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Buying A Competitors Website


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5 replies to this topic

#1 MainelySEO

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 03:56 PM

Do any of you see a problem with buying a competitors website a month after they have taken it offline and doing a 301 re-direct to my website?

I will try to keep this brief, but I would like to share some background.
  • It does not rank in Google for the competitive terms that it use-to and Google removed the site's PR.
  • The website was out ranking us for our #1 key-term (extremely competitive) we are #7/8 they were #5.
  • The inbound links (over 952) still exist and include 9 Yahoo Directory Listings, 3 DMOZ and 15 .EDU's
  • The site has been around over 10 years and built up some serious trust with Google.

Our website has only been around 5 years but has over 24k links thanks to an in-house affiliate program.

By buying this website and setting up a 301 to our site:
  • Will the PR ever return?
  • Will the age of the domain and trust be passed on to our website?
  • Does it matter that the site has been taken offline?

Thanks ahead of time for all of your help
-Nathan






#2 Randy

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 07:25 PM

QUOTE
Will the PR ever return?
Will the age of the domain and trust be passed on to our website?
Does it matter that the site has been taken offline?


Probably not.
No, I seriously doubt that.
Maybe.

There are lots of details missing, but typically when a site goes offline and gets removed from the index for more than a couple of days most of the search engine advantages are lost. Of course it's not going to hurt, so a lot of the answers are going to depend upon what your goals are and how much the other domain is going to cost you in the purchase.

There are probably still a fair number of people who have the site bookmarked in their browser, assuming it was a worthy source of information. People will also still be visiting all of those sites that link to it, so you could definitely pick up some relevant and hopefully interested direct traffic by purchasing the domain and redirecting it to your site in the same market space.

Don't do it however for any search engine benefit. Chances are there won't be any. And if there is count it as a bonus rather than an expectation.

If the potential direct traffic from previous bookmarks and link click-thru's makes sense when compared against the cost, go for it. If not, don't.

#3 MainelySEO

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 08:47 AM

Hello Randy,

Thanks for your reply but it was not the answer I was looking for, LOL.

I have read a lot of information about 301 re-directs from related sites and it seems like some people believe in the benefit and others don't. The cost of the website is about 5k. I am trying to justify the purchase to my company but after this post it probably won't happen.

Hypothetically, if the site had not been taken offline and we acquired it and did a 301 re-direct would Google pass the page rank value and trust to our site?

I'm still up in the air about this, and feel that the site would have some SEO benefit to us even after it has been offline for a month.

Anyone else have a 2nd or 3rd opinion?

One more thing to add, I just did a site:mydomain.com in Google and it is still showing 57 pages indexed, some with PR still. So it isn't completely removed from Google.

#4 Jill

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 09:41 AM

QUOTE
By buying this website and setting up a 301 to our site:

* Will the PR ever return?
* Will the age of the domain and trust be passed on to our website?
* Does it matter that the site has been taken offline?


If you 301 redirect the website, it can't have it's own PR because it's no longer a website, just a redirected URL.

I would guess, and it's just a guess, that you may gain some link popularity from the links pointing to it. It could take a long time to realize that benefit, however, and you may never actually get it if Google decides to reset all the link info.

Bottom line is you just don't know. We can all guess but you won't know unless you try it and wait a year or so to see how it shakes out.

If you feel you could benefit from the links in terms of the referring traffic they will bring, then it's probably worth doing. Have you had a look at their analytics to see how much traffic they get from the links?

#5 Randy

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 04:25 PM

You could do a lot of link building with $5k. Without having to worry about if Google will allow the PR to pass through or not since it'll be going directly to your main site. wink1.gif

That should certainly be enough link building to move you up the 2 or 3 positions you're talking about as the difference between the former competitor and your site. Probably more if the market isn't uber competitive.

#6 Scottie

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 02:00 PM

I would definitely spend that money linkbuilding instead of buying a defunct site.

As Jill says, I think the links would eventually pass some voting power to your site, but are they really worth the cost? And if site owners realize the site is gone and take down the links... is it still worth it to you?




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