Blogging

Results: Merging Blogs for Blog’s Revival & Traffic Boost

It’s time to check out the results of my blog merging project for Nomad Not Mad and see if this indeed managed to increase traffic and authority, as I had expected it to.

If you don’t know what I am talking about, in May I was telling you about this blog merging project which was part of my bigger plan for 2019 to optimize the number of blogs I run, reduce their numbers and make everything have a bit more sense.

To sum it up, I had Nomad Not Mad (this blog) which I really want to work on and improve, but I also had 3 other generic travel blogs that were mainly ignored and outdated. These 4 travel blogs combined were bringing minimal traffic because writing 4 blogs is a pain (I have 26!).

So I thought: why on earth would I still have 4 general travel blogs that will always be below par and compete with each other, instead of moving them all into a single blog and trying to make that one an solid, useful and hopefully profitable blog.

I went to work and started the process of merging these blogs. I first imported a smaller blog to Nomad, Not Mad (around 10-12 articles, can’t remember exactly) and then a larger one (around 80 articles).

I didn’t bring in all the articles from these two blogs, as some were complete nonsense and pretty much useless, but it was still a lot of work to be done.

I decided against merging the third blog, which only had 4 articles, absolutely no authority (backlinks) and it had 0 traffic. Instead, I simply unpublished the blog and I am waiting for Google to de-index it so I can simply copy the 4 articles over here.

Blog merging expectations

There were 3 main things that I expected from this blog merging experiment:

1. Increase the traffic of the main blog by getting all the traffic that was already being generated by the other two used in the merge.

2. Increase the authority of Nomad, Not Mad, by passing over the link juice of the other two blogs.

3. Make it easier to build and manage my travel blog.

These are all pretty much common sense things and I was expecting everything to go just as planned, despite hearing some people say that Google won’t pass all the link juice from redirected domains.

This wasn’t a huge problem in my case: none of these blogs had a ton of links and authority in the first place, nor a ton of traffic. Even if this failed completely, I wouldn’t have lost too many visitors – and most importantly, they were all generating exactly ZERO income.

Blog merging results

The biggest question is, now: how did things go? Did everything go as expected or this was just work with no results? Let’s check the numbers to find out the answers!

I have to say that I did the merges in two steps, with some time in between: the first merge went live on May 12, soon after announcing this experiment, after importing the first, smaller blog.

I imported and went live with the articles from the second blog on July 20th, after spending more time than expected on copying the articles over (some had a ton of photos, which had to be downloaded and reuploaded on the site, plus optimized in the process).

This resulted in two traffic boosts, as you can see them in the chart below, showing the daily traffic since January 2019 until today:

The nice, constant growth, is even clearer and nicer if you look at the weekly traffic since January (note that the last week in the chart is not over yet, so it’s not an actual decline):

While these are still very small numbers in terms of overall traffic, it does show that the blog merging experiment was a success.

My weekly traffic rose from an average of about 30 weekly sessions before the merge, to around 110 after the first merge and jumped to around 300 after the second merge.

In other words, I went from around 120 monthly visitors to ~1,200 which is not bad at all.

This means that almost 100% of the traffic from the other blogs moved over to Nomad, Not Mad. This is a good thing and it shows that Google can understand when such merges are made naturally, and not with the purpose of cheating the system and gaining an unfair advantage.

And even though the numbers have increased a lot on paper, it’s just simple math: things didn’t (completely) start to look better for Nomad, Not Mad without a reason. The boost in traffic came simply from adding the traffic the other two blogs were generating to the existing traffic.

Domain’s Authority Increase

I am not one to really look or care about Domain Authority and Page Authority metrics, but in this case I decided to make an exception, as I was really curious to see how the numbers would change – or if they would change at all.

The problem with external Domain “Authority” checkers used by everybody is that they’re not directly created by Google, so the numbers could be completely off or at least not reflect what Google sees or how it feels about your blog.

In my case, Moz might not “see” the “link juice” transferred from the old domains. But it was still interesting to take a look at them and see how a third party sees this move, so here are the numbers:

Before the merge, Nomad Not Mad had a DA / PA of 15 / 18.

The numbers for the other two sites that were redirected, with most content transferred, where as it follows:

Site one: DA – 14, PA – 15
Site two: DA – 15, PA – 28

So as you can see, all the numbers were pretty low. Despite all this, the authority of this blog has improved after the merge, and we now have a DA / PA of 16 / 20.

The increase is minimal, but it does exist. It could be natural (from additional links that the blog might’ve gathered since I checked in May, for example), or a result of the blog merging. Can’t say for sure.

But the important thing is that Google might have something completely different, as Moz does not work hand in hand with Google to offer these rankings… And I do believe that in Google’s eyes, things have improved a bit more.

Looking at the traffic numbers of the blog, it’s pretty much obvious that the authority of the website is constantly increasing after the merge – or at least has received an important boost.

Before the merge, it had hit a plateau, as these traffic stats show (blog’s traffic):

But starting May 12th, after the first merge – and especially after the July merge (with the more authoritative domain), things started to look really good and we’re seeing week-to-week growth:

I would say this proves that Google did transfer at least some authority over and increased this blog’s authority, as not only the previous articles kept bringing in the traffic they brought on their old domains, but articles published on Nomad Not Mad got a bit of an organic boost as well.

This is really good news and shows that my initial thoughts were correct: I am still getting the advantages of all the work I have done with the other blogs, while Google seems to enjoy it as well to have more articles on this site.

Now Nomad Not Mad has more articles, more backlinks, more content, which makes it easier to manage and hopefully grow.

I am really happy with how things are going right now and I can only hope I can work on improving them even more.

Plans post-merge

The articles that I brought in to Nomad Not Mad are below average to say the least.

Most of them are very old articles (dating before 2015), written when blogging was completely different. They are short, incomplete and outdated and most of them are still getting close to 0 visits per month.

Some were written by me, some were outsourced and all are of really poor quality.

Although initially I wanted to rewrite them and go live with a complete set of better articles, I realized that this would take way too much time and energy and I didn’t know if there would be any benefits.

Instead, I went with the merge without changing anything (same photos and text) and I am planning to slowly edit them to increase their quality and republish.

In the end, we’re talking about around 80 articles that I have to rewrite and get from 300 poorly written words to “complete article” status. This is a lot of work, but something I am looking forward to do.

Hopefully, doing this will help me increase the authority and traffic on this website even more – I will make sure to publish a new update as soon as I have more data on how things are going.

But so far, I am really happy with how this merge went and if you are in a similar situation – like having 2 or more blogs that you consider merging (and they’re a good fit together), I would say: go for it!

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