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Changing a canonical multi-page into a non-canonical one-pager

Discussion in 'Search Engine Optimization' started by digitalrelacion, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. #1
    Hi everyone,
    SEMrush
    I recently took over managing two websites, A and B for two different, English-speaking countries. A has unique content and ranks, B is tagged as canonical as the content is 1:1 the same. B has 20 pages indexed in Google (I don't really get why, as it's all duplicate content from A), but none of them rank high anywhere. The website owner can't afford to have the entire website B redone with unique content, so we agreed on reducing the multi-page to a one-pager with unique content for now and later on, we'll further build it out.

    Question is, what do I do with all the duplicate content subpages in B?
    1. Technically, it's all tagged as canonical, so do I just delete them from the system?
    2. Or do I 301 all of them to the new one-page Homepage of B?
    3. Or rather give back a 410 for all of them after I removed them?
    4. Or do I keep them like this (canonical, duplicate content) but not linked to from the new one-page Homepage anymore?
    A should not be affected by all of this, and B currently does not rank but should get a chance at ranking (I'll remove the canonical after I tidied up the subpages).

    Thanks for your wisdom!
     
    digitalrelacion, Sep 9, 2019 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Oso Optimized

    Oso Optimized Greenhorn

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    #2
    I don't know that anything else is required, but in these situations, Google will usually treat these two sites as one. While they don't necessarily prevent one site from ranking, you will find that pages don't compete. If one site ranks well for one keyword, the other site won't. While there are always exceptions, this is how it is typically managed.

    If you are going to reduce site B to one single page, I would individually redirect all the pages in Site B to the closest similar page in Site A. But a one page site is not going to rank. And all of it's link juice will be directed to Site A, which may see an improvement in ranking.

    If you want BOTH sites to rank competitively and independently from each other. Remove all duplicate content and any redirects connecting the sites. Takes a few months for all that to work out.
     
    Oso Optimized, Sep 10, 2019 at 3:05 PM IP
  3. digitalrelacion

    digitalrelacion Peon

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    #3
    Hi Oso, thanks for your answer. Yeah I know Site B is not going to rank like this... the problem is, there are no resources to rewrite the entire page and make it unique for Site B, so our quick fix is turning it into a unique one-pager. Site A has about 60 sub-pages and Site B is an old copy of Site A, when it had about 30 sub-pages, so I'm just wondering now that I converted Site B's homepage into a one-pager, what do I do with the subpages of it. I haven't thought about redirecting all of them to Site A. Yesterday I received another advice from an SEO saying I should just leave them all there and forget that they're there, as the new one-pager homepage does not point to any of the subpages anymore and they're all tagged as canonical anyways.
     
    digitalrelacion, Sep 10, 2019 at 4:37 PM IP
  4. Oso Optimized

    Oso Optimized Greenhorn

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    #4
    Well you don't have to do anything. The site doesn't seem to have a whole lot of value. Have you determined if there are any links coming in, to the home and internal pages?
     
    Oso Optimized, Sep 10, 2019 at 5:16 PM IP
  5. digitalrelacion

    digitalrelacion Peon

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    #5
    No, the subpages are not of any value as their content is old and not up to date anyways. They are not UX optimised and not conversion optimised. It was just created like this way before I knew the business, and now I took it over like this and there's no budget to fix it. There are no links coming in to it, as it has been created as a 1:1 duplicate page from the beginning. It's all just for appearances (it's on a subdirectory for a different, English-speaking country), the website owner wants to make the business look bigger by having two URLs for different countries...
     
    digitalrelacion, Sep 10, 2019 at 6:42 PM IP
  6. Oso Optimized

    Oso Optimized Greenhorn

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    #6
    Well in this case, the prior SEO might have provided the best answer. Doing less is the new "more".
     
    Oso Optimized, Sep 10, 2019 at 7:00 PM IP
  7. digitalrelacion

    digitalrelacion Peon

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    #7
    OK, then I'll leave them for now. Maybe in the next months, we'll magically conjure the budget to get the site full with unique content.
    Thank you for your help!
     
    digitalrelacion, Sep 10, 2019 at 8:05 PM IP