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Is domain mapping a good seo practice when changing domains?

8:16 am on Sep 9, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Hi all,

Instead of having 1 multilingual site, we have 10 different sites for each language, i.e. company.com, company.de, company.co.uk, etc. We have now decided to gather them into 1 main domain having each language in a subfolder or subdomain.

If we use domain mapping to have company.com/de point to company.de will we keep our rankings? Is this a good SEO practice in general? Are there any other tactics we can use?

Thank you
11:47 am on Sept 9, 2015 (gmt 0)

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If we use domain mapping to have company.com/de point to company.de

What do you mean by domain mapping?

What should happen is:
- company.de should 301 redirect to company.com/de/ on one-to-one URL basis
- company.com/de/ should display the same content as the current company.de is showing (assuming you are not re-organising the site pages and doing the simple move)
- you may consider geotargetting since company.de was automatically geotargetted to Germany. If you do not geotarget in the same way then you may see ranking change because of this factor. However, be careful when geotargetting languages that are used in multiple countries.
8:36 pm on Sept 9, 2015 (gmt 0)

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If we use domain mapping to have company.com/de point to company.de

By "domain mapping", do you by any chance mean CNAMEs?

Words like "mapping" and "point" for me are often difficult, because they are not really defined and can mean different things to different people. How would you plan to use them?

I ask in part for my own information, and I think discussion of these terms would help SEOs to get a grasp of what people are trying to do when they use the vocabulary. CNAMES "map" names onto names... and using CNAMEs, as I've seen it, will often result in duplicate content.

Used as I think you're suggesting, company.com/de becomes an "alias" for company.de. If I understand correctly, this would create duplicate content... You would have two different sets of urls addressing the same IP space... and queries for either of these would return 200 OK responses.

I myself would use proper 301 redirects as aakk9999 suggests. The questions of "mapping" and CNAMES, if using CNAMEs is what you mean, is probably worth some additional discussion to clarify.