Having two websites selling the same products and the same wording a bad idea?

We have two business websites currently selling the same products for the same price with the same descriptions and wording 99%. They are both cloned websites. We advertise one on google adwords as it is our “brand” website and the other website was the original website we had products on. Our “brand” website was originally only an info website about the company and just later turned into a clone of the first website once we decided to go a new direction.

Simply because the original website ranked better than the “brand” website in Google, it has been kept alive for years. What we do on our main “brand” website, we also do the EXACT same on the original product website.

I am worried that we are hurting ourselves by doing this. I see we are NOT ranking well with either website now days organically. I worry about the duplicate content and or just the website being a clone is a bad thing.

I would like some advice on how to proceed with this. My employer thinks that having two of the exact same websites helps us by taking up more spots in googles results. While we do take up 2 spots on a lot of the results, lately they have been 2 spots nowhere near the top. I am trying to get to the bottom of why this is happening. Both domains are well over 7 years old at this point.

We are an eCommerce store. We sell quite a few products online and are well known in the industry. We do well on Adwords advertising but some of our competition is doing very well in organic results while we are not.

It is getting tiring keeping up with a cloned website and I am not sure it truly helps us. We want to market ourselves the most places as possible but are we hurting ourselves? Any pointers?

Duplication like that will probably see both sites relegated in value as far as search engines are concerned, especially as they are both yours with exactly the same content.

My advice would be to only use the one with the highest value (your primary site), then the duplicate site just do permanent redirects to the primary site.


I’m not quite sure about this answer, but if you can familiarize yourself with RewriteCond, you can direct all traffic from your old site to your new site.

#redirect oldsite.com to newsite.com
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^oldsite.com$
RewriteRule ^(.)$ “http://www.newsite.com/$1” [R=301,L]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.oldsite.com$
RewriteRule ^(.
)$ “http://www.newsite.com/$1” [R=301,L]

If by “ranking” you mean what I call SERP position, I’m not so sure the older site inherently has more value.
AFAIK Google does not penalize duplicate content, but does decicide which to show search users.
That is, if the content of both sites is identical, it could be that Google does something like “OK, for this we have two identical matches, this site is older so that’s the one we’ll show”
In other words, if the value of the result is based on only its age, there is a good chance that the newer could replace it in the SERPs without too much of a trauma

It’s something like that.
As I understand it by reading Googles documents, when it finds duplicate content, with two or more pages containing the same content that matches a user’s search, it will try to establish which page is the original source of the content and favour that.
How it works this out is anyone’s guess, but I imagine age is a good part of it, or rather which was indexed with the content first.

I don’t think that’s how it works. I would say you are diluting your position for both by competing with yourself.
What I think a lot of people forget (or never realised in the first place) is that position is a relative metric. So one page’s climb in ranking means a fall for others, and vice-versa.
I would go with consolidating the content of both sites to a single site. Then redirect one domain to the other.


Thanks for all of the responses. We have had a long business meeting today to talk this and other things out. We have decided to re-brand one website instead of just forwarding it. We will consolidate the content of the two websites. One site can then become its own “brand” and be totally different with its product offerings. I have wanted to do this for a while but I just wanted some advice from some others here so I could talk it over. Thanks so much!

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