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Revive old domains or go to new domains after Panda?

 9:49 pm on Aug 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have several sites, with content going back as far as 2001.

Let's call them bluewidgetsforyou, redwidgetsforyou, greenwidgetsforyou.

The widgets in question are all related, but not the same (they really aren't), so the separate domain strategy was always warranted.

Over the years, these sites attracted 100s of thousands of visitors, some of them even monthly. After Panda, and much neglect on my part, it' more like just 100s.

I find myself in need of reviving this income stream, so I am trying to figure out what to do.

I own a domain that is simply widgetsforyou, which I could start afresh, from scratch, with new content, and try to "break back into the widget business".

But I am wondering whether this is a wise move... should I continue with my older, proven (until a few years ago) "network" strategy?

After all, the old domains still have links pointing to them (some probably from bad links), they have content, and, AFAIK, the "age" of a site/domain is still meaningful when GOOG ranks you.

I am curious, what do you guys/gals think?



 10:36 pm on Aug 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

I can't speak either way to the usefulness of exact match domains.

But what makes more sense from a user standpoint?

Are the demographics of the users different? Or is it similar?

Will you have time to manage several different sites instead of one site?


 7:12 am on Aug 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

One of my sites got hit by Panda. It was running for years really well, so well in fact I was hesitant to do too much to it. So now I am going back trying to fix up the site and see what I can do to recover it.

I am editing the existing content and adding new stuff. Also adding new "features" like maps and social sharing buttons.

The site however is doing well in Bing, which I am not sure what it means. A couple of pages are well ranked, but that is all.

I have no idea yet if the site will recover. I paid a bit of money for the site and it made the money back many times over. I have lost interest in the site, but it seems like a shame to let it fade away as it was one of my first sites I worked on.

Maybe you could start a new site and use the knowledge you have from previous sites, to start something fresh. New features, better content etc.


 9:57 am on Aug 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

I would:

Start fresh with the new domain. Use all the lessons from your existing sites and put it all into action. This time make it perfect.


301 your current domains to new ones. Your recovery won't be forever, but after being Panda'd for so long you'll enjoy the traffic again.

Lose your domain loyalty. It'll help your bank balance.


 11:43 am on Aug 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

I just don't understand why people want to launch sites on new domains after each algorithm update. It creates a wasteland on the internet, consumes a lot of time and is money better spent elsewhere IMO.

Steiner 2012

 2:25 pm on Aug 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

If you have a look at the first page of Google for many competitive search results as of today there are so many sites there with zero onsite, things like telephone numbers for h1's, 15 h1's, spurious titles, dozens of links in sidebars and the filthiest back link profile you can find since 2007.
I found a site ranking above some sites with great onsite that had a redirect to the sitemap! ZERO content at all no relevant h1 or title and a small number of low quality links.
Shouldn't be in the top 100 results never mind top 5.

Discovered this when I sat down to run through basic onsite with a new start with the aim of showing him examples of how the sites at the top would have good onsite and relatively good backlink profiles.
How wrong was I?

Do a search for seo company in Google.co.uk and have a good laugh at what Google presents us after years of 'tweaking.'

So the formula for success in Google is as follows:
#1. Get a number of URL's.
#2. Forget about onsite; H attributes or any semblance of a silo system on your site.
#3. Buy the spammiest cheapest links on the planet and optimize the first site.
#4. Do this in a staggered approach for the different URL's, each one going live one month after the previous one.
#5. Achieve first page rankings.
#6. When Google wakes up and dumps your first site don't worry you have lots more coming behind.
#7 Repeat from step #1.

Right now Google is a disgrace, sites that have adhered to their guidelines are being dropped and surpassed by rubbish.
I actually did something I haven't done in years last week, after searching for something 3 times with variations in Google and being frankly bemused at the results I actually used Yahoo and found what I was looking for instantly.

Beware Google, your greed and your obvious plan to push every man and his dog towards adwords by dropping good sites and thereby promoting rubbish may backfire if people can't find what they want.


 2:37 pm on Aug 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

I just don't understand why people want to launch sites on new domains after each algorithm update. It creates a wasteland on the internet, consumes a lot of time and is money better spent elsewhere IMO.

Agreed....yes this is a Google forum, but we're still all business people, right? Surely there aren't people on this forum who rely on Google 100%? What is this, 2011 or something?


 6:56 pm on Aug 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thank you all for the replies and insight. I have not yet decided, just tinkering on the edges. Since I am going to develop the new site anyway, I may yet do what jinxed suggested and simply 301 the old domains to the new one eventually.

There *is* some sentimental attachment to the old ones, I must admit. They were a labor (much labor!) of love, and the people who helped me along meant a lot to me. It's almost like giving up on part of oneself...


 7:02 pm on Aug 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

It's not personal; it's just business.

Really, what is going to make the most sense for your visitors? what is going to delight them?

I think we might be spending too much time looking at where google is or where it has been, and our targets should really be placed where google is going.

(Please Note: I am not trying to be dismissive of alternative ideas, and as Steiner2012 points out, google rankings still seems to be easily manipulated by basic spam techniques. but if you are going to do something that you WANT to love, why not do it right by your visitors?)

Steiner 2012

 2:29 am on Aug 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

Personally I wouldn't make any big decisions at the minute. The current algo shows no uniformity across different sections or even different Googles.

Even if you follow all of the guidelines there is absolutely no guarantee it will work.
By example last week I redirected a CLD to a TLD with the same name and same content, done it a hundred times before and always follow the same route: Block new TLD domain until the site is ready for launch, 301 every page on the old TLD URL to the new (but same name) TLD URL.
Open the new TLD URL, go to the webmaster tools for the CLD and fetch as googlebot so that is one action the 301 is registered and the new domain page indexed.

Always works fine, this time however even though everything is the same but in the switch from CLD to .com Google dumped the site.
More evidence, were it needed, that Google is broken or that they have a plan to mess up the results so badly that even their own guidelines don't apply.

I have also noticed a number of sites we manage that rank different pages for the same search query in different googles!
Just not getting that, the regional googles are set to English, the search is in English but the results show different pages?
For example Google .com, .co.uk, .hk and .sg may present a different page for the same search. There is nothing on the different pages making them more relevant to that location. For one query that would be relevant to Singapore and with a page themed towards a service + Singapore Google shows the home page in Google Singapore and in one other Google and completely different pages in another three Googles, ridiculous.

Either Google is broken or they have twisted it to push everyone towards adwords, either way I would sit tight until either Google fix it or come clean about their intention to make all search paid.
No point in wasting time on something that won't work.


 1:40 am on Aug 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Right now Google is a disgrace, sites that have adhered to their guidelines are being dropped and surpassed by rubbish.

Steiner 2012, I could not agree more. Abandoned and left for dead sites are outranking real businesses with real employees. Who knows, maybe that's Google's plan - to pump up Adwords with desperate business owners starving for traffic. If that's the case, it's working well for Google. Profits are up quite a bit, albeit at the expense of many small businesses.

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