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Splitting off part of our site

Moving pages to separate domains

10:45 pm on Oct 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I'm hoping I can get some advice on a plan under consideration. Forget about the "Senior Member" you see at the left... I run one obscure website, (that does surprisingly well, thanks to WW), and I'm about to venture into new ground.

Most of the site is .org non-profit, but we have some commercial stuff that we do to get funding. These are specifically: selling maps we've constructed, and offering wilderness guides, (mods, please allow the specifics... no one is going to rush off to give us business). Those commercial activites are on about 10 pages of a 300+ page site. I've just registered two new domains with appropropriate names for the maps and the guides, and am planning to move those 10 pages to the two new sites. Now, my query...

The 10 pages getting moved all have internal links to the original site, (main page, etc). The main page, and others, for the original site link to the 10 pages. If I crosslink all those original internal links between the 3 sites, will I possibly run into link-farming penalties? I see plenty of big organisations linking this way, with apparent impunity, but as I say, this is new ground for me and I can't mess things up. If necessary, I can have the two new sites not link back to the original one, (PR6), but I'd rather have them link back to at least the main page of the original site.

Any guidance on this, by those of you with many sites, would be greatly appreciated.


8:38 pm on Nov 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I just came across your post as I was just doing a search on more or less the same issue. I am considering splitting off two groups of pages from my current site into two new domains. It's an information site, and these pages don't really fit where they are.

Have you resolved the cross-linking issue? That's something I have to consider.

Another issue is whether or not to set up 301 redirects to the new domains. On one hand it may help retain what PR these pages have, but on the other it may be better to not redirect and let search engines get a 404. This should clear out the old page entries in the serps, and give the new domains a fresh start. But as I have never done this before, I am up for suggestions. :)

2:28 am on Nov 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Harry, thanks for replying, man... I'd given up on it and hadn't looked for a while.

I haven't gone ahead with moving things yet.

My plan was to construct new pages for the new sites, and leave the old ones in place with links to the new pages on the new site, but not link back to the old pages, thereby avoiding the cross-linking. I'd keep text/format/etc different so that there would be no dupe content problems. My main concern is the "sandbox" stuff. If I arrange things to have the new domains optimized for the serps that I want, and shunt things away from the old pages, will I just end up losing a lot of traffic for the KW's I'm aiming at until the new sites finally get out of the sandbox? (I have to think in terms of G more than the others... that's where most of the traffic comes from). If I were doing this a year ago, when G grabbed new sites within a month, then I wouldn't be so concerned. The existing pages are in the top 10 for G, and Y, but they really should be their own domains. Of course, if I wind up burying them for months, there isn't much point.

10:43 am on Nov 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I had not seen this the first time round.

I am a member of a .org not too different from yours, but have nothing to do with maintaining their web site. Their web site has a shop selling things similar to those on yours. I realy do not see the need for a separate domain.

As far as cross-linking penalties go, I have split off a part of my site as a separate domain, the two sites link extensively to each other where appropriate (they do not have common navigation menus). I would not really worry with two or three sites.

1:10 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I also run a .org

I sell some stuff to help fund the website but I have decided to keep it all under one domain.


Because I think people will perfer to buy a shirt from (for example) "DoctorsWithoutBorders.org" instead of "HealthyTShirts.com".

If this the money is going to fund the site (or fund YOUR time working on the site) then I would suggest keeping it under one roof.