Self competition in SEO

by whirlgirlz 6 replies
My client is a law firm. They recently created a website focusing on one particular area of law and hired me for SEO. The law firm however has a core website that is well established and #1 in Google's local pack.

My initial thought was that I would need to alter or remove some keywords from the core law firm site while beefing up KW on the new site.

Here are my questions:
1) Will cannibalizing the core website affect its overall authority score in search engines — or just for the keywords I'll be removing (moving to the new site)?
2) Should the client instead ditch the new site and roll its content into the core website? From a SEO standpoint, this makes sense to me.

Thoughts are much appreciated.
#search engine optimization #competition #seo
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    Why in the world would you want to remove something that is ranking #1? That is just an insanely bad idea.

    It sounds like they want the second site to rank in addition to the main site. It's not going to rank in the local pack, but it can rank highly in the organic results.

    Don't start removing stuff that is ranking #1. You might never get it back.
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    I would think #2 makes much more sense. One thing's for sure; you definitely do not want to alter the primary site at all in order to help the secondary site.
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    The logic here is a bit out of sorts... you need to forget your client has a pre existing site.. its your job to rank the new site in the organic listings only.

    You have to understand the marketing side of this... You can do a search for Lawyers.. and goto a site.. but if you are specifically looking for A Veterans Affairs Attorney, and land on a page that is more about Divorce attorneys, you would leave the page.

    The idea of a more focused 2nd and third and fourth site is not about detracting from the primary site, but being more focused on the type of clients, your client wants to target.

    Chances are better than good, that in the selected area of law they want to focus on, the firm probably has a head partner over seeing that.. they probably have under attorneys that focus on just that... So your beginning primary content would be about those people specifically, and how they have been focused on X law for X years. Building trust with the potential client to select the attorney you are working for.

    Again, just forget they have another site, that site is of no concern to you.. rank the snot out of the site they are asking you to rank, and trust me, you will build a working relationship with the attorney to expand these satellite sites.
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    • Profile picture of the author whirlgirlz
      Thanks for this savidge4. I'm intrigued by what you're saying but not totally sure yet. I'm in charge of SEO for both sites so it's difficult to pretend one doesn't exist.

      Since the sites share content, shouldn't I remove some keywords from the parent site in order to minimize competition for those keywords? Will this potentially affect the core site's authority score or SERP overall (not just for the removed keywords)?
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
        Originally Posted by whirlgirlz View Post

        Since the sites share content, shouldn't I remove some keywords from the parent site in order to minimize competition for those keywords? Will this potentially affect the core site's authority score or SERP overall (not just for the removed keywords)?

        FFS no. Why in the heck would you try to screw up the rankings of one of the sites? Having both of them rank will only bring more traffic.

        This is not that complicated.

        If you start messing with the ranking of the one site, there is no guarantee you will ever get that ranking back on the other site.
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      • Profile picture of the author savidge4
        Originally Posted by whirlgirlz View Post

        Since the sites share content, shouldn't I remove some keywords from the parent site in order to minimize competition for those keywords? Will this potentially affect the core site's authority score or SERP overall (not just for the removed keywords)?
        Again don't touch the primary site... You start removing stuff you are asking for trouble. Create a competing site. No duplicate content. The whole idea is to get both sites in the top 5... get one in position one and the other in position 2. One will be a bit more broad ( The primary site ) and the second will be very defined as to what traffic you are pulling.

        Your just way over thinking this.... each site is separate and ranked on their own merits. there is seriously nothing wrong with the secondary site over taking the primary in the SERP's - again you will have 2 sites in the top 10 ( 20% ) of the possible listings. If you were to get listings 1 and 2 for certain keywords you could dominate 90+% of the total traffic. THATS what you are after.
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