My client is a small business operating across the UK for 20+ years. Their company name has the word “London” in it. 10 years ago they decided to set up an office in the north of the country (far away from London). To prevent northern customers inferring the businesses solely operated within London, they came up with a completely different brand name for their northern operations.
Fast forward to present day: there are two websites for the business. The websites are identical, apart from the company names and color schemes — same products, same blog content, etc.
They have recently decided to take a more proactive approach to SEO.
**What are the downsides to continuing with two websites, purely from an SEO standpoint?**
My instinct is that one website would be ideal, BUT the effort required to switch (consolidating brands, confusing customers, a shitload of admin work) will outweigh any potential upside. I’m not aware of any SEO penalties being incurred at the moment — it’s more that *either* website will rank for a specific keyword, never *both*. My one immediate concern is link building: it will be difficult to build links for both sites, or just one site.