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SEO Website Audit

Will a "Soft Launch" Cause Problems?

September 6, 2006
Hi Jill,

I have an interesting case of a client who is wanting to do a "soft launch"
of his site. The client wants to make the landing page or homepage a login
section with little to no information about his product on it except for the
name of the product and login details, as he wants to keep the product
confidential until the official launch.

The page we have ready for the official launch will be fully optimized but
will not be exposed until 2-3 months after the soft launch. Both of these
pages will be using the same URL. The URL has not existed prior to this

I am wondering if this will affect the page's rankings and annoy the search
engines? Or will the initial soft-launch page fall off the radar in terms of
such a lack of content that the search engines won't even pick it up?

I don't want a case of the page being "black-marked" due to its lack of
content. And the client is adamant about not having any content on this
soft-launch login page.

Your advice would be very much appreciated!



++Jill's Response++

Hi Laura,

The search engines don't "get annoyed" nor do they "black-mark" websites
that aren't attempting to deceive them in one way or another, so don't worry
about that!

Unless you have links to your new domain, the search engines are unlikely to
ever index it under your soft launch.  The clock basically starts ticking
once they find links pointing to your site -- then they start to index it.
If they do index the soft-launch page it's no big deal; they'll reindex the
new site when it's fully launched once they find a link to it and come

Since the search engines base their rankings on whatever they find on the
site at the time that they index it, you shouldn't have any problems.

Hope this helps!

Post Comment

 Keith said:
I’m no expert but I don’t see how it could possibly hurt, it would likely be a benefit as it does take search engines quite awhile to find new sites from my experiences.
 Lauren Sorensen said:
Have you thought about including a robot .txt file and tag lines in the entry page that ask search engines not to index the pages? These tags and .txt files could be removed or, better yet, updated once the official site is launched.

Just a thought,