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Should I Recombine Two Domains I Previously Split Up?
Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4688023 posted 10:50 pm on Jul 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

I wonder if I should recombine two ecommerce sites (which I had previously split apart from one site in 2010) back into one single site.

Our first ecommerce site started around 2003 (maybe earlier). It sold two distinct types of merchandise (say, widgets and gizmos).

In 2010 I split the gizmos merchandise off into a new website with a new domain that is a partially matched domain name, but kept the widgets on the widgets website.

2003 - 2010:

Site A = Widgets + Gizmos (on one domain)

2010 - present:

Site A = Widgets Only (still on original domain)

Site B = Gizmos Only (new domain)

The only issue is the gizmo products on the new domain have never received as much traffic as their corresponding pages did on the original domain. In many cases the pages got about 2/3rds of the visits on the new gizmos site compared to what they previously got on the original widgets + gizmos site.

Granted, I am comparing visits from over the last several years to stats from 2009 (when EVERYBODY'S sites got more traffic). so that has something to do with it.

Since both sites are struggling to make any money right now, it is not like I can truly mess things up worse than they are.

Also, I did write 301 redirects from the pages on the old site to the corresponding pages on the new site back in 2010. They have been in place ever since (and continue to this day). Wonder what the effect will be of removing those 301 redirects and serving up the old pages.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

 

vandelayweb



 
Msg#: 4688023 posted 7:09 am on Jul 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

It would be an interesting exercise, and I'd be curious to see the results.

I can't see that it would hurt to collapse everything back together. Of course, 301 everything from the new site back to the old. Worst case scenario, you could always revert back to your current format.

In the long run, it would have to be easier to manage and build authority to since you are dealing with one site instead of splitting your efforts across two.

Anyway, please follow up with your results if you do decide to take the plunge.

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4688023 posted 3:34 pm on Jul 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the response, vandelayweb;

Yeah, I wish there was a least SOME experience out there about recombining sites.

In the long run, it would have to be easier to manage and build authority to since you are dealing with one site instead of splitting your efforts across two.


That is sort of my thought, too. The difficulty is that the demographics are somewhat different though.

I am still not 100% sure I am going to do it, but I am seriously thinking about it.

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4688023 posted 5:05 pm on Jul 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

Maybe somebody has experience doing this with a single page, where they moved it from one domain to another, and then after a period of several years, moved it back to the original domain?

littlelucky



 
Msg#: 4688023 posted 11:18 pm on Jul 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

My first post here. I joined just to share my experience. I have split one well-ranked page off my main site and back again a few times. I placed it on another existing domain, back on the original and then on a new domain--then put it back on the original site. It's been off the original for about a year this last time.

It ranked well on the other existing site, but never like on the original. I left it there for quite some time (a few years). It ranked, but not well on the new domain. After two weeks back on the original (if that) it was ranked back at number one for the keyword phrase I judged it by. Now wikipedia beats it, but number 2 is better than it was on the other domains.

That's my experience with one page. Hope it helps.

LL

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4688023 posted 5:31 pm on Jul 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Thanks so much, LittleLucky.

I really appreciate sharing your experience. I assume not a lot of people have done it.

The one wrench in the works is that Site B was hit by Penguin (but oddly enough recovered most of its traffic with Panda 4 - I basically just used the disavow file since I didn't have any access to remove backlinks.)

So if I move those pages back to site A, should I 301 redirect them FROM Site B back to the original on Site A and POSSIBLY risk bringing whatever residual Penguin algo artifacts over to Site A?

littlelucky



 
Msg#: 4688023 posted 2:47 am on Jul 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

I created my original site in 2000. It's a dinosaur--just like me, lol. I've never used redirects because I didn't understand them. My experience has always been that if I take pages off of the site for whatever reason, either to put them on another site or because I'm changing things around, and then I return them, they go right back to where they were and very quickly, too.

If it were me, I would move everything back without the redirects. I don't know much about Penguin, but isn't that supposed to penalize unnatural links? If you put them back on site A, they will be the old urls again, right? Without the links to them? Don't go by me, because I am really not technical.

I can just never make up my mind, so I create new sites and move my pages all the time. I believe the age of my first site matters. I think the age of your first site will matter, too. Not that traffic will ever be like it was way back when, but I think the pages will rank better than they are now.

