During a Google Webmaster Hangouts session, Google’s John Mueller extensively discussed the topic of merging and splitting websites. In this session, he outlined the difficulties of migrating your site and what webmasters can do to ensure their ranking signals pass every time.
To learn more about how you can officially migrate your site, read on to receive more information from Mueller.
Moving Sites is Very Simple
In the Hangouts session, Mueller briefly explained that moving a website from one domain to another is simple for Google to deal with.
“Moving sites is generally a lot easier because we can pass all of the signals one to one.”
His remark about “passing all of the signals one to one” is very important. This statement also holds true with redirecting old URLs to new URLs. In fact, this is even true for canonicals.
One of the most common mistakes webmasters make is redirecting old URLs to their home page. Not only is this a great way to waste your ranking signals, but doing this will also create a bad user experience for your website visitors.
Mueller also confirmed that a website migration is easier to debug.
“It’s a lot easier for us to debug as well if something goes wrong. Someone can look at it and say… this is the old state and this is the new state and we can compare that.”
Mueller’s Thoughts on Splitting and Merging Sites
In the Hangouts session, Mueller explained that splitting one site into multiple sites is very complicated. The difficulty of this task is derived in how the ranking and link signals will smoothly migrate to the new site.
In the broadest sense, many sites are developed with various interlinking parts. Once a site splits into multiple websites, these interlinking parts are typically lost. Of course, these parts can be preserved, but that will pretty much defeat the purpose of splitting one site into multiple websites.
Here’s what Mueller had to say about that.
“Splitting and merging sites is always really tricky for us. …if you’re splitting or merging sites then there’s no really clear and well defined new and old state.
They’re not really mapped one to one there because you’re taking one site and turning it into five and it’s a completely different situation for each of those individual sites.
So that’s something that takes a lot longer to be processed and mistakes they tend to be more visible I’d say because it’s like we have to reprocess everything.
And if there’s a mistake in there…”
Similarly, Mueller pointed out that the same complication exists when combining multiple websites into one single site. There’s just so much that needs to be done – for example, legacy 301 redirects can make combining sites extremely difficult.
What Does This All Mean?
Google is without a doubt the world’s largest search engine and online resource. For this reason, it can be tricky for the search engine to process when webmasters combine and split their websites.
However, combining and splitting your website is definitely possible, at least according to Mueller.
“I think it’s just important to also make sure that… from a content point of view you also make sure you have something that matches the old content.
So that people who are explicitly looking for their old stuff they will have some place to go.”
There you have it. To successfully combine or split your website, you have to be very sure that your new site(s) contain content that matches what your audience is currently looking for.
Nonetheless, migrating, combining, and splitting your site is a time-consuming process that must be done by a certified web professional.
If you lack the expertise or simply the time to get this done, click here to contact our award-winning team today to receive all the information you need to move forward.