treated as different domains and I believe this is still true for Google. How much of a decrease did you experience? It's possible that you took a hit for the decrease in inbound links to your main site because of the migration.

    Where did you learn that migrating from a sub-domain to a sub-directory was a popular strategy? I'm genuinely curious.
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    I firmly believe that putting a blog in a folder of the website is better than a subdomain when done at the beginning with a brand new site. I would not have gone through the trouble for an established site and subdomain, though.

    That said, assuming the re-directs were done correctly (and even if they weren't), there is no way in the world that doing that would have caused pages on the main domain to drop in rankings unless what was on the subdomain was seen as garbage by Google (or the links to it were garbage) and the content from what was on the subdomain is bringing the main domain down (Panda, which is a site-wide penalty).

    Assuming that is not the case, it is entirely possible that something entirely unrelated to this move caused the rankings drop.

    Test it. See what happens if you hide that content and all the internal links to it and see an immediate increase.
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  • Profile picture of the author michealtech
    Sub domain to sub directory is one of the most debated topics in SEO. Generally sub domains will be created when there is a different services and sub directories are created for related services and content. Moreover, the number of visits to a website do matter in SEO and many of the websites moved their traffic pulling sub domains to sub directories to make sure the traffic counts into their main website once the migration is done. Means same traffic will be there for new sub directory which technically counts as website traffic. That's how number of websites benefited. I remember salesforce blog is one of the successful migrations. Moz has moved their community forum from sub domain to sub directory. I don't think a popular SEO firm like Moz will do that for no reason. Any ideas?
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