In a recent Google Webmaster Hangout, Google’s John Mueller clarified why merging sites doesn’t ensure a converging of the traffic.
John Mueller expressed that moving a site from one domain to another is simple for Google to manage. It’s been my experience that moving a site from domains, sub-domains and moving a few hundred thousand pages and pictures to a renamed folder can go easily. As per my experience it took just half a month for Google to sift through everything.
One of the most common mistakes I see is diverting URLs to the home page. That is a certain method to waste your ranking signals just as give a poor user experience.
John Mueller noticed that parting one website into multiple websites is convoluted. The difficulty drives in how the link and ranking signals will move to the new websites.
Numerous websites are made with interlinking parts. There are links from the home page, from sitewide navigation and logically from individual pages.
When a website is part into individual sites, those interconnections are commonly lost. The interlinking can be held however that occasionally nullifies the purpose of parting one site into individual sites.
This is what John Mueller stated:
“Splitting and merging sites is always really tricky for us. …if you’re splitting or merging sites then there’s no really clear and well defined new and old state.
They’re not really mapped one to one there because you’re taking one site and turning it into five and it’s a completely different situation for each of those individual sites.
So that’s something that takes a lot longer to be processed and mistakes they tend to be more visible I’d say because it’s like we have to reprocess everything.
And if there’s a mistake in there…”
John Mueller saw that similar difficulties exist when joining numerous sites into a single site. There’s so much that should be thought of. For instance, legacy 301 redirects can confound joining at least one sites.
An interesting perception about combining sites is that the outcome isn’t in every case more traffic. One would imagine that joining two sites into one will bring about a site with the consolidated strength of the mix. But, John Mueller said that is not generally the situation:
“You have like five sites it’s like what is the final state? You can’t say like add them all up and that’s the traffic you’d get. It’s essentially impossible to guess ahead of time and how long it takes.”
Google’s John Mueller said that the best approach to effectively merge one or more sites into a single website is to concentrate on matching old heritage pages to new site pages that are as simple as possible.
He didn’t affirm that 100% of the PageRank and different signals will pass. But it appears that getting as close as to one to one match is a best practice to follow. Furthermore, in case you’re searching for a traffic boost from combining websites, as indicated by John Mueller it’s not something that can be counted on.