More threads by Sean Baker

May 17, 2013
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Hi all,

I have a client that has a problem and would like suggestions how to solve it the best way possible.

The client has 2 Maps listings with seperate domains.
One with a hypen and their main domain name.

The domain with the hyphen is listed #1 and has 200 reviews.
The one without is nowhere and has zero reviews.
The last one got a new website on it and they want to use that.

How can I make sure that the #1 ranked listing gets the new domain without losing the rankings.

I could forward the hyphen domain to the new one but that could be a problem.
Also the new website doesn't have all the contact info like the first site has, so I guess I have to put that on the new website too.

So I need to kill the second listing and redirect to the new domain without losing the rankings or it will be my head ;).

Any advise would be great!

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Hey Sean, You might get more detailed help if you add some links to the listings. People will be able to dig in a bit for you.
Hey Sean, You might get more detailed help if you add some links to the listings. People will be able to dig in a bit for you.

If you can post links I will move this thread to the help section where it can get more eyeballs too.
Reason I didn't put in links is because I don't want my clients details out in the open ;)
It's still an open forum....

I just want to delete one listing and merge 2 domains into one.
Sorry Sean, we aren't trying to get you to out your client, it's just that when someone explains something - we are guessing in the dark. Because the answer and how to do it depends on so many different things.

We've wasted time going back and forth trying to help someone, then they finally post the links and then when we dig in say "Oh you meant that - well now that I see it, what we told you above won't work and you need to do it this way instead."

So we can end up not only wasting a bunch of our time, but giving you the wrong answer unless we can see what you are talking about.
See my reply above...

Plus what you described above does not make sense to me and leaves me with a bunch of question marks about why you would want to do it the way you are describing. Seems like there is a much easier and obvious solution which make me wonder if I understand the situation correctly. Which again leads to... need to see links to everything to be able to advise.
Some things to consider:
  • The older domain is probably more valuable
  • The best domain should be connected to the best site with a clear NAP on every page
  • The ranked listing should be updated with the best info
  • The duplicate listing should be removed asap
Thanks to all the replied ;)

I understand about what you mean in terms of seeing it live Linda, but since my background is SEO and Negative SEO is very alive, I don't like to show live links.

Ah well, have to think it over lol.
Not saying I don't trust you guys, but how many people are here to see clients, show the questions their so called "expert" has and then tell them I will do it for you for X amount.

Pfff tough world LOL
I understand and won't show client links publicly for that and many other reasons.

All the regulars here are extremely trust worthy and would not try to poach clients.

BUT it's a public forum so the spammers and scammers read this forum too and I would not put anything past some of them.

That's why we also offer consulting... for those that want our expertise but want all the details kept private.


So given all that, and again I don't think I understand the situation because this seems too simple...

Don't know why you are talking about forwarding domain?

Can't you just change the link in GMB to the site you want that GMB listing to match with? Then have Google delete/merge the GMB listing you don't want?
How much would that cost Linda?
Just for deleting the second listing and merge the 2 to keep the #1 spot?
There are several factors in play for this regarding local rankings. I don't have all the details but this info should help and in most every case is the best way to achieve what you are after:

? First download a sitemap of the current old site using something like xml-sitemaps

? Update what inbound links you can on local directories and other sites so that they link directly to the new domain. You want to do this quickly over 1-3 days and right before you are ready to complete everything else and make the switch, so get everything set up first.

? Definitely add your business NAP to the new site, and if the old site is ranking #1 for now I would use that same exact title tag on the ranking page for the new site.

? Make sure you have both domains verified in GWT and do a "change of address" - under the settings (gear icon top right)

? 301 redirect the old domain to the new one using either a mod rewrite in .htaccess or page for page. If the URL's are all exactly the same and only the domain name changes, you can use a mod rewrite, otherwise you need to 301 each page to it's new respective page.

? Update the website link on your Google listings and merge/remove depending on details of your situation.

? Watch for crawl errors in GWT.

The domain name does play a part, but I'm assuming from what you typed that the only difference is a hyphen...

It is very likely that rankings will drop or bounce around a bit, I highly suggest also creating a few new business profiles on popular local directories or other sites that the business is not currently on with a link to the new site. Perhaps even a press release. Doing this, along with the right steps at the right time can help to minimize the amount and length of any drops in rankings.
I may be missing something due to the limited info, but will say it again in case it was missed...

Don't know why you are talking about forwarding domain?

Can't you just change the link in GMB to the site you want that GMB listing to match with? Then have Google delete/merge the GMB listing you don't want?
^ Well basically because if they want the new site and new domain but want to keep the rankings of the current site then a 301 is the best option. Updating inbound links to the new site is good and can help but not usually a feasible alternative. As we know organic rankings play a big part in the local algos and of course links alongside other business data (citations) play a part as well.
Oh I see. That was not clear to me. The way I read it, it just sounded like the G+ L page with most reviews was connected to the wrong site.

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