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Our client has two websites with the same content:

  • example.com
  • somethingelse.com

When a user searches in Google for "something else" the example.com site appears in the top 10 results on Google. What would happen if we switched the preferred domain in webmaster tools to somethingelse.com? Our client is hoping it will replace the "example.com" result with "somethingelse.com" but I assume this is not the case.

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Where do you set this "preferred domain" in GWT? In GWT the "preferred domain" option is for selecting either the www or non-www version of your site, nothing more. –  w3d Dec 19 '12 at 12:56
    
@w3d this was information from our client so perhaps it is not possible anyway. Thanks for the heads up. –  xylar Dec 19 '12 at 14:28

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

There is no point having two websites with the same content and the same TLD. One is going to be seen as a duplicate of the other and Google is not going to list both in the SERPs. The domain name is only a small metric that Google uses in order to determine relevance in the results.

You are better of, either:

  • Concentrate on one domain. Pick one domain and redirect the other domain to it using a 301 redirect in .htaccess.
    (As stated in comments, I don't believe you can set the "preferred domain" in the way you mention, in GWT. The preferred domain in GWT merely selects between the www and bare domain - this is better off done with a 301 redirect in .htaccess anyway.)

Or

  • Write entirely new, different content on the other domain.
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