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Anyhow I'd really appreciate it if anyone could give me some guidelines for my problem. My company will be merging with a competitor within the next few months and I need to know how to go about this with regard to designing a new site.
Currently, our PR isn't bad on Google - so I'd hate to lose the position we've got to. If I just put up redirect pages on both sites to the new one (which will have a completely new name), will that be acceptable or is that defined as 'cloaking'? In the past I've just put a link to a new site on the redundant page - but I'm not sure what constitutes cloaking! I FTP the files to our ISP which holds our domain, would I need to put up a Page 301 - if so how do I go about it?
Apologies for being so naive - I'm best working graphically, I find the techie stuff a bit of a challenge - but I'm determined to win thru :o)
Leave this up until most of the major engines have made the changes. Then just take the hta off and add a text link from the old site to the new.
With the second site I would just have a text link to the new site.
This should avoid an engine seeing anything as a duplicate site, maintain your positions and maximise your new site with incoming links.
This assumes the new site will have significant new content.