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  1. #1
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    Change of URL in Google My Business due to change of organic URL structure.

    Thanks to all the pros on this site. Long time lurker first time poster

    Our company is preparing to change the URL structure for our site for all of the local franchise pages.

    Example Old: www.oursite.com/dallas_Tx_tradename.php

    New Name:
    A. Dallas-Tx.oursite.com (This is 301 redirected to the exact site below)
    B. http://Dallas-Tx.oursite.com/local-trade-home.html)

    The new CMS looks great, adds a lot of capabilities but I'm stuck wondering how this URL restructure will affect our local rankings.

    Some questions:

    1. Do our local business owners need/should go change their 'anchor' URL in Google My Business, or leave it on the old URL (The old URL's are being set up on a 301 permanent redirect).

    2. Will verification scripts, My Business Badges, webmasters tools scripts and codes 'pass through' the 301 to the new site? For example, if someone just transfers their Google verification script, my business badge, webmasters script to the new page (literally copy and paste) is that ok or do they need to 'redo' some process to ensure all of those scripts are correct?

    3. If we should change the anchor URL, what version or the URL would you recommend putting in My Business? (A or B above)

    4. Is there likely to be a penalty organically for making this change?

    5. For those who have done extensive NAP work, is it ok to leave the old link in the NAPs or should they be changed? Immediately? Over time?

    6. We are at the 'final' hour for launch of the new site, what would you advise your client?

    7. Lastly, if this does 'screw the pooch', what would you have in mind as a contingency plan? Go back to the original URL structure? How long would you wait to see if it it corrected itself?

    I've done some brief searching for this topic here but the terms I'm looking for all so common that I'm not really finding a specific previous thread so sorry if this has already been hashed out. I'd happily follow a link

    Thanks in Advance!!!

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  3. #2
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    Re: Change of URL in Google My Business due to change of organic URL structure.

    I may be able to offer an opinion but I am a little confused. What are the reasons for changing url structure? Does the business have one or multiple locations? Can you share the actual website?

  4. #3
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    Re: Change of URL in Google My Business due to change of organic URL structure.

    Cody,

    Thanks for the reply.

    The URL structure change is due to strategic input from the organic team for SEO purposes and to give more local focus on the sub-domains. I appreciate their input but would be remiss if I didn't seek some discourse on the subject.

    We have approximately 250 locations.

    Here are two exact samples:

    Pop-A-Lock Locksmith Mobile, AL | 251-633-8474

    would become

    This is the Dev Site: Pop-A-Lock Local Locksmith Home Mobile, AL Pop-A-Lock Local Locksmith

    This is the non-existent future routing: http://mobile-al.popalock.com/local-...leid=8&fid=346

  5. #4
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    Re: Change of URL in Google My Business due to change of organic URL structure.

    Another question, are panda penalties part of your reasoning for going to subdomain?

  6. #5
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    Re: Change of URL in Google My Business due to change of organic URL structure.

    Thanks for the dialog Cody.

    The rationale, as I understand it, is to localize as much as possible the organic sites. The mechanics of which I'm not 100% sold on as there are mechanics that I don't fully understand. I've seen evidence posted that suggest that it is a better mechanic for local sites, but ultimately for many it's a question of 'If it's not broke, why fix it.' But any progress based change could be met with the same criticism.

    The second rationale is to enable us to use Google webmaster tools more specifically to the local sites.

  7. #6
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    Re: Change of URL in Google My Business due to change of organic URL structure.

    Also, will franchises be keeping their personal domains like this one: Pop-A-Lock Locksmith Clearwater FL | 24/7 Locksmith FL

  8. #7
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    Re: Change of URL in Google My Business due to change of organic URL structure.

    Yes, what we refer to as vanity domains will be maintained.

    Another related connection, is some franchise maintain an external URL but redirect to the corporate local site.

  9. #8
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    Re: Change of URL in Google My Business due to change of organic URL structure.

    You might want to read this post stating some of the pros to using subdomin instead of subfolder.

    A con that I currently see is that subdomain will not benefit from domain authority. However, the franchisor will benefit from any subdomain that creates authority.

    Another issue is when franchises still have their own website that has conflicting NAP with the franchisor domain. This is going to be an issue regardless of subfolder or subdomain.

    Hunter Douglas had a similar issue with their dealers. The hunter douglas subdomain listings rarely ranked and the duplicate NAP had a negative effect on the dealer sites that often ranked better as stand alone.

    One more thing I noticed was your url structure for mobile http://mobile.dudamobile.com/site/po...ksmith.php#226

    I lack experience with dudamobile and effects on rankings but those urls seem...like a challenge to search engines. You may need to visit the actual page and then look at the url because the forum is not allowing me to display this url.
    Last edited by CodyBaird; 05-23-2015 at 04:59 PM.

  10. #9
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    Re: Change of URL in Google My Business due to change of organic URL structure.

    It looks like the bottom line is that moving to the sub-domains is a bad move because any individual sub-domain doesn't benefit from the domain authority of the primary site, which is our strongest factor for many locations.

  11. #10
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    Re: Change of URL in Google My Business due to change of organic URL structure.

    A couple more thoughts for consideration.

    Going with subdomain will in essence create new site. However this doesn't make sense to me if that franchisee already has their own domain. Because the NAP from both will dupe against each other. And because the franchisees solo site will probably do better ranking solo than the subdomain.

    If all of the location pages have the same content (only swapping city info/modifiers) could create some duplicate page conflicts - 250 pages that are all essentially the same in the subfolder scenario. It can also be challenging with your ongoing content efforts, blogging etc. Which may not be the case with a subdomain.

    The upside to each franchise having their own site - ranking will probably happen faster. Maybe this is why we see Hilton franchisees with their own sites. The downside is all the work for each site. Or the franchisor may want more control. It could also be confusing to visitors looking for more uniformity.

    I think the core issues to address first:

    Are franchisees going to have their own websites or is the franchisor going to carry this responsibility?

    Is the franchisor/ee going to create content ongoing (blogging or addition long tail info about services)?

    If you go the subfolder direction - my advise/opinion would build out urls like this popalock.com/al/mobile/locksmith, popalock.com/tx/austin/locksmith

    if i created another page to tackle long tail for that same location it would look something like this popalock.com/al/mobile/how-to-choose-a-locksmith etc.

    It would be a good idea to make content unique for each location page after tackling core content that the brand requires to be on the page regardless of subdomain or subfolder - but yes, that is a lot of work. Or maybe something that each franchisee could be responsible for. That way the language has local flavor and 250 different perspectives are less likely to duplicate each other.

    No easy answers for multi locations. It is usually a matter of picking priorities and understanding the pros and cons of each. Hopefully this helps.



    Answering those questions may help you decide to subdomain or to subfolder.

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