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Wow! New .net site inherited PR from the old .com - very strange

 9:32 pm on Sep 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

I had a forum for years on a .com

We decided to move the forum to .net and put a store on .com

We did this over the last few days.

As expected, the .com still shows the same pagerank.

However, the .net shows pagerank now too, and it never was up before. When I click on the pagerank button in the google toolbar, and click on "Show cached snapshot of page", it brings up the .com !

How extremely weird that the .net shows the cache of the .com

Any ideas?

Thanks guys



 12:11 am on Sep 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

hmmm that weird, may be someone after me can explain that...


 1:01 am on Sep 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

I can think of one reason why this may happen, although I am not sure if this is the case with your sites.

Having rel=canonical on the .net page that points to .com page might be the reason. I have not tried/seen this cross-domains, but I have experienced this with rel=canonical within the same site.

I had a page that had rel=canonical on one of inside pages mistakenly pointed to home page. The PR of inside page showed PR of the home page and clicking on "cached" in the toolbar brought home page content (and not inside page).

I do not know if you use rel=canonical, but if you do, I would check that .net page does not mistakenly have rel=canonical set to .com page (in case that the same can happen with cross-domain rel=canonical).


 1:11 am on Sep 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think you're a lucky person. Sounds very much like a Google bug, but it's a potentially useful look at how the Google back end works right now. In other words, their underwear is showing and you've got a chance for a good look.

When you moved those pages to the new domain, did you put a page-by-page 301 redirect in place? Do the internal URLs also show PageRank right now? And echnoing the question from aakk9999, do you use the canonical link tag? How about base href?

And one final question - do you see evidence in your search traffic that you have "real" PR helping your rankings? ...or does it seem like it's just a toolbar error?


 1:21 am on Sep 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

If you were previously pointing/redirecting the .net at the .com, that's the reason.


 1:56 am on Sep 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks for your reply guys...

aakk9999 - I don't have a rel=canonical on it. The only thing I have in my source code with the .com is a google adsense search box.

tedster - Never did a 301. I don't think any internal pages show PR, when I did a site: on the .net it only shows the homepage as cached with the correct info. I don't show any traffic to the site except for certain homepage items from Google yet.

steveb - I was never pointing to .net, it didn't even have nameservers set to it yet. It's completely new.


 8:21 pm on Sep 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

So to understand correctly what you have done:

a) you had (only?) forum on .COM
b) you moved forum to .NET
c) you put store (ecom) on .COM (Where was store before? Was it somewhere else, was it non existent or was it already part of .COM before your changes?)

Never did a 301. I don't think any internal pages show PR...
I think that page-to-page 301 would be wise to do regardless of PR. It re-enforces to Google that these pages have now changed their location. If you have the same URLs apart from the domain name, then this should be an easy redirect to do.

A question: Since you haven't done 301, what currently happens with forum pages on the COM domain? Do they just return 404 or can you actually access the old forum content on .COM domain?

We did this over the last few days.

This means that there is very little time passed since you have made your changes. There are lots of changes for Google to digest (especially if the store on .COM is also new).

My suggestion would be to set up 301 for forum pages from .COM to .NET, ensure that both domains are in the same WMT account and then wait and monitor the situation over the next few weeks. Google should be able to sort it out on its own - as I said, few days is very little time and you have to allow Google to 'understand' what you are doing.

The only thing I have in my source code with the .com is a google adsense search box.

This is one area that I would look into. I know very little about adsense accounts, so perhaps someone with more knowledge could elaborate on this, for example if you are using the same adsense id on the .NET site as it was on .COM site etc..

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