How can I merge two sites?

How can I merge two sites?


>>CUTTS: Here’s a question from Rob in The
Netherlands. Rob asks, “Can the ‘Change of address’ feature in Google Webmaster Tools
be used to merge two sites, site ‘B’ becomes a part of site ‘A’, or is its use limited
to moving a site from one domain to another? Do you have any advice for successfully merging
sites?” Well, the “Change of address” form is intended to be moving from one site to
another site. So I wouldn’t recommend that you try to be merging a bunch of sites or
taking that sort of approach. If you do want to successfully merge sites, here’s what I
recommend. Suppose you have two sites, “A” and “B”. And you want to take “A” and merge
it with “B”. If you log in to Webmaster Consoles and prove that you’re on site “A”, you’ll
be able to see essentially the full exhaustive list of all the links that we know about,
so you can download as a tab or a comma separated value a list of all the links that come to
site “A”. Now look through that and you don’t want to necessarily write everyone who has
ever linked to site “A” unless there’s only, like, five or six people. But you can say,
“Okay, who are the important people who linked to site ‘A’?” Maybe there is blogs, maybe
there are new sites. Anybody that’s reputable that you think has high PageRank. And then
I would say okay, write to those people and say “Hey, site ‘A’ and site ‘B’ are merging.
The new page with be not here on site ‘A’ but here on site ‘B’. Would you mind updating
your link?” And a lot of those high PageRank people, you know they want to have good links,
they’ll be happy to update their link and point to the new part on site “B”. Then you
want to do a 301 redirect from every page on site “A” to the appropriate part where
that page is on site “B”. So don’t just do a 301 redirect from, you know, an individual
page on site “A” to the root level of site “B”. Do it from whatever the URL is on site
“A” to whatever the URL is on site “B”. That way, someone who’s landing on the old page
will land on exactly what the new page is going to be. So in essence, you’re looking
around at all the back links to site “A”, you’ve downloaded the full list according
to Google and you can look at the ones according to Yahoo or Microsoft as well. And you’re
trying to identify the important ones that you really care about and make sure that those
definitely get re-written. And then in the meantime, you can go ahead and put 301 redirects
in place to merge those sites. So that’s roughly how I would try to merge two different sites
that you’ve purchased or two sites that you have, maybe you’ve purchased one and you’re
moving them to a new site.

Author: Kevin Mason

6 thoughts on “How can I merge two sites?

  1. The specific purpose of a 301 redirect is to change the URL of a page without breaking all the links coming to it.

    Why would you advise a site owner to be responsible for the maintenance of backlinks beyond his control when there is a perfectly good system already in place?

    If your answer implies that you will continue to devalue redirected links then okay, but I wish Google was smart enough to find the bait-and-switchers without ignoring the basic mechanisms of the internet in the process.

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