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Company Spin-Off Questions

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6 replies to this topic

#1 JJChavez


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Posted 25 October 2013 - 12:05 PM

I work for a large company that is spinning off one of it's groups.  This is not an acquisition but an actual new company start.  There is no option of keeping the original domain name because we will be starting out with a new name.  We have some time to plan for this but I have some initial questions in this regard.  Appreciate any insights.


1) Because we will have a global presence what is the best approach to country specific domain names from a search perspective (see options below)..also would this be recommended for every country we do business in or just the countries we have language specific content?

- www.newcompany.cn/

- www.newcompany.com/zh-CN/

- www.newcompany.com.cn/zh-CN/

- cn.newcompany.com/zh-CN


2) Content will be removed from the original domain & moved to new domain so the plan is to use 301 redirects from olddomain/page.html to newdomain/page.html rather than cross-domain canonicals.  Is there any reason to use both initially or are the 301 redirects sufficient?


3)  In a split like this is there any mechanism for the new domain to get any of the value/page rank of the original domain or will Google/others look at this as a completely new company starting from scratch.  I'm trying to set reasonable expectations for day 1 traffic impacts and short to mid-term impact as new site is indexed.


4) Lots of work to do on redirecting inbound links.  Any recommendation for tools that would help in that process?


5) Other big risk areas that I should be considering?




#2 chrishirst


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Posted 25 October 2013 - 12:40 PM

'Domains' don't have PageRank, individual URLs have PageRank.


 In a split like this is there any mechanism for the new domain to get any of the value/page rank of the original domain or


That's what the permanent redirect does.

#3 qwerty


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Posted 25 October 2013 - 04:54 PM

To add to Chris' point about the redirect, not only will its presence mean that you don't need cross-domain canonicals, but you won't be able to use canonicals. A bot would need to access the page on the old site to see that it's declaring the page on the new site to be canonical. With the 301 in place, the old page will never be reached. And that's good. The old page will be dropped from the index and its link equity will be transferred to the new one.


If you want the country-specific content to be found by people searching in those countries, your best bet is to use country code top level domains, like newcompany.cn/. If you get each of those sites hosted in the country it's targeting, that would help a little too, but probably isn't necessary if you've got the ccTLD. And you'll probably also want to use hreflang tags to indicate that a given page has alternate versions targeted to different locations and languages.

#4 JJChavez


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Posted 28 October 2013 - 03:30 PM

Thanks chris & qwerty.  I had read a few articles that said cross-domain canonical's get picked up faster than 301 redirects so I was curious whether it was worth implementing both with the idea that the canonical's would get picked up fast & we would see traffic immediately vs. waiting for the 301 redirects to get sorted out.  I'm not sure what the potential time delay would be on the 301 redirects so am just looking to drive as much traffic as quick as possible.  If there is no value to doing both, then I definitely don't want to add extra work fr sure.  Thanks for the domain info that is very helpful too.

#5 Jill


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Posted 28 October 2013 - 04:13 PM


 I had read a few articles that said cross-domain canonical's get picked up faster than 301 redirects




More misinformation which makes no sense at all.

#6 torka


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Posted 29 October 2013 - 08:22 AM

A redirect takes effect the instant it's put in place. From that split-second onwards, the old pages will be redirected to the new and will never load (as Qwerty said). So canonicals are useless if you've put 301's in place.


The confusion may arise because sometimes it can take the search engines a little while to catch up and start showing the new pages in their search results. So, for some period of time it's possible the search results might potentially still show the old pages. But when somebody clicks on the listing, it will automatically redirect to the new page due to the 301 redirect.


(Note, the same type of search-result-display delay could also occur with canonicals. When you're talking billions of pages in the index. it's unreasonable to expect search engines to update their SERPs for every little change every webmaster makes the instant the change is made. But since redirects are handled by your server and aren't dependent on the search engines, they can, in fact, take effect instantly, regardless of what the search engine displays.)


When something shows up in the search results is not necessarily related to when it actually starts working. Speaking personally, if I need to redirect a page, I'll use a 301 (or 302, depending) whenever I possibly can.


--Torka :oldfogey:

#7 qwerty


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Posted 29 October 2013 - 11:28 AM

Just to add to that, there is no way either a canonical or a redirect is going to show up in the SERPs before the search engine requests the URL and finds the change, so if the page in question isn't crawled often, that first step in the process could take a while.


I don't know if anyone has extensively tested whether the time lag between a crawl after such a change has been put into effect and a change appearing in the SERP is different depending on whether canonicals or redirects are used, and I don't know whether such a test would change my opinion on the matter. The way I see it, if you're moving a page, you redirect. If you're stuck with duplicate content for whatever reason (partner pages, parameters, etc.) and you can't redirect, you use canonicals.

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