3 sites in the very same niche, let's say "blue widget"
bluewidgetonline.com (Just recently got out of a manual penalty. Still some good backlinks. OSE PA 51. Not ranking well, but still somewhere on page 2 in G. Lots of bad links disavowed.)
bluewidgets.org (Awesome backlinks, but not ranking at all. OSE PA 53. No penalty. Same design template as site 3, but diff content. Might this be the reason for not ranking?)
easywidget.net (Ranking page 1 #4 for its main kw, main money maker, OSE PA 59., solid backlinks)
Would it make sense to 301 redirect those sites?
1. redirect site1 to site2, or vice versa, keep site 3 as is (not risking anything)
2. redirect site1 and site2 to a site3 subdirectory, i.e. easywidget.net/blue
3. redirect only site2 to a site3 subdirectory, i.e. easywidget.net/blue
4. redirect site 2 to site 1, keep site3 as is
- Ranking boost due to merge?
- Less maintenance managing
- Less linkbuilding spend
- G might not like the 301 redirects and drop the ranking sites completely. That shouldn't be the case though since all sites have a clean backlink profile.
- Less sites in the rankings, less visibility
What do you guys think? And maybe even recommend?