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Thread: combining sites

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    tup's Avatar
    tup
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    Default combining sites

    Hi All

    Happy New year everyone!

    I need some advice regarding combining 2 sites into one.

    I have 2 sites one performing way better then the other. and would prefer one site to manage i would like to shut down one completely and move around 40% of the content from that site to my better performing site. (mostly the pages that rank the best and content which is not on the better site)

    what advice do i need to know before doing this?

    how will the site getting the new content be effected SEO wise?

    Any advice would help

    Cheers!

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    DanHorvat's Avatar
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    It's a good idea. One larger site outperforms two small ones.

    I think you should do it in one go. Copy all the content to the new site, and then do a full redirect of the old site URLs to the new site URLs, including the home page URL. This would be a signal to Google that the site has moved in its entirety.

    You might also get a boost in link juice, as all the links that pointed to site 2 will now point to site 1.

    Proper redirections are key. Every single URL must be redirected.

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    MJM
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    Timely post as I'm about to do this exact same thing. I also have questions

    I've done this in the past, moving a whole site to a new whole site. I've never combined an existing site into a section of an existing site though, which is my case now.

    Sorry OP if I"m hijacking, maybe some of the info will be helpful to both of us.

    My specifics:

    In my case, lets say I want to move a "poker" site (Site A) to a "poker" section in a larger general gambling website (Site B).

    News/Blog Posts from Site A /news/ to Site B /news/ as well, and there is many to move.

    My bigger question is how to handle the redirects and taking down of the old site. In the past, I've used a general 301 that is a generic redirect of all SiteA urls to SiteB urls of the same path. Is this the proper way to do this, or should I be doing it for each single url (about 60 pages, and 150 posts).

    Following for more information.

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    if it's not broke don't fix it... your larger site i mean.. weigh up the risks.. your second load of content could devalue your site, is it worth the risk?

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    MJM
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    Quote Originally Posted by wonderpunter View Post
    if it's not broke don't fix it... your larger site i mean.. weigh up the risks.. your second load of content could devalue your site, is it worth the risk?
    Interesting thought there, what makes you say "could devalue your site" - in what way would that be possible with two sites that have performed well but one dwindling from lack of attention? We aren't updating the smaller site any more either, lack of time, so the common thought was that it would be a win/win to consolidate.

    You have my attention though, I'm all ears on this.

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    DanHorvat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MJM View Post
    My bigger question is how to handle the redirects and taking down of the old site. In the past, I've used a general 301 that is a generic redirect of all SiteA urls to SiteB urls of the same path. Is this the proper way to do this, or should I be doing it for each single url (about 60 pages, and 150 posts).
    It's the exact same thing.

    The difference is that wildcard redirects can create a major mess if you haven't predicted their behavior properly. They can be redirecting stuff you didn't want to, or/and they may not be redirecting stuff you wanted to. An attempt to take care of everything with two lines of code can turn out to be an entry ticket to the world of pain.

    What I do is a more specific wildcard redirect, e.g. I redirect the path /slots/ only (because it's a predictable group), but I would never redirect an entire site this way. I'd do a specific wildcard redirect for each category/folder/path/whatever, and then I'd tie up the loose ends with single URL redirects if needed. A site-wide wildcard redirect would work only if you're moving a site to a new domain and 100% of the content will have the same URL as before.

    The key here is to not leave a single URL without a redirect, and to not have a single URL redirected to the wrong place, and to not create a redirect loop (which is a common error). Because you also likely have a redirect from non-www to www, and a redirect from http to https, as every website has four different combinations of this. Things can go wrong here unless you're doing this stuff routinely already.

    You need to have a FULL list of all URLs that you have on your site and a FULL list of URLs anyone ever linked to on your site, even if it's some nonsense URL or something with query strings. That's the starting point. Then work your way down until all URLs are redirected properly.

    I use Xenu's Link Sleuth to grab a list of all URLs presently on the site. Also look at Google Search Console to see what they have indexed, as it's for them you're doing the redirect in the first place. Can't remember where I go find the inbound links to the site.

    To answer your question, I'd much rather spend a few hours to redirect 210 URLs manually and properly (testing each one), than to do a wildcard redirect and create a mess.

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