As you can see by this post, I really don't know much--that's why I read here and don't contribute. But I do know about how my pages acted and I would not be concerned at all about recombining my sites with no redirects.

LL

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4688023 posted 4:02 am on Jul 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Hi there, Little Lucky:

Again, thanks so much for sharing your experience.

I understand you aren't too concerned about the technical minutia, but there are a few things that are kind of interesting about this too.

First thing is that aside from you and I, doesn't seem like there are too many people interested in doing this kind of thing. When I searched for "recombine two split domains," the only results I got from google were for "Recombining DNA"

Second thing is, while there is the possibility a penguin penalty might follow a 301 redirect, this morning (by accident) I ran into a video where John Mueller of google said sometimes that moving a site to a whole new domain WITHOUT doing redirect might result in the penalty carrying over.

It sounded like what he was saying is that sometimes people move their domains for one reason or another (maybe they bought a better domain name or something) and they accidentally forgot to do 301 redirects. So google tries and helps them by automatically assuming that the new site should have the same kind of history (and links) as the old one.

Third thing is that google still likes to keep info about the pages on the original site in the google index. For example, if I use the site: operator to search for:

site:my_original_site.com/some_page_I_moved_to_new_site_several_years_ago.html

The google search results will show the OLD URL (which the page hasn't been on since 2009).

It shows the NEW title, and the NEW description, but it is the OLD URL that is displayed.

I still need to think about this a bit more since there are technical issues I will need to resolve. Despite those potential problems, I am leaning toward moving those page back to the original domain and keeping the new domain for something else.

Thanks again.

littlelucky



 
Msg#: 4688023 posted 5:42 am on Jul 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

I searched for: "merging two websites into one" and I found a pretty decent page on it.

He talks about a lot of the stuff you are interested in--301s, a penguin penalty, declining traffic and then he shows the surprising results of the merger. I think you'll like it.

I don't know how to do the link, so hoping this works...

[moz.com...]

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4688023 posted 6:49 pm on Jul 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Thanks so much for the link, Little Lucky.

I am still a bit on the fence, but leaning more and more like recombining MOST of the pages (the ecommerce products) on to the original site.

It's too bad that they haven't posted a follow up to that article, as I would like to know - 6 months on - how they are doing.

kellyman



 
Msg#: 4688023 posted 10:22 pm on Jul 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Hi Plaet13

I have just done that for a single site, you may remember around 2 years ago my site had a penalty so i basically just switched domains, all went well then the penalty passed through so i tried my luck again for a thrid domain but the site did not respond too well, so i spent an age getting any manual actions revoked on all the sites previous

Awaiting the next penguin that never happened I decided i had nothing to lose and reinstate the original site which was 301 back in June 2012 and within 48 hours the site was ranking, not as high as originally (i would imagine disavowing all the rubbish stopped that) but higher than it was when it was the .com version (original site was .co.uk)

The site is very stable at the moment with some big keywords sitting page 2 and i am sure in time will move up, however my link building days have gone but in answer to your question i do not think you will have any issues if you want to piece your site back after this long time

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4688023 posted 10:44 pm on Jul 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Hi ya, Kellyman and thanks for the follow up. Hadn't seen you around much, so am glad to hear you chip in.

Just wondering if I should 301 the pages from Site B (which DID have a Penguin penalty, but has seen a 50% traffic jump since Panda 4 this May 28th) back to the original site (which doesn't seem to have a penalty, but doesn't get much traffic anymore, either)

Or just move them back without doing the 301 redirect.

kellyman



 
Msg#: 4688023 posted 6:30 am on Jul 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

All i would say is, if you still have a manual penalty get it removed firts otherwise it will follow at some point, also if you have a disavow for the old site upload to where you are going to point the new linkk.

And yes i would 301 them

As you mentioned that you have just had a 50% traffic increase what does that equate to? 50% of not a lot then do the move, 50% of 1000's of visits then i would think carefully

I did it as i had nothing to lose

Whatever you do good luck and hope it all goes well for you

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4688023 posted 3:46 pm on Jul 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the response, Kellyman:


"also if you have a disavow for the old site upload to where you are going to point the new linkk."


Totally forgot about that. Thanks for the reminder.


"I did it as i had nothing to lose "


My ecommerce sales have been so bad, I am kind of in that boat right now...

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