I have a customer who has a well established .ca website (Canadian domain). He's been in business many years (>8+) and will have many, many backlinks. As his business grew it became aparent the .ca domain wouldn't suffice and so he bought the .com version of the domain (for a pretty penny too). (Sorry Americans, many of you are oblivious to Canada. He gets US customers all the time asking if .ca is for California...)
Now that he owns both the .ca and .com versions of his domain the question arises: should he maintain two seperate sites that target Canada vs. US customers or 301 the well established .ca domain to the new .com domain and make one universal website for both Canadian and US customers?
Is there any benefit one way or the other for SEO?