Panasonic Connect Europe (formerly Panasonic Business Europe) is a long-standing equimedia client. The company’s purpose is to change work, advance society and connect to tomorrow.By driving innovation in the supply chain, public services, infrastructure and entertainment they aim to help achieve a sustainable society and support industries in solving challenges.
They innovate and supply products that include broadcast and professional audio visual products, inflight entertainment and communication equipment, the iconic TOUGHBOOK as well as factory automation products.
Panasonic Connect was upgrading its 10-year old website which serves 24 countries in multiple languages from the soon to be unsupported Drupal 7, to Drupal 9. It was moving all 24 local domains for each European country (e.g. business.panasonic.de, business.panasonic.fr) to a single domain https://eu.connect.panasonic.com
Migrating a top level domain (TLD) is risky from a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) perspective. If not done correctly, the trust and authority that Google has in the existing domain can be lost. Equimedia was asked to manage the migration to a new site serving Europe while preserving the old site’s SEO value.
- Migrate 24 individual country sites to the new Drupal 9 site
- Maintain and transfer SEO value to the new site
The success of any site migration, particularly one of this scale, is based on preparing fully and thoroughly. Helpfully, Panasonic brought our SEO team into the project at the very start when the new domain and site was being planned and the architecture constructed. This enabled us to build a trusting and productive relationship with the web development agency which was crucial to the success of the project.
The migration was also helped by Panasonic undertaking extensive housekeeping on the existing sites to remove out of date and low value web pages that had accumulated over the decade it had been live. In order to complete the migration successfully we needed to:
Identify the most valuable pages: some sophisticated tools as well as detailed manual work was used to identify the most valuable pages from an SEO perspective but also to identify key landing pages.
Map old URLs to new URLs: this is invariably the most time consuming SEO element of a migration especially when a site is multi-lingual. Significant resources were put into this, and the work was helped by excellent record keeping by the content team as they migrated content from old pages to new pages.
Organise hreflangs: any site that has 27 country/language (some European counties require more than one language) combinations requires consistent usage of hreflang tags. A lot of detailed work was undertaken with the web development team planning and debugging the hreflang implementation. This included careful fall back system where content in a given country/local was not available.
Update robots.txt: an important concern for large sites is that the robots.txt keeps Googlebot focussed on important content and avoid wasting its time crawling filters and other non-canonical pages.
Clean redirects: there were very few redirect loops that needed to be resolved.
Clean update by Google: Google understood the site well despite there being multiple copies of English language content. Whilst Google has not indexed all of the content yet, it has done so for all the main ranking pages. This means that Google will land users on the correct country/language version of the content to meet their search intent and provide a good user experience.
Share of voice of new domain matched the old domain in Germany within two months (Source : SEMRush). This was one of the most complex SEO migration imaginable. Whilst it took a significant amount of resources and know how, we are proud of the work and what has been achieved. The success is down to the teamwork between equimedia, the web development agency and the client.
- Successful migration of site serving 27 country/language combinations
- Google correctly indexed and ranked all significant pages within 30 days
- High volume keywords were ranking in similar position within 60 days
The client was delighted with the outcome:
Joerg Hufschmid, Senior Manager Digital Marketing Europe said:
“We understood the enormity of the task to migrate such a large number of 10 year old websites to a single new pan-European multi-lingual website, but Equimedia worked seamlessly with our team and the web development agency to achieve a smooth transition, vital for our business in Europe."