During a hangout, an SEO professional asked John Mueller about a website migration from a subdomain to a main domain.
They work in retail online publishing. It’s a site that has been around for at least 25 years. So, it’s a pretty old website.
Their main question is about migrating from a subdomain to the main domain, which is a recurring question in John’s hangouts.
However, in this professional’s case, they are concerned about this because for this migration, this subdomain has 20 or 40 years behind it and it isn’t a recent or new subdomain.
They are concerned whether they will benefit from this migration or not.
And this subdomain section is about news that involves politics, daily life, public health policy, etc.
John answered that doing this is possible. But it’s important, when you’re moving different parts of a site to the main domain, such as moving a subdomain to the main domain or a subdomain to a different directory, to understand that Google has to look at the new website overall in order to re-evaluate the situation.
This means that it’s difficult to know ahead of time exactly what will happen.
If you move from one domain to a different domain, then it’s easy for their systems to say “Take everything here and just copy it over there.”
But, if you’re moving from a subdomain to a main domain, you’re merging different parts of a website.
And your final outcome (whether you have increased rankings and traffic or not) will depend on your final site structure.
John also stressed that while these changes are possible, you have to watch out and make sure that you do them reasonably.
He recommends making sure that you have a very clear mapping of your old website to the new one. And then really checking the old URLs, to make sure they are moved properly, and then double-check by crawling the main domain again separately.
Just to really make sure that your new website structure is okay, and that all of those pages can be found.
It could take approximately two weeks or so until things from the migration settle down.
This happens at approximately the 45:08 mark in the video.