It amazes me more people don’t use the search engine friendly 301 Redirect (Moved Permanently) to capture top positions, especially when they control satellite sites for particular keywords, that rank well, or even are in the top ten serps.
I see satellite sites all the time ranking for good keywords, but the actual satellite sites themselves are often garbage and usually outdated – sometimes not exactly a compliment to the main brand site.
Recently I decided to 301 an unbranded satellite site (or mini site) into the main site of the company as I am fast falling out of love with the mini-site strategy. Creating 10 (interlinked) sites in a crowd out strategy for one serp is embarrassing to me nowadays but it is a technique I used years ago. I just prefer having the one main site to seo now and working to increase that sites authority and trust – managing 10 sites usually means a lot of them wont get the time spent on them to actually convert the traffic to leads and sales.
Absorbing the satellite site would at least ensure these old pages previously on the satellite site where more likely to be kept up to date on the corporate site, and at the same time, the actual corporate website, well branded, now ranked for the competitive term.
You can see from the illustration above and below when I achieved the no1 position with the satelite site, the actual corporate site was actually taken in a slightly different direction.
I wanted to make the main company site (in Green) be the number one result, and basically I wanted the mini-site to vanish, but transfer all it’s Google juice / Google ‘heat’ and good rankings (as well as 600 visitors a day) to the corporate site.
The diagram shows it seems to have worked exactly as expected.
I completed this utilising the oft forgotten about (but perfectly white-hat) search engine friendly 301 Permanent Redirect in the .htaccess file on the old site (in red) to the corporate site (in Green).
redirect 301 /old.htm http://www.example.com/new.htm
I ensured the new page on the corporate site was basically very similar in theme to page that Google currently ranked at No1 in the SERPS, so Googlebot wouldn’t think I was up to anything other than transfer rankings I had earned largely through organic links and ninja linkbaiting & linkbuilding on the old site.
The end result is very satisfying as:
- The main site now ranks no1 in Google
- The main site now has absorbed the authority and trust of the old page which should help it’s overall domian trust score in the search engines.
- The page is now branded with the corporate id = better brand visibility
- Inexperienced linkbuilders will be scratching their head for ages to come wondering what has happened and how the main site actually ranks at No1 in their attempt to reverse-engineer that particular serp.
It took about 2 days to actually see the old site disappear in Google and for the redirect to take effect.
A ‘new’ no1 position, and 600 more visitors to the main site each day.