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Merging Websites Without Losing Google Ranking - Advice Please

     
5:49 pm on Jan 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Hello, I'd really appreciate some advice, I would probably start by adding I'm a complete amateur at anything technical or website related. I'll try explain this as best I can.

I have 4 blogs via Blogger that I have separate web addresses via GoDaddy

k.com
b.com
h.com
r.com

These are all on different topics but under one bigger umbrella topic, I regret not consolidating earlier but I think from a branding point of view and looking to expand into new topics it would be better than ending up with lots and lots of web addresses to have one v.com and I can consolidate the social media too.

Can I do this? I don't want to lose the "Google ranking" of any of the existing pages as most are at the top or in the first 5 results but I have no idea how to start. I should probably say I have Adsense on these so if I start a whole new blog on Blogger and redirect everything there I won't be eligible for 6 months and don't want to lose the income etc, I'll also lose 1000s of comments, can I reasonably merge the b,h,r.coms onto the k.com but change the web address without removing the pages from Google?

I should add that my plan would be to let the old addresses then expire when they run out in September, as the new site would hopefully gain good rankings

Any advice would be much appreciated as would a nudge to some reading material.
6:47 pm on Jan 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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If your goal is simply to have a more unified brand, why not just create the new site (v.com) and simply change the logos, menus, etc. on the existing sites to reflect the new branding? Most users aren't going to notice or care that your subsites have their own domains, as long as the overall branding is consistent.
7:09 pm on Jan 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Are they all constructed using the same basic template or are they all different templates?
7:19 pm on Jan 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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best answered by Matt Cutts .. [youtube.com...]
7:35 pm on Jan 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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3 of the 4 have the same template

I would prefer it all under one blog, it all looks rather similar at the moment, I guess I could merge the social media easy enough and make it all part of the v.com "brand"

I just don't want to do anything and really mess the rankings
7:42 pm on Jan 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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You will have to eventually bite the bullet and do the merge. Best to take the hit all at once, if you believe your content/brand will survive.

If you don't believe that, then do nothing with any of the sites and just build the new one into the 400 lb gorilla (or canary) and six months, year from now, ADD the older, UNCHANGED stuff to that site.

OR, pick the best of what you have and make it your primary and every 3 months or so move bits and pieces of the others into that location.

Do know that ANY change/move will result in some loss. Most times a rebound to 80-90% of original can be obtained, and in a few instances, better than 100%.

Having said all that, sometimes trying to fix something that is not broken will only break it, so keep that in mind.
9:35 pm on Jan 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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So can I make k.com into v.com by changing the domain and then redirect all the k.com links to v.com ones without breaking anything or killing my high rankings because technically the k.com content won't exist anymore just the old links or am I totally reading this wrong?

Then I could just move everything else over
9:51 pm on Jan 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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So can I make k.com into v.com by changing the domain


Do you mean move the entire site to its new name, v.com, and then simply 301 redirect k.com?
9:56 pm on Jan 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I want to know if I can change it so k.com becomes v.com by changing the domain but when someone clicks on a k.com link on Google they end up on v.com via redirect or will that not work because the k.com links won't exist and will now be v.com links
5:06 am on Jan 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I have a lot of experience moving websites around. Some of my biggest mistakes have involved doing just that. The grass isn't greener as I found out. At this point of my online experience, moving important sites that are doing well is a last resort move. Trust is hard to gain and just moving domains is enough to possibly shake that trust. If you're ranking well now, then you pretty much have everything to lose. What's the gain from the move? I might consider letting them cash out and drift away. One site moving to another? Safe. Two sites moving to one? Not as safe. Three sites moving to one? Suspicious. I'm extremely leery of moving sites at this point. Don't lose money like I did my moving a site for the sake of finding a domain that I thought more appealing. Income is income. Once the trust goes, so do the ranking imo.

Good luck I hope it works out.
6:16 pm on Jan 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Thank you all for your advice, I think my best move will be just to merge the 3 smaller ones and add new content to/expand with the v.com and keep the biggest k.com as it is, seperate but within the "brand" of the v.com, the smaller ones have significantly smaller traffic, the adsense revenue is very small and they have less competition so they will recover with regards to rankings. I really don't want to risk mucking up the k.com so that'll stay as is.

Whilst there's some experts around, I want to change the urls on each post, been looking into redirects, do I have to have duplicate urls on different domains or can I use whatever I want for example redirecting

h.com/hello-friend
to
v.com/wellhellothere-friend

?

I may even take a total hit in order to move forward and delete all the content from 2 and manually move it over to one and just rename all the content and have a complete makeover and restart. I haven't decided yet.
10:59 pm on Jan 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Keep your site separate as they are. Start your new site v.com and link it "to" and "from" your old sites.

Put your v.com branding on all sites calling them either "sister sites" or "network" or just nothing.

Example, see [edition.cnn.com...] (your any old site; h.com). There you can see the following line.

2016 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The Turner Broadcasting System, Inc is linked to [turner.com...] (your new v.com)

This is little vague example but many exact examples are floating on net. I am little lazy (4:27 AM here) to find them.
12:03 am on Jan 14, 2016 (gmt 0)

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the obvious answer when merging sites is to use 301 redirects for all the pages you are moving.
these are the steps i usually follow when doing site merges:
1. get the sitemaps for all the sites.
2. establish which website i want to keep.
3. duplicate the content onto that site.
4. simultaneously, add a 301 redirect from the old page to the new page.
5. monitor search engines to make sure the 301 redirect is working.
6. move all the interior pages while monitoring this.
7. lastly, do the 301 for the home page of the old site to wherever on the new site.

remember, do the merge in steps and watch google along the way.
1:05 am on Jan 14, 2016 (gmt 0)

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What Dinkar said.

Also, If you aren't 100 percent certain about what you're doing (in terms of redirects, for example), you risk messing things up badly. As Tangor pointed out earlier, "sometimes trying to fix something that is not broken will only break it." And to repeat an old saying, "A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing."
5:46 pm on Jan 21, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Thank you for all your help, I have now kept k.com seperate and am redirecting all of the other blogs to the new v.com and I have merged the social media to one account per platform rather than 5 seperate.

Just one last question, so now when someone googles "bacon" for example, the Google search shows the page as "Random Bacon - B.com" and the URL is b.com/bacon, now I have redirected and done a change of address thing, will it eventually change on Google to "Random Bacon - V.com" and it be v.com/bacon on Google so I can delete the original content?
3:07 pm on Jan 23, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I don't know what anyone else does however once I have the new site in place and the 301 redirect pointing correctly, I immediately delete the original site in its entirety.
7:44 am on Jan 28, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Just remember that every url is different to Google and just because you move the content from one url to another doesn't mean it will retain the same ranking. You can help Google figure it out with proper use of 301 redirects and sitemap signals.

Redirects are self explanatory but the sitemap is less explained so...
- Create a sitemap on your new site that includes all of it's URLs AND all of the URLs from the old site/domain
- Leave the old URLs on the sitemap until Google has processed the 301 redirect, after which time it's OK to remove them

Whatever you do don't try to use robots.txt to manage googlebot during a transition, unless you just want pages removed, because Google needs to pick up the 301 signal before the page is removed and it won't if it's blocked.
 

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