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Because of a dispute with my doman registrar, one of my sites was offline for around 5 weeks. This site is a PR4, but not rating particularly well in the SERPS (though it does fluctuate a fair bit). While the site was offline, and because it wasn't clear whether I would ever get the name back), I built a copy on a different domain name. Google is crawling the new site regularly, though there is no PR yet, and I have arranged links (including some from PR7/6 pages) to the new site. Since yesterday I now have back the old site, and am unsure what to do - as I see it my options are:
1 - Keep both sites but play around with the text to avoid duplication.
2 - Redirect old site to new site
3 - Redirect new site to old site
I'm not too sure it would be straightforward getting incoming links changed, so getting all the links to point to one site is probably not an option.
One final point - both sites are on the same server, though I could move one if necessary.
The older site is listed in DMOZ - a URL change request for the new site is already in the system.
The original site has a fair few regular/continuing customers - many of whom have not visited the new site.
The original site has around 400 pages in Google and a PR4, the new site has currently 2 pages listed and a PR0.
The original site has several hundred incoming links - the new site has only a few - but they are at a much higher PR.
The original site was rated at No1 or No2 for nearly all targetted keywords until a few months ago (Florida?) when it dropped quite a bit. The new site is only picked up on very obscure terms with little competition.
Each time I think of an advantage to keeping one site - I think of a good reason to keep the other! The real problem is that I don't want to be penalised by Google and lose both!
Oh and the original site is listed in MSN and Yahoo too, the new site has been spidered by MSN and Inktomi, but I haven't checked listings yet.
Are you seriously suggesting that Google is no longer considering Page Rank when ordering the SERPS?
Surely this is the whole reason the Google search engine was built - it seems very strange to me that Google would effectively drop the technology that bought it to prominence.
The main problem I have is that there are now 2 distinct sets of incoming links going to the 2 sites, and I can't easily get them changed. Also my DMOZ listing is being changed, and again I don't particularly want to go back to them and try and change it again. The situation is further complicated with an affiliate program. I have emailed all my affiliates and asked them to change links (though not all have yet done that), so I would need to take that into account.
I'm probably going to have to go with the new site - but I am really worried about the positioning in the SERPS.
If it was me I'd focus everything back on the old site, including getting my DMOZ listings changed back.
I find that old, well established URLs are extremely useful. I have found I can change the content on an old website to be completely new subject matter and it gets better ranking than similar content on a new URL.