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Merging two sites without damaging SEO

5 years 5 months ago #125411 by savethefrogs
Merging two sites without damaging SEO was created by savethefrogs
I built www.savethefrogs.com in 2008 using Dreamweaver. it is now front page of google for search term frogs. In February I built www.savethefrogs2.com using Joomla. The original site is live but essentially deprecated as I am only adding new content to the new Joomla site. As I have a ton of content on the original site, it will take me a while to get it to the new site (I tried HTML2Articles but did not like it, so my plan is to port everything manually). My overall plan is to get all the content to the new site and then wipe all the dreamwever files off www.savethefrogs.com and use Akeeba Backup or your preferred method to move the www.savethefrogs2.com Joomla site over to www.savethefrogs.com , which should be the final resting place (I will then shut down savethefrogs2.com).

What is the best way to go about this transition, bearing in mind Google's confusion as URL's change?

Thank you!

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5 years 5 months ago #125451 by Valentin
Replied by Valentin on topic Merging two sites without damaging SEO
Hi Kerry,

The most important to keep your SEO intact, is to keep the exact same links in the new site.

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5 years 5 months ago #125485 by savethefrogs
Replied by savethefrogs on topic Merging two sites without damaging SEO
Thanks Valentin.
I currently have two choices (minimum):

As a recap:
(1) The goal is to have everything residing at www.savethefrogs.com
(2) The old dreamweaver site is currently at www.savethefrogs.com
(3) The new Joomla site is at www.savethefrogs2.com
(4) I will transfer articles from Dreamweaver to Joomla one at a time. If I sat down and did this all day long it would probably take a couple weeks.

My choices then are:
(1) Move each article from dreamweaver to joomla and then remove the article from the dreamweaver site and add a 301 redirect from www.savethefrogs.com pointing to the joomla site (currently at www.savethefrogs2.com ). Then eventually the Joomla site is complete and I bring the whole site over via Akeeba Backup so it resides at www.savethefrogs.com (deleting Dreamweaver from the server entirely).

(2) I could move the Dreamweaver site to www.savethefrogs2.com right now and move the Joomla site to www.savethefrogs.com right now, adding a redirect on the new www.savethefrogs.com to every relevant article on the Dreamweaver site (which would be sitting at www.savethefrogs2.com ) so that visitors find the pages; and then every time I take a Dreamweaver article and put it on the Joomla site I delete the redirect.

Any thoughts on this? Or is there a better way I haven't thought of?
Thanks!
Kerry

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5 years 5 months ago #125492 by Nick
Replied by Nick on topic Merging two sites without damaging SEO
Hi Kerry,

First off, I want to warn you that your 2 . com site is currently "live" and Google can index it if it finds a link. That will draw away, to some degree, link juice from savethefrogs.com

Looks like Google has already been indexing it too:
www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=site:savethefrogs2.com

I'd recommend making the site offline so that Google doesn't index the content.

I'll reply to your questions in a moment.

Kind regards,
Nick

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5 years 5 months ago #125493 by Nick
Replied by Nick on topic Merging two sites without damaging SEO
OK, just read over the questions.

What I would do is make the 2 site offline. Move over the content from the dreamweaver site. When you're ready to go live with the Joomla site, then you'll move the dreamweaver site into a hidden subfolder and restore the Joomla site in the root.

The key as Valentin mentioned is to try to maintain the same URL structure as the original site or to redirect the old structure to the new structure via .htaccess.

Hope this helps! Let us know if you have any questions and we'll be glad to answer.

Kind regards,
Nick

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5 years 5 months ago #125512 by savethefrogs
Replied by savethefrogs on topic Merging two sites without damaging SEO
Hi Nick,
The current content on savethefrogs2.com is all new content that is not on savethefrogs.com. I prefer leaving it online as I want people to be able to find the content and it will likely take me weeks to bring all the Dreamweaver content in. What if I moved the Joomla site to the root of savethefrogs.com right now and put all the dreamweaver files in a subfolder www.savethefrogs.com/dreamweaver , using Admin Tools or SEF Advance to create 301 redirects to every one of those dreamweaver pages. Then for each Dreamweaver article I transfer to the Joomla part of the site, I would remove both the redirect and the dreamweaver page entirely.

As for the site structure, some things will definitely change as I don't like some of the former site's organization. For any old pages that no longer exist, I will make redirects to the most relevant new content; hopefully that will help preserve my Google status.

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5 years 5 months ago #125523 by Nick
Replied by Nick on topic Merging two sites without damaging SEO
Hi Kerry,

Sounds good on wanting the site online.

What if I moved the Joomla site to the root of savethefrogs.com right now and put all the dreamweaver files in a subfolder www.savethefrogs.com/dreamweaver , using Admin Tools or SEF Advance to create 301 redirects to every one of those dreamweaver pages. Then for each Dreamweaver article I transfer to the Joomla part of the site, I would remove both the redirect and the dreamweaver page entirely

The end result is that Google will index your new dreamweaver site, then once that's gone, you'd be left with the broken pages. You'd need to redirect the dreamweaver URLs to the new site's content.

For any old pages that no longer exist, I will make redirects to the most relevant new content; hopefully that will help preserve my Google status.

Great! Good idea. Yes, as long as you can tell Google where to look for the content, you're set.

