Eight years ago, our e-commerce company "sponsored" a few different blogs. By sponsored, I mean that we created these blogs, but kept them on separate domains and made them look like separate entities. We did not try to sell anything. We posted fun and interesting content relating to our industry, and have a small "Sponsored by Company X" link in the header. Each blog focused on a different niche within our industry, they are all different.

These blogs ended up being popular, lots and lots of noncommercial content was created over the years. The blogs had good page rank and we enjoyed good link juice back to our main e-commerce site.

However, these days that strategy doesn't really work. We added "nofollow" tags to all the links to our e-commerce site on these blogs, and in the last year or so these blogs been abandoned. Yet they still show up in google, still get traffic, and there are lots and lots of links from other websites to these blogs. But lately posting interesting content on a different website doesn't seem like such a good strategy -- we want interesting content posted on our e-commerce domain, not some other domain. And yes, we have a Company Blog on our e-commerce domain as well, and that is where new interesting content is currently being posted.

But instead of just leaving these sponsored blogs where they are on their various domains, we are considering moving them to our e-commerce domain, so all the links and content will become part of our e-commerce domain. We are hoping to gain from the link juice, and increase our authority by having all of this awesome industry-related content on our e-commerce domain. We'd probably create a directory called blogs and just do:

Redirecting everything properly of course, so that all content and functionality still works, all old links still work, and the old blogs will still look the same. Everything would be the same, except we'd be moving them to a subdirectory on our e-commerce site. And we'd remove the nofollow tags since now it's our own domain.

Is this a smart idea? Or maybe Google would consider this a sneaky move? Our e-commerce site has been slipping in the rankings quite a bit and we are hoping this will help.

  • Mistake 1... creating a link wheel, Mistake 2... spending time making it, sell the sites or move the content if dofollow is doing more harm than good, nofollow will only hurt if your over-anchoring. – Simon Hayter Aug 26 '15 at 22:02
  • Not sure I follow, Simon. I understand you don't approve... but the "sponsored by" links look like paid ads, and Google says to use a nofollow tag for ad links. With so many blog pages, it's thousands of links to our site and we didn't want to get hit by Penguin for bad links. Selling is not an option. Do you think we should move the blogs to our e-commerce site as dofollow, or are you suggesting we remove the nofollow tags and leave the blogs alone? Thanks. – MatthewS Aug 26 '15 at 22:38
  • I think he is suggesting that this is a link scheme even if the links were nofollow and looked like ads. Google clusters links looking for patterns and it is quite possible that these sites are already hurting you. If you move them, I would suggest that you check to see if the content is worth while. Otherwise I would just let them die a dignified death if that is what is happening. If you want to keep these sites, then remove the pseudo ads and put up real ads. You can serve your own ads on your own sites. I have not checked, but Adsense/Adwords may allow this and block competitors. – closetnoc Aug 26 '15 at 23:18

Is this a smart idea? Or maybe Google would consider this a sneaky move?

I think it is a smart idea. Google would not consider it a sneaky move if redirections are implemented properly.

The benefit might be a better high quality content ratio on your website, which the Panda algorithm likes.

But you also wanna find out why your current is losing ranking. Did you remove or nofollowed the cruft? Is competition delivering better than you?

In addition, keep in mind that sometimes, Google algorithms split large sites in subsections and treat them separately when it comes to ranking. This could happen after merging your blogs.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.