Launching a new website is an exciting process. It’s a process that refreshes the image of the company, encourages more traffic and delivers a return on investment.

But what happens when it’s done wrong?

I noticed earlier in the week that two companies who I had been monitoring as part of market research had announced a merger. Their method of doing this has been to remove two very highly ranking websites and simply re-direct both home pages to a single holding page with no content on a new domain.

They did what?

Looking more closely, that is quite literally all they have done, a simple re-direct from the two old home pages to the new holding page. The two previous websites (which were huge and full of quality content) have been deleted. Worse still, the two old home pages now re-direct to a single page but that’s where it stops – all subpages and indexed links have been left without re-directs meaning hundreds, possibly thousands of broken links.

The result of this approach is that the two previous websites no longer rank and the new holding page unsurprisingly ranks very badly too.


We hear about this kind of approach to re-launching a website all the time and sadly it can have a really negative effect on your traffic and ultimately your business.

There are many factors that affect how your website ranks and the number of inbound links and content are up there as the biggest ranking factors.

By removing all of this content (and not replacing it) and by deleting all the links (without re-directing them) this company has effectively destroyed many years of building domain authority and page rank authority over not one, but two domains!

The good news is that this can be avoided.

In summary to this post, we wanted to ensure that when you invest in developing your new website, you don’t fall at the final hurdle. In addition to planning your new website, also make a plan about how you will launch your new website.

Ensuring your transition to a new website is as simple and pain free as possible can be achieved in five easy steps which are:-

  1. Leave the old website(s) up until you are ready to launch the new website.
  2. Run a complete map of every page within your current website and decide which page on the new website it should link to
  3. Create 301 re-directs from every old page to the correct new page on the website
  4. If you are moving domain, tell Google that you are moving the website within webmaster tools
  5. Following launch, use Webmaster Tools or Open Site Explorer to check that all old pages are being re-directed and there are no broken links

If you would like assistance with developing your new website, launching your new website or simply delivering more traffic, please just drop us a line – [email protected]