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Branding Issues
Decided to put all domain names under one "umbrella".
Delegate




msg:721973
 4:38 am on Feb 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi i have an issue with Branding.

We recently decided to put all our domain names under one "umbrella" and link all our domains to one corporate site. I am a bit concerned about doing this as 3 of our domains have number one rankings across all our Highly competitive Keywords and have been online for over 6 years with well branded domain names.

If one of our new ventures that will also be placed under the same umbrella gets Penalised by Google (not saying that it will) will this affect the rankings on our strong domains? Will Page Rank be affected?

Is there anything else i should take into consideration before i give the Go-Ahead on this?

 

mrMister




msg:721974
 1:57 am on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Can you explain a bit more. What exactly are you planning to do?

Are you changing the domain name for each of these sites, or just adding links to the umberella site?

Delegate




msg:721975
 3:10 am on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Domain Names will remain as they are but all sites will be linked with the Main corporate site with the corporate logo.

Basically we want to develop the business globaly but use the strength of our success in the local markets to boost our new projects without having an effect (unless positive) on what we currently do.

rfgdxm1




msg:721976
 3:35 am on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've seen evidence that when two domains are owned by the same person/company, the Google algo will not allow both to appear high on the same SERP. Thus it could be possible that the site you don't want coming up high for a SERP will do so, and the site you do want coming up high won't. Thus if the SERP is "widgets", and you own widgetworld.com and that is in the top 10, you might find your umbrellacorp.com now in the top 10 for "widgets", and widgetworld.com buried way down where nobody will find it.

(As to how Google does this, I presume by comparing whois data and/or IPs the sites are located at.)

mrMister




msg:721977
 1:44 pm on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

What rfg is saying is just heresay. I have two sites on a similar subject matter on the same server, with the same IP address, with the same WHOIS information, they take up the first three positions in the SERPS.

Domain Names will remain as they are but all sites will be linked with the Main corporate site with the corporate logo.

Are your sites linking to this one umbrella site or will there just be links from the umbrella site?

Your question was: "will this linking affect pagerank?"

The answer is yes. Any link you add to a page will change the pagerank structure in your site. Whether its an internal link or an external.

If it's the former then you can expect the pagerank of this umbrella site's pages to go up and your site's pages to go down. If it's the latter, your site's pages will increase their pagerank. The effect will be most noticable on the homepages of these sites (assuming that's where you are linking to) but it will spread throught your site in the same ratio as it is doing currently.

If you're linking both ways (to and from the umberella site), you can expect a slight decrease in pagerank over all, however, the home pages of both sites will show a marked improvement in pagerank (assuming that all these branding links point to the homepage)

webhound




msg:721978
 3:12 pm on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

rfgdxm1: "I've seen evidence that when two domains are owned by the same person/company, the Google algo will not allow both to appear high on the same SERP."

What evidence have you seen regarding this? Could be our problem... we manage over 100+ sites and none come up anymore in google. All domains were bought from the same company, and with the same CC. All whois info is unique though, as they related to the client they are being managed for.

rfgdxm1




msg:721979
 6:39 am on Mar 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

>What evidence have you seen regarding this?

The cases I have seen involve SERPs that by there nature are so non-competitive that the sites owned by the same person not appearing on page 1 are hard to explain other than Google having an algo factor that devalues one of them. Note I'm *not* saying that the other site is blown out of the SERPs. It just is coming up on page 3, etc. rather than page 1. mrMister's case could possibly be explained either by things like the SERP is so extremely non-competitive that even with the devaluation both sites come up right at the top. Or maybe in his case his sites just slipped by due to an algo quirk or Google database problem. Google is far from infallible.

And, I'd think Google would *want* to minimize multiple sites owned by the same person coming up on page 1. This is what spammers intentionally try to do. And even if the owner has no intent on spamming, isn't one of his sites coming up page 1 for the "widget" SERP adequate? A good search engine should want to deliver variety to the searcher. Rather than multiple sites run by one person dominating the SERPs.

Robert Charlton




msg:721980
 7:12 am on Mar 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm pretty much with rfg on this one. There are several of us who have been concerned about this issue and have been having ongoing discussions on the topic, and we've been watching things too closely for it to be "heresay." See this thread and the threads it refers to for some of the discussion...

Safely Crosslinking Sites for Users
Is the "rel nofollow" attribute appropriate?
[webmasterworld.com...]

I've observed that since Allegra, on the sites I've watched, Google seems to be able to discriminate better between those related sites that happen to mention the same terms but really aren't trying to hog them, and those related sites which in fact are going after the same phrases. Google doesn't like the latter.

It's been reported that Allegra has caused some related sites that do overlap in search targets to drop severely in the serps. Don't know whether this is cause and effect, or just coincidence.

I would say that I'd want sites that overlap in search phrases to be solidly established, with many solid, independent links (ie, links from independent sources), before I would even consider cross-linking them with straight links. At that point, though, you've probably put in so much work you might not want to risk it.

As discussed on the Safely Crosslinking thread, I would not use the the rel nofollow attribute to insulate the sites. There are discussions of other ways to insulate links on the thread.

mrMister




msg:721981
 2:34 pm on Mar 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Or maybe in his case his sites just slipped by due to an algo quirk or Google database problem. Google is far from infallible.

I see this a lot...

Someone comes up with a theory, and convince themselves that it's right. Then they see evidence that contradicts this theory. Rather than wondering why this is the case and adjusting their theory to match the evidence, they say to themselves...

"Why doesn't the evidence that I see match my theory? Google must be broken!"

My opinion on this matter is that the issue isn't that the sites are owned by the same person. It's that they're written by the same person. I suspect if you got another web developer and/or SEO in to write a site on a similar subject to one of your sites, it wont get devalued by Google. This would be the case even if both sites have the same IP and WHOIS information.

