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I am doing some work for a friend who has 2 sites, both the same domain but with different TLDs: Site #1 is example.net and the site #2 is example.com.
They have some serious issues with duplicate content between the two sites and need to consolidate everything into one site (the 'example.com' site). However 40%+ of their current traffic is coming through the 'example.net' site.
Is there any way to consolidate the two without immediately losing the traffic to the 'example.net' site?
I had wondered about using a 301 to redirect traffic from the .net to the .com, but I'd want the .net to be no-indexed in order to kill the duplicate content issues that are hurting the .com site. Basically I'd want everything except the .net site's traffic to disappear--that's possible, right? ;)
[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 5:32 am (utc) on Mar. 17, 2008]
[edit reason] changed to example.com & .net [/edit]
Be careful though. You don't want to remove the 301 until you're certain that there are no more inbound links to your .net site. Perhaps you never want to remove it, just to be safe.
Also, for quality inbound links, you might want to send a polite email to the site owners to change their links to point to the new domain. Same goes for affiliates. Good luck!
The main reason I say this is experience. When I've worked with redesigning sites, I've found that only redirecting the key urls (good backlinks or search traffic) and letting the rest go 404 has actually established the new urls in Google a speedier fashion. That's as long as the new urls have a good link structure, of course.
I've also heard Google reps at conference make cautionary statements about overdoing it on the 301s.
Also yahoo still assigns the target content to the old url with a 301.
This was a discussion I had on a previous occasion with someone, and I know when a home page (root) is redirected to a sub-directory location on a new site, they treat the redirect as a 302 (or 303, or 307 --- all basically interpreted as temporary at this time), which means the originating URL is re-accessed, rather than the new URL being considered the 'content holder'.
At first I could not figure out why, but I think it is because if the spider was set to access the new location, it would not re-access the previous domain again, so if the redirect was removed and new content was placed on the domain, the spiders would miss the change and the domain would go un-indexed, unless the owner re-submitted.
If you are truly experiencing the described results with Y! or any other search engine, I would double check the server headers to make sure a 301 is actually served, and also look for 'stacked' or multiple redirects from the old location to the new one.