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The e-commerce.

Moving OSC to a new domain... afraid of Google ranking loss


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I currently run an OSCommerce-based website which is my only source of income. I would like to update it to a newer version of OSC so that I can easily add some much needed contributions. This poses several problems but I would like to discuss the "big one" and get some feedback.


Our current website is a top ranked page on Google within the scope of the search terms you would find on our site. Let's call that website "wood.com". In the beginning, this website was not an ecommerce site. It was information only. Part of the website at that time had a list of tools to use when working with wood and included links to places to buy the tools online. At some point, I decided to offer these tools myself instead of giving away free advertising.


So I installed OSCommerce on the wood.com site in a folder called "catalog". Stay with me. It gets tricky now. :thumbsup:


I then decided that wood.com was not a good enough name so I bought a domain name called "tools.com" figuring it would make the content of the site more obvious from a search page listing. I simply pointed that domain to the catalog folder on the wood.com website. Of course, when you type "tools.com" into the browser, you never see that domain name again after the first click. Instead you see wood.com/catalog/. The search engines do not list any products with a URL from the tools.com website. Instead, they list the wood.com/catalog/products....


Now I want to build an improved OSCommerce website using the tools.com domain. This would effectively separate the two domains which would be good. It would mean that wood.com is information only and the tools.com is ecommerce only.


The problem is that I don’t want to lose my Google rankings for the ecommerce products on the wood.com website. Here are my options...


Option 1) Separate the two websites and lose my ranking with Google. Tremendous short term loss but in the long run it does make the tools.com website stand out better if a searcher was looking for tools. The goal here is to make it known just by looking at the URL from a search listing, that our store carries tools.


Option 2) Set up a new OSCommerce installation in a different folder on the original phones.com website. When it is ready, turn off the old OSCommerce pages and turn on the new site. Then direct tools.com to the new catalog folder. I would still lose some page ranking within Google but it should build back pretty quickly since the domain name didn’t change. From the spider's view point, the only thing that happened was that the product URL's got changed a bit. (The option to run both sites at the same time is not possible because I may only have one kind of tool available and once it is sold, assume I cant get another one that is exactly the same.)


Option 3) Your suggestions?


I'm posting this super long question because the website is my only income and I can’t afford a massive mistake. If you have experience with a situation like this, please chime in and help a guy out.





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