Google is noticing certain aspects of the sites being the same and is de-valuing it accordingly.

My subject area isn't super competitive. However there are a lot of lower pages down to about page 4 that are still very relevant to the search.

My sites however were written about 5 years apart and besides the subject matter, they are both completely different. The style of HTML coding, the navigation structure, the linking structure, they're all very different. I believe it is this that is preventing either of the sites being devalued.

And before you ask, yes they do link to each other extensively :-)

moftary




msg:721982
 4:54 pm on Mar 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

I suggest following what large companies do..
Check internet dot com companies for an instance

Kirby




msg:721983
 5:27 pm on Mar 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

My sites however were written about 5 years apart and besides the subject matter, they are both completely different. The style of HTML coding, the navigation structure, the linking structure, they're all very different. I believe it is this that is preventing either of the sites being devalued.

Good points, but this still does not discount the use of whois info in filters. Things like different dates and hosts could easily be assigned different values for the purpose of a filter.

The key ingredient for me is IPs. Major companies tend to consolidate, (not to mention use the same/similar templates).

I monitor the sites of one design company that hosts more than 20k sites in a broad yet competitive field. Sites that compete for the same serps that share C blocks seem to be prioritized, with the oldest site on the IP ok and subsequent sites getting pushed down. This started to be extremely noticable in late December.

rfgdxm1




msg:721984
 2:28 am on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

>I'm pretty much with rfg on this one. There are several of us who have been concerned about this issue and have been having ongoing discussions on the topic, and we've been watching things too closely for it to be "heresay."

To the person who thought what I wrote was just hearsay: take a look to the right of this post and notice how many posts I have made at Webmasterworld. Why would you think that what I was posting was just parroting what someone else wrote on some website bulletin board somewhere? It would surprise you that someone with an interest in SEO as great as mine would actually study various Google SERPs and try and figure out parts of the algo? Heck, I've actually been known to (gasp) do SEO on the sites of others for money. [Yeah, I know. I feel so dirty having gone over to the Dark Side. ;)] I came up with this conclusion independent of Robert Charlton or anyone else.

Of course I could be wrong about how the Google algo works in this matter. However, if so it is because of a flaw in my own analysis, and not that I just assumed that what someone else posted on the Internet was gospel truth.

>I've observed that since Allegra, on the sites I've watched, Google seems to be able to discriminate better between those related sites that happen to mention the same terms but really aren't trying to hog them, and those related sites which in fact are going after the same phrases. Google doesn't like the latter.

I observed this first happening a few months before Allegra. However, this effect seems much more common since Allegra. My best guess is that Google has got better at being able to discriminate better between those related sites that happen to mention the same terms but really aren't trying to hog them, and those related sites which in fact are going after the same phrases. Google does occasionally nick a site of someone who really wasn't trying to hog the SERPs. However, when this algo factor kicks in it seems to allow one of the sites to rank well. Those who aren't really trying to hog a SERP don't care much so long as one site makes it to page 1.

>It's been reported that Allegra has caused some related sites that do overlap in search targets to drop severely in the serps. Don't know whether this is cause and effect, or just coincidence.

>I would say that I'd want sites that overlap in search phrases to be solidly established, with many solid, independent links (ie, links from independent sources), before I would even consider cross-linking them with straight links. At that point, though, you've probably put in so much work you might not want to risk it.

This is also my observation. I've seen this happen where the cross-linking was as little as a single link on one page of a site.

>As discussed on the Safely Crosslinking thread, I would not use the the rel nofollow attribute to insulate the sites. There are discussions of other ways to insulate links on the thread.

I agree completely. I wouldn't think of using the rel nofollow attribute other than in cases where it made obvious sense. Such as message boards, blogs, etc. I would be afraid that using this attribute in other cases would trip a flag at Google something is fishy. Including possibly trying to hog PageRank by linking to independent sites. If ever I link to an independent site, it will be a straight link without the rel nofollow attribute. I am betting that the Google algo favors sites that give clean links to independent sites. Misuse of the rel nofollow attribute likely will be frowned upon by Google.

rfgdxm1




msg:721985
 2:38 am on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

>Someone comes up with a theory, and convince themselves that it's right. Then they see evidence that contradicts this theory. Rather than wondering why this is the case and adjusting their theory to match the evidence, they say to themselves...

>"Why doesn't the evidence that I see match my theory? Google must be broken!"

Basic concept in the philosophy of science: favor hypotheses that are falsifiable, and there is no evidence to support the hypothesis is false. SEO isn't about whining that Google is broken. If Google is broken, then take advantage of this, dammit!

Delegate




msg:721986
 1:38 pm on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

We have multiple Keywords which are extremely competitive showing up 2 of our sites on the first page of the SERPS no sign of Google devaluing them at all.

Im sure that will change if I link them all with the corporate site.

Spine




msg:721987
 8:58 pm on Mar 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

As someone who used to hog SERPs I can say there is some truth to the theory. At one point I had 4 places on page 1 for several key phrases, with multiple sites.

Over the past year my weaker linked sites have faded away, but I notice that my strong site does fairly poorly on terms that overlap with them.

For a variety of terms that I only mention on my strongest site, I can get to #1 fairly easily, but for those that overlap, all my sites are buried deep, even if the term isn't as competitive as the ones I can get #1 for.

At this point I'm redeveloping the weaker sites with a different subject matter, as those weaker sites get very few hits these days.

What I'm not sure of is whether to take down the pages (with existing pr) or just completely change the content, but leave up the pages with PR and 'overlapping-keyword.html' as a filename.

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