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How does Google decide which domain to list?

     
11:50 am on Sep 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

I am working on a site which has 2 older domains pointing towards it. Same content for each domain. The 2 older sites used to be separate sites themselves, one for the UK market and one for the US market, but now they have all been amalgamated into the new site and therefore point towards this domain. Actually, they don't really point towards the new domain, but instead each has a copy of the content/site. Is this duplicate content? The webmaster told me he did it because they wanted to be able to track each site separately.

Anyway, Google is listing one of the old domains in the results for one of my main keywords, instead of the new domain The new domain is also in the Google database, but not turning up as often as the old one.

My question is, how does Google decide which domain to use for a site when all have the same content?

Is it:
- Links to the site (but each domain is coming up with the same number of links)
- Length of time in the database?
- Does Google track clickthroughs?
- Or is there something else I'm not thinking of?

I remember reading on the forums that Google picks one domain as the main one, but couldn't find the post which discussed this. It's not in the FAQ's either that I can find. I want to make sure its the new domain that Google picks instead of the old one, but not sure how to go about this...

Any ideas appreciated!

ck

6:51 pm on Sept 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Google is showing the same number of links because it can tell that it is duplicate content that resolves to the same IP.

The domain that gets listed is the one that actually has the most inbound links to it.

What you need to do is set up a 301 redirect on the old domain that points to the new domain. Once that's done, you need to try and get the most important sites that link to the old domain to update their links. Start with the ODP and Yahoo.

It's not an overnight process, but eventually Google will get it sorted out and begin displaying the correct domain.

11:07 pm on Sept 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Hi

If google finds two sites, identical content, one on say, .co.uk and the other on .com, it will look at the host country of the server, and take that site.

IMHO links in are not a factor. We had this happen to us with a .com site in the UK. The .com had hundreds of links in and the .co.uk a handfull. By mistake a duplicate index page was put on both domains. All the internal links from the .co.uk and .com pages pointed visitors into the .com site pages. However, google decided that the .co.uk was the domain she wanted, as we were based in UK and dropped the .com. As a result, we lost all our internal pages from the index....because they were part of the original .com site.

8:52 am on Sept 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Thank you for those replies. I think in this case it must be links, because both sites are hosted on the same server in the same country. However, the old site has a lot more links to it than the new one, even though it seems as if they all have the same number in Google. However, when I do a link: check in Google, most of the sites are linking to the old site instead of the new.

Thanks again,

ck