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I've considered setting up a "Sister" site with the same general overview of my company site, but with content worded differently and slight variations on the title tags. So if my main site is ever penalized with little chance of improvement, I'll have an additional one that I can try to move up the SERPs with links from sites that previously linked to my main site.
How would Google perceive a "sister" site with slightly varying content? Would a sister site be penalized if it was human-reviewed if a competitor reported it as possible SE spam? I see law firms frequently setting up multiple sites very similar in content for specific types of lawsuits they specialize in (medication specific, practice area specific). I also see web design firms with multiple sites, each dedicated to a specific type of industry or client they cater to (something I've considered, but for now I keep those pages on the same site). Those sites seem to rank okay, but I don't know for sure how Google sees them.
The fact of the matter is Google’s tolerance for collateral damage has risen dramatically over the past few years. Great sites, that are clean as a whistle can fall victim to algorithmic changes. Multiple sites and a healthy Adwords campaign broaden your scope, and help reduce the risky business model of relying on Google traffic to a single site.
Remeber that 2 sites is not 200% revenue. I guess 160% is the most you can get.
My interest in setting up a main sister site has nothing to do with revenue, its about having an umbrella in case my business site ever falls in the SERPs.
I have considered setting up one or two individual sites for specific types of industries, that would be for increasing revenue. I did set up one such site three years ago for a specific niche, only its completely different from my main site and isn't remotely connected by linking, its been at the top of the SERPs for years. But if I set up another industry specific design site, I'd be tempted to link to both sites from any new project I develop within that industry, and maybe that's something Google will notice and disapprove of.
[edited by: DXL at 10:38 pm (utc) on Nov. 29, 2007]
The problem might be though, that a competitor sees it and complains to google. If it is too similar they might manually affect one of them.