Suggestions please re my 2 competing websites!

Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
18
Hi there, I own 2 websites which are not-so-intentionally competing against one another for Spanish-speaking visitors. Both websites are aimed at folks who need help obtaining copies of Dominican Republic public documents such as marriage certificates, divorce decrees etc:
  • dominicancertificates.com in English. Organically we rank very well for basic terms such as “Dominican birth certificate” etc. When I registered the domain and set up the website, it was aimed at English-speakers from UK, US, Canada etc many of whom got married in the DR in the 1990s and later. Over time, we translated most of our pages into Spanish, and some into other languages since we had started receiving enquiries from non-English-speakers.
  • oficialiacivil.com exclusively in Spanish. When I discovered by chance that this domain name was available, it was too good a chance to miss (“oficialía civil” in Spanish means public register office). Half-heartedly I published a most basic site – currently only 4 pages or so exist and all of them were copied and pasted from dominicancertificates.com, they have no photos and very little effort has been made. I had no great expectations.
Both sites have been successful, but clearly it doesn’t make sense to have 2 competing pages for everything, or does it?

My conclusion is I should remove all my Spanish pages from dominicancertificates.com and make oficialiacivil.com my sole Spanish-language website. My webhost Voog.com on the monthly hosting plan that I have with them, do not permit redirects of individual pages.

I am therefore writing to ask for your suggestions on how best to transition the Spanish pages from dominicancertificates.com to oficialiacivil.com.

I’d be grateful for any comments. Thanks, Steve
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2019
Messages
55
It's a guess, but I think you do better to have one site, with the 2nd language as a secondary page. You don't mention a store front. I don't think it qualifies as "Local SEO" unless you either have a store front or are a mobile service.
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2019
Messages
55
One other thing I've read about, that may be of interest to you, that others have done, is do something (roughly) as a "301 Redirect". I don't know the actual code, but the idea is that 100% of the traffic to "site B" gets auto-redirected to "site A", thereby preserving the value of all the backlinks going to site B. Meaning, you don't ever delete the site (if you end up focusing everything on a single site), you redirect Site B to a secondary page on Site A.

***EDIT
Just re-read the above and realized it's very unclear. I just looked it up, and "301 Redirect" seems correct (I've never done one). It's code you insert into the redirected site, that causes anyone that tries to go there to be automaticall "forwarded" to another site.

In case you don't know, secondary pages send significant juice to the main page of the website. There's nothing wrong with having a secondary page that ranks higher on certain keywords than the "home" page.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
18
It's a guess, but I think you do better to have one site, with the 2nd language as a secondary page. You don't mention a store front. I don't think it qualifies as "Local SEO" unless you either have a store front or are a mobile service.
Mike, thanks, but I believe the solution is to have 2 sites for the 2 languages.

We do have a storefront in the sense that we have order forms and online payment.
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2019
Messages
55
Mike, thanks, but I believe the solution is to have 2 sites for the 2 languages.

We do have a storefront in the sense that we have order forms and online payment.
Storefront means physical location with a verifiable address. Physical location meaning "brick and mortar". Also, when I read the OP I got the impression that the primary question you had was whether or not 2 sites is a good idea. My instinct is "no", based on what I remember I read of material I wasn't particularly interested in, but in general, IMO the cleaner and less confusing the better. Maybe someone else will weigh in. The primary issue at this point is whether or not there is an actual, physical, brick and mortar location with a mailing address and a phone number. That's local SEO. Having some kind of administrative address (like a PO Box) is not the same thing, and there is a whole black hat industry of people with online businesses attempting to present themselves as "local" in order to fool the Google search engine. All it takes is one competitor to report the fake location and the whole Local SEO will be trashed. There's a video circulating around where an angry local competitor walked into the "office" of a supposed "local" business and what was there was a small office with a bunch of desks and a receptionist, who would answer the phone and take the mail, but there was no actual local presence for that particular business. The whole thing came about because Google failed to respond to the man's complaints, so he got mad, got his video camera and made a Youtube video, posted it, and posted a link to the video on Google Product Forums where it could not be ignored.

People put a lot of effort, time and money into optimizing their local businesses, and more or less, Google really can't ignore it when a known scammer is exposed. Note none of this is aimed at you or your business. You may be in some "grey area" I'm not aware of.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
18
Mike, thanks, but I believe the solution is to have 2 sites for the 2 languages.

We do have a storefront in the sense that we have order forms and online payment.
Mike, thanks. I misunderstood. I thought you were referring to a storefront in the website meaning. We do have a physical office.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
18
One other thing I've read about, that may be of interest to you, that others have done, is do something (roughly) as a "301 Redirect". I don't know the actual code, but the idea is that 100% of the traffic to "site B" gets auto-redirected to "site A", thereby preserving the value of all the backlinks going to site B. Meaning, you don't ever delete the site (if you end up focusing everything on a single site), you redirect Site B to a secondary page on Site A.

***EDIT
Just re-read the above and realized it's very unclear. I just looked it up, and "310 Redirect" seems correct (I've never done one). It's code you insert into the redirected site, that causes anyone that tries to go there to be automaticall "forwarded" to another site.

In case you don't know, secondary pages send significant juice to the main page of the website. There's nothing wrong with having a secondary page that ranks higher on certain keywords than the "home" page.
MIke, thanks for the advice re 310 redirect. It's exactly what I need. V grateful, Steve
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2019
Messages
55
MIke, thanks for the advice re 301 redirect. It's exactly what I need. V grateful, Steve
I'm no expert, and if I were you I wouldn't act until you've recieved corroboration on my flea-bitten opinion. The fact that the 301 redirect is "new news" to you is an indicator of your level of SEO awareness, and the change you make could be catastrophic if it's the wrong move. I'd recommend holding off any actions until you've (more or less) gotten the same (or similar) opinion from people that know more about these kinds of things than I do.
 
Last edited:

Similar threads


Trending: Most Viewed

Local Search Forum


Weekly Digest
Subscribe/Unsubscribe


Google Product Exert

@LocalSearchLink

Join Our Facebook Group

Top