My company runs a main website from which we sell our products, and we also have several niche sites dedicated to specific products. These niche sites tend to be fairly successful, dominating the SERPs for every possible keyword we could think of. For example, we are a reseller of, um, Widgets, which are the brand name. Our site, buywidgets.com outperforms not just every other Widget reseller, but also Widgets.com, the web site of the original manufacturer, for the keywords "buy widgets", "buy [color] widgets", "2008 widget models" and even "widgets".
Unfortunately, the parent company that makes Widgets resents the success of our humble buywidgets.com web site, and has sent us a cease and desist letter, demanding that we turn over the domain, disable the site, burn the server, and degauss all backups of the site content (or something to that effect). While we prepare to fight the cease and desist, I want to have a backup plan in the event we can no longer use the domain name so that we can keep the rankings we have worked so hard to obtain.
Would simply redirecting the domain to a subdomain (ie buywidgets.mycompany.com) and holding out on turning over the domain name as long as possible while we convert our inbound links be effective? Should I do this now, or wait until closer to when we will have to turn off the domain name if it comes to that? What additional steps can we take to keep the site ranking well during the transition? Finally, is there something we can do to prevent Widget's parent company from capitalizing on the existing domain, short of poisoining it before the turnover?
As Ron White once said (sort of), we don't know what arguments it could possibly take for them to prevail in court; however, we know the arguments they are going to use. There is little chance we would be successful in fighting the CAD if it goes to court, but we want to make every effort to maintain the results of the work we have already invested in the domain before it is lost.