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While this topic could be considered a general web development item, I'm using WordPress, so I need to find some way to do this within WordPress and without breaking it. I realize this is a deep subject that might apply to other sections of Stack Exchange, but since I'm using WordPress I'll post here.

I'm currently representing a larger company who's acquired several smaller brands. We want to setup vanity URLs for print and branding purposes, as not all areas of the US recognize the parent brand (yet), which will take some time to accomplish.

Here's the general idea. WordPress is currently our setup with this organization structure:

http://parentcompany.com/
http://parentcompany.com/parentbrand
http://parentcompany.com/secondbrand
http://parentcompany.com/secondbrand/products
http://parentcompany.com/secondbrand/products/some-product
http://parentcompany.com/thirdbrand
http://parentcompany.com/thirdbrand/products
http://parentcompany.com/thirdbrand/products/some-product
http://parentcompany.com/fourthbrand
http://parentcompany.com/fourthbrand/products
http://parentcompany.com/fourthbrand/products/some-product

We would like to purchase and redirect the following domain:

Purchase: secondbrand.com
Simulate: http://secondbrand.com
Simulate: http://secondbrand.com/products
Simulate: http://secondbrand.com/products/some-product
  • basically replacing/aliasing "http://parentcompany.com/secondbrand" for a new value.

Redirection with 302 or 301 isn't my biggest issue...that's easy. One of the goals/requests from the client (and my higher-up counter parts) is that we have the aliased domain to be the one to rank in the search engines, but for maintenance, they want to maintain a single, larger website.

So far I've not been able to make progress in figuring this out, however, I have been given an example of another company doing this online successfully. Check this out...

Google: "storm lures"
Shows:  www.stormlures.com

Go to it, and you'll see it's the exact same content as:

http://www.rapala.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-rapala-Site/default/Home-Show?id=4

Somehow, they're doing it to all their products as well (every page on the site for that brand).

An SEO professional I'm acquainted with told me this cannot be done without creating a completely separate website for each brand, but they wouldn't rank together as one, cohesive content on the parent website, or that we'd get hit with duplicate content penalties for having the data mirrored on the two websites (from Google's perspective).

I think with some method of DNS CNAME + mod_rewrite + meta noindex (on parent), the child brand would somehow be able to fend for itself with its own content, and no duplicate content penalties.

As of now, have no idea how to do it on WordPress. Maybe some combination of the "Redirection" plugin with some advanced regex or something.

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1 Answer 1

I believe you should investigate using Wordpress Multi Site. It will allow you to update and maintain a single site and database that will neatly store each subdomain's specific info.

Using DNS settings you will also be able to set up each subdomain to be seen as a separate entitity in Google's eyes.

Take a look at WPMU Dev for great plugins, support, and a great community of developers for working with a Wordpress Multi Site.

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