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Can two domains on same server affect each other?

4:58 am on Nov 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I have two sites on the same server, both domains resolve to the same IP, this is the way my hosting company has it set up. Since the second site is a folder on the root WWW of the first site, it is in theory possible to get to the second site from the first, for example:

siteb.com, which can also be seen at sitea.com/siteb

However, Google does not have it indexed as such.

The first site is a very high profile site, lots of credibility in Google, PR6 (for what that's worth). The second site was a side project, a blog not related to the first site, absolutely no cross-linking between the two sites.

Because it was a side project, I don't maintain the second site very much. It has some good articles on it, but I haven't written a new article in quite a while. People occasionally post relevant comments on it, and I think there is value having it up, but I'm just not focused on it.

Since I don't look at it much, from time to time, I get blog spam on it. Sometimes it builds up quite a bit. It uses Drupal, and I don't know how to set the comment links to nofollow, so the spam links are not nofollowed.

My question is, can the crap on the second site affect the reputation of the first site, since they are on the same server? It seems like it should not, that these sites should be 100% separate in Google's eyes, but I get quite a bit of spam on the second site, and for a small, insignificant site (PR3), the amount of spam seems disproportionate, leading me to believe that the second site is maybe being targeted due to being on the server of a PR6 site.
1:51 pm on Nov 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Never has in my experience. You'd have to have a lot more than two sites to be considered a "bad neighborhood" IMHO; and Google is well familiar with shared hosting.
9:03 pm on Nov 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Ralph_Slate - I'm not quite following your description of the server setup, but it does look like siteb is going to appear under two different sets of urls, not good practice. This shouldn't affect sitea... particularly if you don't cross-link sitea and siteb, but you will have siteb essentially competing with itself.
9:36 pm on Nov 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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You're correct Robert, it will show in two different places, because for some reason I really "don't quite get" cPanel's default for "addon domains" is to put the host directory inside the public_html directory the "main site" is served from rather than creating site-specific directories "on the same level" as public_html or creating an independent directory for each site [including the "main" site] within public_html.

What happens with the way they do it is instead of having all addon host directories on the "same level" so none can be accessed from within or conflict with another, all "addon host directories" are accessible on the main domain, unless there's a "fix" put in place by the webmaster.

The best long-term fix I know of is to:
FTP in to the server.

Create a /siteb directory on the same level as /public_html.

Download the contents of the current /siteb host directory that's inside /public_html then upload those contents to the new /siteb directory that's on the same level as /public_html -- I definitely recommend double checking to make sure all invisible files are downloaded/uploaded when doing this.

Once the contents are uploaded to the new /siteb directory:
cPanel > Addon Domains > Delete siteb and it's files > Add siteb again, but this time delete the default "document root location" set by cPanel [the box should auto-populate with something like public_html/siteb -- delete that], then type siteb in the same box [a drop-down with the new siteb directory should appear to select it from too] and finish adding the domain again.

Once that's done, the sites are separated and sitea.com/siteb will be 404ed.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 2:58 am (utc) on Nov 25, 2013]
[edit reason] edited at poster's request [/edit]

11:30 pm on Nov 25, 2013 (gmt 0)


WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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the other option is to alter the /siteb/.htaccess configuration so that it canonicalizes the hostname for all requests going to sita.com/siteb/ (and internally link only to siteb.com/ and never to sitea.com/siteb/)

i would also try this search: