I have two sites, on the same server, at the same ip address, with some related content. The two sites do link heavily to one another. The newer, smaller site is not ranking well on Google, even though it is highly optimized. I can't find any good reason why the site doesn't rank well for its keywords. Some pages do better than others, but for the most part, the site doesn't rank well when it should be number one for most of its phrases. The site's competition sites are not even comparable in terms of content quantity or quality.
My second, newer web site was not built to support the first site, but my fear is Google may be penalizing the second, newer site because it sits at the same ip address as the older, more established site, and because the two sites link heavily to each other. Of course the links between the two sites are to related content -- and I don't want to break the links because they benefit visitors to both sites.
Has anyone else had experience with one of two sites at the same ip address, linking heavily to one another, being "held back"?
I read an interesting thread about the "Same Site Penalty
Some seos suggest using rel="nofollow" as a link attribute to tell spiders not to follow the link. If I did that, I could still have a link from one site's home page to the other site's home page for human visitors, but I would think the "nofollow" attribute would indicate to spiders that this link is insignificant from a search engine "vote of importance" perspective.
Has anyone used this approach? It makes sense to me since every link to a site is considered a "vote of importance" to a spider.
Does anyone think this would be enough to "release" the second site, in Google's eyes, and allow the second site to rank naturally for its keywords? I've done all of the normal seo checks: code validation, keyword density, keyword research, etc. The second site does well in other search engines, just not Google. The new site has several prominant, related sites linking to it, and it has a Google PageRank of 5. The new site has been live since December 2004.