Corporate wants to change individual brand website URLs to corporate sub-domain URLs. Is this a bad idea?
I work for a corporation that owns and manages 25+ individual brands and their respective brand websites. We've slacked on securing SSL certificates in the past and now are looking into them in order to remove "Not Secure" from our sites. The idea was raised recently to change the individual brand website URLs to a sub-domain URL of our corporate site in order to save money securing separate SSL certs for each site. Their idea is if it's a sub-domain on our site and server it will save money by being able to bundle the costs.
In other words, for example:
A brand site URL is currently: www.brandx.com
And the corporate site URL is: www.corporationx.com
The brand site URL would change to: www.brandx.corporationx.com
I'm leaning against this as we have the current brand URLs listed on packaging and all the links already out there in internet land. I know we can redirect the URLs coming in, but wouldn't this hurt our SEO? What other ill effects would this have? I'm thinking it would hurt the brands but I don't know how to calculate that or back it up. Are there any other facets of concern that I should bring up with this situation?
Thank you for any suggestions!
This is a great question and the answer is not simple.
Firstly, in regards to the SEO aspect. As long as there is a 301 redirect from the old URL (brandx.com) to the new one (brandx.corporationx.com), all your SEO will pass to the new URL.
The part that gets tricky is where is the SEO getting passed to. Is it passing some SEO juice to the corporationx.com site or just the subdomain brandx.corporationx.com?
The other part you want to take into account is that it may help the site SEO-wise if the corporationx.com has good SEO.
All in all, it is doable, but there has to be a good reason to make the change.
Here is a great article covering these topics in depth https://seranking.com/blog/seo-for-subdomains/
Hope this helps.
Keep in mind that google treats subdomain as a separate website from the root domain. If you do proper 301 then most of the power the original domain has, will be passed to the subdomain. But in my opinion, things will look messy for your target customer. I'd recommend Linking to all individual brands from the footer of the corporate website. I think this is the best way to follow.
A client of mine who runs winchmania.com which reviews off road winches. He also has more similar smaller sites and a big one like yours. I recommended him the exact same thing. To mention all smaller sites from the biggest offroading website. Better for user, better for seo.