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I have a site with very good results in google for lots of keywords! This is a site in 2 languages.
The serps are all based on the .be (belgium) domain name.
What we want to do now is do a restructure.
the .be should go to the dutch part of the site (instead to the english part) and the .co.uk domain name should direct to the english part. Thus changing the entire site domainname pages.
Both domainnames are in use at the moment but both direct to the root (english part), so the only change would be the .be redirect. could this hurt us? Do not forget that all traffic from google comes from .be because this is our main serps listing.
shouldn't be a problem. google will quickly pick up the changes. your english traffic will probably drop but then soon regain.
just make sure to install proper "permanently moved"-redirects from your english-speaking .be-subpages to the equivalent .co.uk-pages.
redirect the .be domainname to the dutch part of the site.
Google will see the change on every page, next time they visit the url in their index.
They will notice the language change, notice that suddenly, .co.uk is different from .be and thus reward the co.uk with higer serps for the english part.
and maybe in the process reward the .be for it being in dutch now instead of english.
i that case you do:
if you have mixed languages on every page then of course redirects don't make sense.
at the moment example.be and example.co.uk is both going to example.be -> English.
thus only redirecting example.be to example.be/nl/ will be the restructure.