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Merging two sites that I own, how to do it right

Making the best of content avoiding penalizations

9:25 pm on Jan 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Hi there webmasters, wasn't sure where to put this (content? linking? search engines?). The scenario is very simple, I own several websites, let's talk about only TWO that I plan to merge, or more exactly: one absorbing the other.. The TOS say I can't go too specific about things so let's say the two websites are about toys. Ok, website A (the largest one with more traffic) discuss all the toys made in the American continent. The smaller website (B) discuss toys made in Canada only.

- Both sites are mine since their creation
- Both sites have pure original content, 100% written by me
- Both have original pictures, interviews and videos, all by me
- Both are hosted on the same server
- Both have mutual mentions, specially the largest (A) quoting bits of content from B or recommending articles

- Site A is the largest one, way more content, decent traffic
- Site A is updated every week
- Site B is rather small, less content, not bad traffic
- Site B is updated once every 6 months or more (used to be updated weekly)

Yes, both sites have been crawled and indexed by search engines
Site A is 17 years old while B is 8 years old. I plan let go domain B.

Both sites have all the images watermarked with their respective names/domain

What's the big concern? search engine impact, penalization or an accidental unwanted results triggered by algorithms, you know, specially G thinking some content was borrowed, copied, stolen, etc. This is not the case, all the content is mine. I just want to move all the content from the smaller site to the largest. Both are good quality websites, it's just B won't get updates as often as A.

My plan: I'm thinking on moving all the content from A to B, but I won't release it all at once, instead I will post one article per week while the rest will remain hidden from the public or search engines. Site B would disappear. All the images will be watermarked AGAIN to keep the domain name of site A. I hope this way Google (specially G) sees the content has been absorbed, there won't be any mass publications, instead one by one per week.

What about posting a disclaimer or notice "this website is becoming part of website A?".

Why killing such website? let's stay with the example of "toys", site A generates income, site B very, very little, to the point that it doesn't justify working on it (to me). While yes, it is specific on "Canadian toys", people write to me and ask me specifics on those for business, is that bad? nope, the thing is as you know, sometimes a website generates opportunities in areas we might not be interested on exploring. Like a website on computers but you get constant questions about "Macintosh". Yes there are business opportunities there but I don't like them and I'm not interested on them, not even 1%, it's not my area. I honestly have no interest on affiliates or selling the domain.

Thanks in advance for your comments
5:38 pm on Jan 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I was going to say point site B to site A but then you said you were going to move the articles from B to A weekly. You can still redirect the articles weekly from B to A until they have all been removed from B then when finished point the B domain to A.

You didn't mention if your Canadian vs other country products/services will only be shipped to/provided to their respective countries. Please note this fact on the respective pages. There's nothing worst than being a Canadian, finding something you like and it is only available to the USA (or another country). My 2cents as a Canadian.
8:39 am on Jan 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Do it all at once. Avoid taking micro hits with each redirect over the x months it will take to do it one article at a time, just get it done. Your desire is to consolidate the two sites. Do that. Forget any "serp concerns" as the end game is to get rid of site b. That is job One. Do not prolong the pain. Make the decision and do it. Else, let site b exist as a stagnant backwater and put all efforts into site a.

Life is too short to play games.
6:44 pm on Jan 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Thanks htmlbasictutor & tangor.

@htmlbasictutor: thanks for reminding me the redirects (301). About the products and services, Site A offers a wide variety of those, B was made to address specific services on a region, yet it hasn't been worth it (the time). It works, it's good, the thing is as I said, as a webmaster sometimes, despite planning and strategies, one can build a site about medicines for cats and... well people can end buying the medicines, or by some weird stuff just asking about cat adoptions (something one didn't aimed to). This is what happened to site B, is generating opportunities on an area I'm not interested at-all on getting in due to a gazillion reasons.

@tangor, thanks, I was actually convincing myself your suggestion is the way to go, htmlbasictutor reminded me of the redirects (301) something I wasn't considering on this merge. My plan now is setting everything up, all the content to site A, keep site B with redirects (301 moved permanently) and just press the magic button "done" while leaving site B alive for just one week (or 10 days max).

Thanks, any problems will be reported.
11:43 pm on Jan 15, 2018 (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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You should keep site B alive indefinitely so that the 301 redirects will continue to forward requests to Site A.
3:02 am on Jan 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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while leaving site B alive for just one week (or 10 days max)
?! ?!
Is site B so moribund that not one human being in the entire universe has any of its pages bookmarked, and it never ever shows up in any search engine?

Once the move has been made, keeping site B in existence should cost approximately nothing, apart from the tiny amount to keep the domain name registered year by year. You did say they already both live on the same server. So there's no reason to be in a hurry to shut it down.