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Is it possible for one domain to be replaced with another?

Both domains owned by the same company.



8:49 pm on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Sorry about the title, but I could not think of a better way to say it.

I have been watching something I am not sure about. I beleive that a website I work on is being replaced with another domain. The domains are both owned and maintained by the company I work for. So I am not overly concerned with losing rank for the comapny, just for the domain i work on.

With regards to the domain I work on, it links to the domain that it has been replaced with throughout the site.

An example of what I am referring to is:

Lets say I am targeting the term widgets on x.com and a.com has never ranked for that keyword. x.com has historically ranked on that keyword for months and months. Now, x.com is gone, but a.com is now ranked for this keyword.

This is not an isolated issue, it seems to be happening on several keywords that i target. I have read and replied on a thread or two about affiliates having this happen to them, but before I say this is what has occured, I need to know if this is the case.

What makes it interesting for me is that from a company perspective, having the a.com domain replacing the other historically strong website, is more than likley a good idea because that is where the end user will go to eventually anyway.

Again, this is not happening to one specific page on one specific term, this is one domain replacing another in googles index.

Is this a normal thing?

Also, both sites have their own unique content. Would it be replaced like that because google knows we own both domains? a.com has very little keyword density, in fact it does not even have the full terms that I am targetting. Any thoughts?


4:21 am on Jan 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Coule you possibly be hijacking yourself? There was a recent thread here that described something similar. (I'm just guessing, but this will bump it up anyway.)


4:39 am on Jan 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Yes, I have seen this at least four times. The sites in one way or another become associated with each other and only one will rank on a particular keyword phrase.
More to it than that but. . . yep

[edited by: minnapple at 4:45 am (utc) on Jan. 12, 2006]


4:45 am on Jan 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Coule = Could (it was bugging me and too late to edit).


11:42 am on Jan 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Ok lets assume it does happen, what would cause google to do that? I am not hijacking, i am sure of that.

I read the recent thread and it was mentioned that a particular website was generating traffic for that keyword and that is how it was replaced. I am just trying to determine if that is the case. If it is the case, what steps can I take to prove this actually happened?


12:42 am on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have the same thing going on with a couple of my sites. They are on separate servers and are different in design and in focus. They do target some of the same keywords however and for these keywords Google will only display one of the sites - and these sites often take turns showing up in serps. For a month or two one site will show up and then it will dissappear and the other site will show for a month or two.

Somehow Google thinks the sites are interchangeable. What causes this? All I can think of is that the two sites used to have quite a few links going back and forth. I took the majority (but not all) of the links down a year or so ago but as yet it has made no difference.


11:15 am on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I wonder if it has to do with Google knowing that both sites, though they have different content, are run by the same company/person and they try to give the site that is stronger the rank?

Or maybe they see that both sites are unique in design and content, but one sote is basically promoting the other site, so just give it ti the other?

I need to find out why this is happening as my employer needs to know this, especially if my pages lose rank and tank money wise, but it is being replaced with the primary domain.

I mentioned this to him, and only used 1 keyword as a reference, but he said he will need to have a lot of examples, right now I can pull about 20 examples and if things do not change soon, it is going to have to be a case for me to prove and want all of my ducks in a row.


1:40 pm on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It may be that Google knows that both sites are owned by the same company. Several months ago I took down all links to that company and so far it has not made a difference. The only common links the sites used to have were to each other and to the company (in the footer as "designed by") and these have beed removed except for a few links. The sites are both quite large so a few links should not ordinarily present a problem but Google may have a very long memory and once it "knows" sites were associated it may never foreget.

As for giving the stonger site the rank - that is hard to say as both sites are similarily strong. As I mentioned previously the sites take turns and generally occupy the same spot in the rankings. That is the real "proof" that as far as Google is concerned the sites are the same.

My speculation is that perhaps the same thing happens in Google's serps with sites that are totally unrelated and have different owners too. For any particular keyword Google may decide that several sites are all similarily strong and then take turns letting the sites show up in the serps. I know I have clients whose sites will dissapear for a few months and then reappear for a few months in the same positions they used to occupy - and this has been going on for years.

If that is the case then making one site stand out head and shoulders above the rest should be the solution - perhaps adding more good one way links would do the trick.


1:47 pm on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I should mention that with my two sites one has several hundred reciprocal links (but no obvious link exchange pages) and the other has none. The one with none has many outgoing links but relies on people linking to the site because they think it is a good resource.

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