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Merging two sites - buying the competition
What would happen to PR if a site bought their competitor

 10:02 pm on May 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I was thinking this over today and am not sure what would happen. I'd love to hear your theories - or even better, your experiences with this kind of scenario:

Site A PR 7
Site B PR 6
(Both rank well in the search engines and have thousands of pages)

Site A buys out the competition (Site B) then 301 permanent redirects all Site B traffic to Site A

Would Site A see a temporary or permanent PR boost?
Could it see a PR decline (I can't imagine this happening)?

Would there be a better way to merge the two sites, assuming the content on site B is not usable? Would it be better to do it on a page-by-page level: for example, the articles on "widgets" on site B would all redirect to the "widget" section of site A and the articles on "rubber ducks" would redirect to site A's "rubber toys" section?



 8:33 am on May 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well, I have no real experience on your scenario but I would certainly suggest NOT to put a 301 redirect to siteA from siteB. This may cause a penalty by Google.

If I were you, I would keep siteB even with the same Whois information for a period of time and during that I would try to smoothly transfer siteB's traffic to siteA. I would do it by:

1. changing the backlinks of siteB to siteA by contacting the sites that link to siteB and requesting a change.

2. using a very-well hidden link on all pages of siteB to siteA for more information and/or purchase procedure.

3. adding (smoothly again) content of siteA to siteB and removing some non-useful content of siteB.

Just my 2 cents...

PS. BTW, do NOT transfer the hosting of siteB to the same IP as siteA!


 9:47 am on May 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have often wondered about this myself. In the offline scenario, business A buys business B and then has the combined turnover of both businesses. On the web it's much less obvious.


1. Keep both sites. This is the offline equivalent. There's more work involved in running two sites, but you keep all the traffic.

2. Kill site B. This removes the competion but may lose all of site B's traffic.

3. Try to merge the two sites. This appears to offer cost savings, but it's hard to see how you can really pull it off without losing some traffic. If you bought site B for its content, then you might want to strip the content and put it on site A. If you bought it for its traffic, then merging the two sites will inevitably lose traffic. If you bought it for its links and you manage to successfully transfer all the links over to site A, then site A's traffic will grow, but the overall traffic might still fall.

I don't know the answers to these questions, but I'd really be interested in hearing what others think.


 9:58 am on May 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Site B would lose all ranking in the engine, possibly hold its pr but most likely lose it entirely. Site A would remain uneffected but possibly raise slightly in the search results only due to the influx of traffic from site B.


 1:17 pm on May 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Redirecting main page may result in going site A to PR 8, or not - depending if your PR 7 was actually closer to 7.0 or 7.9. PR is logarythmic scale, so imagine it as 1 000 000 (PR 6) + 10 000 000 (PR 7) - I don't know what is the base of PR logarithm, but it's easier to imagine if you assume it's 10. The smaller logarithm base is, the bigger influence of PR merging may be.

I'd redirect the main page immediately, but I wouldn't move all other pages too fast.

The most reasonable way in moving from 2 sites to site A would be moving content gradually. Google likes to see growing amount of content, so try to move some pages every month, make 301 from old locations, and watch site:www.siteb.com results. Only after old URLs (from site B) are replaced with new (from site A), update links to these pages in site B. Keep all 301 redirects indefinitely, because you have no control on all backlinks site B had.

I think this would be good way, in result your PR could go up to 8, but not certainly (and you couldn't see it sooner than after PR update), and SERPS of site A would go up because of new, fresh content. But this is just my opinion, and more experienced members may think differently.


 2:14 pm on May 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

No, definately don't do a permenent redirect or try to fold site B into site A rapidly. I would keep both sites and just put one link from site B's homepage to site A with site A's prime keywords (but not reciprocate the link), which should give site A a boost in the Serps. Maybe add some content to site B gushing about site A and leave it at that. Better to have two sites in the top 10 than just one.


 8:14 pm on May 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would do 301 redirect. It seems some people are for and and some against it. Does anyone have proove that 301 redirect will hurt in anyway? From what I have seen a 301 redirect moves all links over to new site. So basically your new site should get a higher PR.

I would also place 301 redirect on all internal pages. This will may transfer PR temorarly, but will eventually die as there is no real links to internal pages anymore. The benefit you get from the 301 redirect of interal pages is if they are still getting traffic, then they will be redirected.


 9:30 pm on May 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Would it be better to do it on a page-by-page level: for example, the articles on "widgets" on site B would all redirect to the "widget" section of site A and the articles on "rubber ducks" would redirect to site A's "rubber toys" section?

This is something you should already do for the benefit of your visitors. Apart from that, it will distribute PR more evenly across your site A.

Well, I have no real experience on your scenario but I would certainly suggest NOT to put a 301 redirect to siteA from siteB. This may cause a penalty by Google.

There's no reason why Google should give a penalty for a normal 301.


 2:11 am on May 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Very interesting topic that many webmasters have asked. I would be scared to close down site b because of its content and moving the content could get a dup. penalty. Although it may not be avoided maybe there is a way to take down the content from one site and display it on another site without a penalty?
Maybe write an email to google and tell them the situation?


 8:57 am on May 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Having two sites ranking well is always better than one for reasons of overall stability. In this day and age putting all your eggs in one basket is risky. How many stories are there of good sites falling out of the index for incomprehensible reasons?

>assuming the content on site B is not usable?

If the content is totally unrelated to site A then I doubt passing pr from these pages will do much good, nor passing visitors. If the content is related then I'm sure you can think of a way to adapt site B to become 'usable'.

Messing with a site that ranks well is crazy. Cross linking the sites with static deep links to try and make some pages on site A rank better is the best bet, especially if the sites are not on the same ip and this can be done in a genuine way for the user as well. Too much cross linking may harm site B but probably not. I would keep all the links one way, with no links from site A back to site B.

I would concentrate on making site B more 'usable' rather than worrying about pr transfer. Making what you already have work better for the user (and your bank balance) is safer than having a 'one site' business which is thus over exposed to the whims of Google. Changing the optimisation techniques on site B so that you cover algo changes would provide long term stability and in my opinion give you the most benefit.

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