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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador affiliatemakeover's Avatar
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    I have an seo client who had me optimize their site for them. The domain name they gave me was without a hyphen in it.

    They neglected to tell me that they had a completely duplicate version of the site, spelled the same, but with a hyphen in the domain name. It's not a forward either. It's a completely different domain, same exact content, etc... They took my optimzation and duped on this site as well.

    Now, the client tells me that they screwed up and the domain that they will be encouraging links in from is the one I'm not reporting on. Fine. But eventually, the site with the more links in will do better, so I now need to report on the hyphened site. Again, fine.

    What I'm wondering is, will Google and the other engines look at two duplicate sites and think something is wrong? Not sure what I should do here. I don't want my client to get banned or anything. Anyone else have this experience?

  2. #2
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    If they were my client, I would drop them faster than you can say 'spam'.

    Duplicate sites is not a good idea and I would be furious that a client had effectively stolen my work and used it without permission or renumeration somewhere else. You need to remember that if something goes wrong it is you they are gonna blame.

    Now they have two identical sites with separate amount of links in, both competing for space in the search engines. Expect both to drop out of AltaVista the quickest (as they have the best duplicate page filter) and then the other search engines some time later on. Could be months, could be a year, but it will happen unless you do something about it now.

    Search Engine Positioning - 1 Design 4 Life

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador affiliatemakeover's Avatar
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    I should explain further. I agree about dropping the client, however, this is not a small client. Let's just say that this client is a division of one of the largest shipping companies in the world, so it's not somebody you want to argue with, or lose as a client. They're also not paying peanuts, so I really don't want to lose them.

    I think maybe my best course of action is to inform them that they may have significant troubles in the future, and that they should get rid of the additional domain names and concentrate on one site.

    I guess the reason they went with the hyphenated site in the first place is because their name with the hyphen has the letters "sex" in the middle, so they thought "let's buy the one with the hyphen so we don't get filtered.", if that makes sense.

  4. #4
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    Personally, I would still drop them, regardless of how big a company they are but I do understand why this isn't always possible or desirable.

    I agree that your best course of action is to tell them to drop one or other of the sites and explain that they are inadvertently spamming the search engines. Tell them that you can't guarantee the work you are doing if they don't do this.

    A good solution would be to drop one site completely and direct the dropped domain to the main site using domain pointing. So in essence, you have two domains both pointing to the same content.

    If they already have inbound links to each domain, you might be able to turn this to your advantage but you would need to email all the sites linking to the dropped site and ask them to change their link to whichever domain you are promoting.

    Search Engine Positioning - 1 Design 4 Life

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