The company I work for has been working on the rebranding of a series of websites for a new client. I have been asked for some advise on the potential pitfalls they need to be aware of with regard to the implementation of one site in particular.
The existing site is well placed on the search engines for their chosen search terms and is bringing in traffic and sales. However the clients wants to move the new website onto a new domain as this is part of their rebranding exercise to bring all the different elements of the company under one umbrella. They have expressed concern that with the launch of the new site they would like to minimise the impact of any possible loss of rankings as the summer is approaching and historically their busiest period of the year.
I would like to clarify my thoughts and their available options with others before I make my recommendations to them.
My initial thoughts are that they keep the new website on the current domain (it's not broken so don't fix it) as it is well aged, has good rank and trust value. The implementation of a new website would then require us to use 301 redirects in order to bring the changeover into line.
As the client wants to change the location of the website to a new domain my concern is that the platform on which they stand will be lost. Would the use of 301's to the new domain help to re-align the existing ranking and trust values from the old domain to the new or will they be effectively be starting from scratch, thus losing all their existing rankings.
A third option has been suggested is that they put the site onto a sub domain of the current domain. Would this be a better option than using a brand new domain or would the search engines see this as a new domain itself. Would the sub domain benefit from the trust value that the parent domain has?