Kind regards,
Nick

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5 years 5 months ago #125577 by savethefrogs
Replied by savethefrogs on topic Merging two sites without damaging SEO
Hi Nick,
Am I correct in saying that wherever pages are, and where ever they get moved to, the most important thing is to always create a 301 Redirect to for any page that gets moved so Google knows where it ended up?

And if so, do you suggest I follow these steps:
(1) Move my Joomla site to savethefrogs.com using Akeeba Backup. If so I have two ways to do this:
(a) I take all the Dreamweaver files temporarily offline and wipe the savethefrogs.com URL so I can do the Akeeba Backup on a blank site as is recommended by AkeebaBackup manual; then I would upload all Dreamweaver folders into a sub-folder, which could take a while given my upload speed of 54KB/s (at least that's what Dropbox is currently uploading at). Or (b) I put all the Dreamweaver files that currently comprise the entirety of savethefrogs.com into a sub-folder of savethefrogs.com and then I restore my Akeeba Backup directly to the root of savethefrogs.com and hope the backup goes smoothly).
(3) I use SEFAdvance or AdminTools to create redirects for all the old Dreamweaver pages pointing to their location in the sub-folder.
(4) I transfer all the Dreamweaver articles to the Joomla portion of the site, deleting them from Dreamweaver as they find their new home in Joomla.
(5) For any article whose final URL is the same as it originally was, I remove the redirect to the subfolder; for any article that ended up in a totally new URL, I change the redirect that was pointing to the subfolder, and point it to the final Joomla resting location.

Thank you for helping!

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5 years 5 months ago #125579 by Valentin
Replied by Valentin on topic Merging two sites without damaging SEO
Hi Kerry,

Am I correct in saying that wherever pages are, and where ever they get moved to, the most important thing is to always create a 301 Redirect to for any page that gets moved so Google knows where it ended up?

Yes if the new URL is different to the old one.

You seem to have the right approach. Let us know if you have any concern, we will do our best to assist you.

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5 years 5 months ago #125581 by savethefrogs
Replied by savethefrogs on topic Merging two sites without damaging SEO
Thanks Valentin,
Do you suggest I restore to a blank site, or move the current files into a subfolder and restore to the root and hope for the best?
Kerry

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5 years 5 months ago #125583 by Valentin
Replied by Valentin on topic Merging two sites without damaging SEO
I would do the second option.

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5 years 5 months ago #125588 by savethefrogs
Replied by savethefrogs on topic Merging two sites without damaging SEO
Thanks, I'm going for it...

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5 years 5 months ago #125594 by Nick
Replied by Nick on topic Merging two sites without damaging SEO
Let us know if you encounter any issues along the way. Happy to help.

Cheers,
Nick

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5 years 5 months ago #125601 by savethefrogs
Replied by savethefrogs on topic Merging two sites without damaging SEO
Hi,
Another issue is images. I have many frog images very highly ranked in Google's image search.
They sit in various folders in Dreamweaver. Is there anyway to let Google know their new Joomla resting place?
Thanks, Kerry

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5 years 5 months ago #125603 by Nick
Replied by Nick on topic Merging two sites without damaging SEO
Hi Kerry,

Are they all in an images folder and then separated into subfolders? If possible, it's best to maintain the same URLs for the images.

Kind regards,
Nick

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5 years 5 months ago #125604 by savethefrogs
Replied by savethefrogs on topic Merging two sites without damaging SEO
Hi Nick,
In Dreamweaver, each category folder has an images folder inside it.

In Ioomla, I have a single images folder that will have a folder for each category, so I'm sure that will confuse things but that's how it is going to be.

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5 years 5 months ago #125605 by savethefrogs
Replied by savethefrogs on topic Merging two sites without damaging SEO
I am also curious about redirects when I take a long Dremaweaver article and create multiple Joomla articles out of it all in a single category. Will it be problematic if redirect to the category rather than any single article?

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5 years 5 months ago - 5 years 5 months ago #125626 by Valentin
Replied by Valentin on topic Merging two sites without damaging SEO

In Dreamweaver, each category folder has an images folder inside it.

In Ioomla, I have a single images folder that will have a folder for each category, so I'm sure that will confuse things but that's how it is going to be.

Both are completely different website builders. The folder's structure is different in fact.

I am also curious about redirects when I take a long Dremaweaver article and create multiple Joomla articles out of it all in a single category. Will it be problematic if redirect to the category rather than any single article?

If you redirect the specific URL, it should be fine.

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5 years 5 months ago #125748 by savethefrogs
Replied by savethefrogs on topic Merging two sites without damaging SEO
Once I make the backup of savethefrogs2.com...
(1) Should I set the site as offline?
(2) If the site is offline how can I place redirects into savethefrogs2.com so that anyone searching for articles there gets directed to the correct location at savethefrogs.com?
Thanks!

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5 years 5 months ago #125757 by Nick
Replied by Nick on topic Merging two sites without damaging SEO
Hi Kerry,

1) Yes, or if every page has a redirect, leaving it online should be fine too.

2) The redirects should be in your htaccess. The redirects will occur before the offline part is triggered.

Hope this helps! Let us know if you have any questions and we'll be glad to answer.

Kind regards,
Nick

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