When we started working with SDvirtualschools.com, they were a directory on a different, larger educational site. This larger site had a lot of issues going on, like duplicate content and canonical errors, and they wanted out. With the folks at TinyFrog we helped design and build a new site for them, and then in mid-August of 2014, we set the redirects live and started pushing traffic from the existing directory to the new site.
How We Tackled It
Since this client’s previous “site” was a directory on another, existing site – we were presented with a challenge in that we were not able to implement the Site Transfer Tool that Google has made available through Webmaster Tools (now the Search Console). We implemented 301 redirects, submitted sitemaps, and requested a crawl within the Search Console, and found the search results started populating with the new URLS within a week.
We decided the best idea at the time was to give the client a jump start by launching with a secure site. Google had just announced in the beginning of August that they would be using HTTPS as a small ranking signal. We also didn’t want to mess around with additional website transfers in the future, and ultimately this worked out in our favor.
Once the site was live, we continued adding relevant content for students, and published regular blogs. We tracked down all the links that were pointing to the old URLS and reached out to the webmasters with a request to update those to the new domain. As priority, we focused on those links that were coming from educational sites.
The culmination of all this led to some fantastic results. The new domain started pulling in qualified organic traffic almost immediately, and within a few months, traffic to the site doubled. Some of this organic traffic came from the highly relevant keywords that the new domain “inherited” from the old site – the surge of content that we provided to back these relevant terms and searches only succeeded in improving the overall traffic and positioning.