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I have my main domain and it does fairly pathetic in Google, although a PR 5 with lots of backlinks. I also have a 2nd domain name that is pointing to the site when I purchased it. It seems to be an old linux domain name that I guess the previous owner had and for some reason pointed it to a Hip Hop Jewelry site. In any case, it gets 95% of my Google rankings instead of my main domain. It is just a normal redirect through registerfly, nothing fancy.
Even though I optimize a keyword for a page like domain.com/12345.html it will only show the actual domain, no subpages in google even when someone searches for my keyword and it really should show the full url. It is almost like if I fully optimize the page domain.com/12345.html I will rank extremely well for that keyword but my second domain is what gets indexed(yet forwards to main sites index page), yet I know it is because of my optimizing domain.com/12345.html. I have never advertised this domain name myself, I always advertise my main one only.
Of course, I want my main domain to receive all the rankings, I couldn't care less about this 2nd domain name, but I am scared to just throw a 301 redirect up. I understand 301 redirects pass PR and backlinks, but why mess with a good thing? How could I be sure that if my main domain gets 5% of rankings and my 2nd domain gets 95%, if I throw a 301 redirect will I still be getting 100%?
The domain names never share rankings for the same keyword, so it is almost like Google will rank one of the other. I just want them to rank my main domain only, but still not lose my current rankings.
What should I do in this situation? Should I use 301 redirect to tell the search engines to only rank main domain?
It is of course in my best interest for all of my search engine rankings to be under my main domain as people are a lot more apt to click a domain that says hip-hop-realated-domain.com as opposed to unrealated-linux-domain.com if they are searching for Hip Hop Jewelry.
Not sure if you're still in here looking for a response? I have a couple of questions. You say
It seems to be an old linux domain name that I guess the previous owner had
1) Do you own domain2?
2) Do you have any control over domain2 (I guess more importantly, how would go about putting a 301 on it?)
3) When you say the redirect is "nothing fancy" do you mean the URL stays constant on the top level domain even as you navigate around domain2?
Perhaps if you email me (sticky mail me) the two domain names I could have a quick look.
Or will they use the 301 and drop my unrelated linux domain and I will have the same good rankings but on one domain instead of 2?
I'm not sure what you do with this (Marcia). It's not really a domain that we mere virtual mortals have control over (is it?). Do you get the people who do the pointing to change it to a 301? Does that work for all pages?
You may want to look at getting incoming links changed too (ask about this in another forum perhaps).
In other words, yes you're right, change the name servers away from the "nothing fancy" hosting to a server you have control over and use a 301. I've had limited experience doing what you suggest but I've never had problems (with G) transferring PR across to the correct domain and from what I've read the same appears to be the case for most apache types.
As an aside, as far as other indexes are concerned, look in other forums (again!) as there's been a bit of talk in Yahoo lately about 301s (and 302s). I (and others) have had slurp coming back to sites for months looking for a 301 that's long gone. The index shows the old URL and the new content (as well as the new URL depending on if they found it through another source). I think they've finally decide to start updating the URLs for 301s just in the last few months (so we can feel comfortable about taking off the 301s and letting them 404 instead).
Enjoy your WebmasterWorld trip :)