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Would this 301 affect ranking?

     
2:05 pm on Apr 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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There's a site of mine that I haven't made any changes to in several years. One of its pages ranks very high for a particular phrase. I have my money site that ranks decently, but not as well, and certainly not for that phrase.

I got to thinking that maybe I could get Google to give the coveted spot to my money site by using a 301 redirect.

The question, though, is would this work? The untouched site is much older and so has seniority. Otherwise there's not a lot of difference. Or would both sites lose ranking?

Thanks for any replies.
10:11 pm on Apr 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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and certainly not for that phrase.

Would you be redirecting just that one page or the entire domain? And can you redirect to a page (or even better, the hub page for an entire section) that is actually about that phrase?

You do need to take care with 301 redirects when they're being done primarily for ranking purposes. I think of them like links on steroids, and they can hurt rather than help. I know of cases where just a handful of 301s created a long term penalty for the targeted domain. But I also know of cases where a crazy off-topic ranking was transferred right over.

If it makes good sense for visitors rather than just trying to flow more link juice, then that's when it seems most likely to help - the one exception I mentioned above notwithstanding.
10:34 pm on Apr 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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It would be just the one page, which is very similar to the page on the older site, and also serves as a hub page just like the page on the older site. The pages are very similar.

The idea makes me nervous, but the idea of getting what seems to be a bulllet proof #3 spot is intriguing.
10:43 pm on Apr 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I've actually gone the direction of 'cross promotion' in these situations myself, usually by running a 'highly visible' advertisement for the site not getting the traffic, so rather than taking a chance, personally, I usually try to put the 'site' or 'idea' I would like the traffic to go to in the minds of the visitors I already have and make it easy for them to get there.

IMO, online it's all about visibility, so if I have a page I can use for 'cross promotion' and driving traffic I'm much more inclined to go that direction than trying to 'fix' the rankings on one site by 'breaking' another.
6:51 am on Apr 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I agree with MadScientist suggestion of adding a advertisement/banner in a prominent position on the ranking site.
11:46 am on Apr 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Could you write a similar, but not identical, page on the 'better' site to 'test the waters' so to speak?
4:22 pm on Apr 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The pages are very similar already. Both are about Acme widgets, and both have links to the various models of Acme widgets. When I created the page on the new site, I had to be very careful to not duplicate the content of the page on the older site.

Given that both are about the same topic, I think it would be odd to have an ad for the new site.

I just thought a 301 might be an "easy" way to put the page on the new site in that coveted #3 spot.
11:35 pm on Apr 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

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having done this a couple of times recently, i think it would work exactly as you are hoping.