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Multiple Sites Penalties?

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Years ago we created a site on the pages that "came with" our dialup account at Mindspring. The actual URL is www.mindspring.com/~oursitename/. (not the site's real URL, but I don't want to appear to be advertising).


Since then, we've also set up various sites under their own domains, on other hosts.


Believing at the time that it was a good idea to have "mirrors," plus considering the fact that the original site has some great SE placement, we've always kept the mindspring site updated with the current version of our main site. Each page name matches exactly, except that one is www.mindspring.com/~oursitename/pagename.htm and the other is www.oursitename.com/pagename.htm. They're on different servers. About 90% of our traffic comes to oursitename.com, the other 10% to the mindspring pages.


In the last year or so I've heard and read that duplicate sites are penalized by the search engines. Our rankings for the sites, both the original mindspring one and the newer one, don't seem to have suffered, but one can never be sure.


My question is this... should we simply delete the mindspring pages, losing all the links that are already in the SEs -- some since 1995 -- and in some customers browsers, OR should we put re-directs on the mindspring pages to their identically-named pages on oursitename.com, OR, should we leave it alone and continue to update the mindspring pages when we update the main site?


Thanks for your thoughts.

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Guest PhilC

Hi David,


Search engines tend to dislike mirror sites in their search results, although I don't believe that any of the engines are able to spot them, and have to rely on people reporting them.


If the 2 domains are identical then surely their pages must be ranking close together for the same search terms. If that's so, I'd scrap the original domain and leave a catch-all redirect to the newer domain until the rankings disappear - which they will.



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