2 Active Domains, 301'd Into a Single Domain: The SEO Implications?

theprb

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I will try to describe this idea as best I can. It is something I would like to do, but am unsure if it is wise.

Background:

There is a domain, let's call it, widgets.com. It was the original badass domain for widgets. I too am in the widgets industry, but I was late to the party and was forced to set up my domain as superduperwidgets.com.

I was never able to match the scope and authority of widgets.com, they just had too much of a lead and too easy of a brand name to remember. They got the overwhelming majority of the search traffic for widgets and as a result, I was forced to also start advertising for a closely related product called cogs. Incidentally, I have become an authority on cogs depsite my website being labelled as a widgets focused domain. Both cogs and widgets are used by the same companies, websites, and are a part of the same industry. In fact, suppliers of widgets are typically also suppliers of cogs. i.e. cogs and widgets and the sites that link to them and talk about them are topically relevant.

--- Fast forward a few years ---

The owners of widgets.com have neglected the site. It is in disrepair. It hasn't upgraded to https, the articles are out of date, and it is starting to finally lose traction in the SERPS with regard to widgets. This of course is great for me as the owner of superduperwidgets.com because I am finally rising in the SERPS for widgets, and still doing well selling cogs.

However, the brand name and authority of widgets.com is still powerful. With a little bit of work, the site would likely take back all of its lost spots and I would be out of luck with regard to widget sales again.

And here we get to the question finally.

What if I were to purchase widgets.com from the owners. I could do the work to bring the site back up to speed and make it once again THE sole authority for widgets. However, this would come at the expense of my site, superduperwidgets.com. Now remember, superduperwidgets.com has meanwhile become an authority on cogs and does well selling this related product. In fact, superduperwidgets.com has as much authority on cogs as widgets.com has on widgets.

What if I were to combine the two sites under by 301'ing superduperwidgets.com into widgets.com.

Pros that I see:
  • Better branding
  • A URL that is 10 characters shorter
  • Older URL with more history
  • A less spammy sounding/looking URL
  • Dare I say, the "premium" domain name in this niche
  • Carrying over most of the link juice garnered about cogs to the widgets.com site (I've already proven a widgets site can dominate sales of cogs)
  • Only having to maintain content on one site
  • Less hosting, maintenance, content creation, software fees.


Cons that I see:
  • Lots of work dealing with competing pages between the two sites; would have to combine pages and/or pick the better of the two. 301'ing all similar pages from old.com/xyz to widgets.com/xyz
  • Loss of a small bit of link juice due to the 301s
  • Not having the "back up plan" of having 2 sites in case one falls out of favor with SE
  • The gamble that it might not work and I might lose my rankings for my precious cogs and the associated sales.


[EDIT:] Traffic Statistics from Alexa (lol)

Widgets.com is on the decline due to neglect
SuperDuperWidgets.com continues to rank higher and higher over time

Widgets.com has a more international focus with only 1/3rd of its traffic coming from the USA
SuperDuperWidgets.com has 80% of its traffic coming from the USA and 10% from Australia


Here are there respective Alexa graphs from last week:

Widgets.com
tiRrn74.jpg


SuperDuperWidgets.com
tVkAlOZ.jpg



Surely I have overlooked some things. But this is the basic idea and dilemma that I face.

So, what am I missing here? What else could go wrong? What other pros are there?
 
Last edited:

Nemanja

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So, what am I missing here? What else could go wrong? What other pros are there?
What is the traffic of superduperwidgets having? If it was not too much then you do 301 redirection to your main domain is not a problem.
Vice versa, if its having good traffic then it is not worth doing redirects 2 sites into a site, let do them as separated websites.
 

theprb

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I overlooked adding traffic information Nemanja. I have edited my original post to include such information now.

In response to your question, both sites have similar traffic. SuperDuperWidgets may even have slightly more traffic than Widgets.com now due to the lack of upkeep on Widgets.com. However this is Alexa data I'm pulling so take that for what it is worth.

Although I say the traffic is similar in number (according to Alexa), there are some differences. For example the traffic comes from different regions. Widgets.com is more balanced world wide traffic while SuperDuperWidgets.com has traffic mainly from the USA and Australia.
 
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