Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.
Steven Ciccantelli: I bought a very small competing company should I start a whole new website or can I just submit it to the free local directories and link it back to my website?
Dumb SEO Questions: That's a very good question, +Steven Ciccantelli ;. Does the new import have any collateral in place like website, phone listings, g+ local address page, knowledge graph?
Steven Ciccantelli: +Jim Munro I could give it a new phone number but address would be the same. I could name new website xxxxx.airport.com I don't know what a knowledge graph is and I am not trying to trick Google just need help finding out the best way to promote.
Steven Ciccantelli: +Jim Munro the other website is doing great and I do not want to jeopardize that but if I could build another website focusing on another aspect of what I do and get that into a good position is that considered cheating? Unfortunately it might knock a competitor off the first page and guess I could name it whatever I wanted. Since I don't really ever have a clue of what I am doing it seems that on a small local scale I have been creating a brand.Perhaps one day even a keyword.So can I take advantage of a brand name or would that be cheating?
Jim Munro: How did the other company advertise? What evidence is there of their previous existence?
Steven Ciccantelli: Hmmm did not advertise I kept the name and added my logo and phone number website etc.
Jim Munro: Sorry, mate, I was not clear. What did they have in place before you bought the business? Did they have a website? Did they have ;a G+ Local page?
Steven Ciccantelli: +Jim Munro You were clear not even a free listing on Yelp. He was kinda a friend and even have his dog from Greece I think and not very tech I guess.
Steven Ciccantelli: +Jim Munro before it got very competitive we just drove around and plucked people off the street. Now I compete against 18 small companies that is why I have been concerned about websites and seo. So to gain more exposure I thought I might try a dyi +GoDaddy site.
Steven Ciccantelli: +Jim Munro I do not have anything linked to this page and trying to figure out how to merge and or delete pages. Seems anything needs doing on Google needs a Google page...lol I made many Google pages.
Jim Munro: OK. Let's wait and listen to what our Panel has to say tonight. :)
Steven Ciccantelli: +Jim Munro fair enough.Seems that I should be able to create an affiliate business since I bought a business with absolutely no web presence.Thats has to be unheard of....
Dave Elliott: How direct is the competition? If they offered slightly different services or catered to slightly different markets then it might be worth keeping the sites separate. ;
Same would go if the recently acquired company has a good brand recognition that could be lost if you combined them.
If however, you are direct competitors it is likely that the websites will end up competing against each other, so i would just forward the old website via dns to the new site, 301 all the important pages, ;create a new page talking about the merger and what it will mean to both your company and existing/past clients and update your about us/faq page to mention the old brand a few times.
Edwin Jonk: Unless the backlink profile is spammy I would, Like Dave already suggested, 301 re-direct. Keep in mind that you have to 301 page per page. Meaning that example.com/services/ should re-direct to example.org/services/ and not to the home page example.org The reason behind this is that Google might view re-directs to the home page as a soft-404 and, thereby, you would lose any search value.
In the comments I am reading that you are setting up new web sites. Besides the fact that you are then competing against yourself in the SERP's. As a small business owner I would keep the number of web sites to a minimum. The reason behind this is that it is much easier to manage. Meaning that I prefer one high quality site over multiple so so sites.
That doesn't mean you cannot buy new TLD's but that is more of a defensive strategy in the sense that others cannot buy it.
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Elisabeth Bobeck: +Steven Ciccantelli ;I am just up the road from you in Jacksonville. Congrats on the start of your taxi empire! In Jax, Gator City Taxi, Yellow cab, Checker Cab of St. Augustine, and Citi Cab all operate under Northern Florida Transportation Group, but each has their own identity and brand in the market. One website for all, but with different brands. When you bought the business, you bought the brand, which is what people know, so keep it, but maybe look to create an umbrella group for the businesses. This is a great group eh?
Steven Ciccantelli: +Elisabeth Bobeck yes but I think checker cab has just been bought out by a mega company. Anyhow my thoughts would be xxxxx taxi keep and maybe market xxxxx airport or xxxxx shuttle. We are substantially cheaper than any of the Jacksonville companies. Hardly a taxi empire with 4 vehicles need I believe 5 for a jax medallion.
Steven Ciccantelli: And I rank well taxi related but horribly with airport transportation.