GOOGLE SEO MULTIPLE DOMAINS

Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.

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Now things are smelling really fishy to Google, because it sees that you’ve duplicated ALL pages into another domain.

I’ll give you three guesses on what their company is all about, and the first two guesses don’t count. They rank well for all kinds of dog training information.

But why would they limit it themselves to carburetors when they do so many other things too?

Was it worth it, and was it worth the nearly $500 they wanted for the domain name?

I had a student in one of my SEO classes that said people were always calling them to say their website was down. It’s because their company name was an odd spelling, and the customer was mistyping it.

Does Adding Extra Domains Help SEO?

The standard consultant answer to these types of questions is, “It depends.” (Yes that’s a joke.)

Now if you compound this and point www.keyword1.com to www.company.com , you’re going to further duplicate the content on every page. www.keyword1.com/page1.html will be identical to www.company.com/page1.html , but in a different domain.

If you purchased five keyword domains, this has just been compounded to be a bigger duplicate content issue, and you’ve completely shot yourself in the foot. Google will devalue all the duplicate pages, and they won’t perform well at all in the search engines.

Having two different URLs with the same content is called duplicate content . Google will discount one of the addresses, and it won’t rank well, if at all (I’ve tested this).

Being very picky about the domain name is important so you don’t box yourself in unnecessarily.

Furthermore, if you haven’t done the keyword research to find out what people are searching for, randomly buying a keyword domain could be a complete waste of money.

You absolutely can have multiple domain names, but you don’t want them to resolve or be indexed by Google. To prevent that you set up a 301-redirect or “forward” the domain to the “real” domain.

The premise is that because Google likes to see keywords in your domain name (see my recent post, “How to SEO Your Content: 16 Places to Place Your Keywords“), having a keyword-rich domain name would benefit the client’s search ranking.

Hold that thought for just a second.

Does Having Keywords in Your Domain Help SEO?

The simple answer here is, yes. If you have already established your domain name, and it has keywords in it , then it is a factor in Google’s rankings.

So to conclude, in my opinion, the company that was being solicited for a keyword domain purchase, I let them know that it would be a complete waste of their money.

Let’s break it down a bit.

However, if www.company.com/page1.html has some content, and www.company.com/page2.html has exactly the same content (because you copied it for some reason), then Google gets a little suspicious that something fishy is going on, because the content is identical.

When my buddy set up his domain, he specifically wanted “Bay Area” in the domain name, because people search for SEO training in the San Francisco Bay Area where he teaches.

A fellow SEO and friend of mine received an email a few days ago with a question from a web consultant whose client was solicited with an offer to purchase a keyword-rich domain name.

The Problem With Keyword Domains.

I said, “Buy the misspelled version and 301-redirect it to the correct version. No one will ever know the difference, and you’ll stop the phone calls and end customer frustration!”

I get this question every so often, and I even wrote a post about it way back in 2009. So what’s changed in those ensuing years, if anything?

Google counts unique web addresses (including domains) as being a web page. So www.company.com/page1.html is one page of content. Similarly, www.company.com/page2.html is another page of content, and Google gets that.

If you think it sounds good, but haven’t done the research, then you might as well roll some dice. Chances are good your roll of the dice will lose.

So it would seem logical that if I have a website, www.company.com , and purchase a couple of target keyword domains, and point them at my website because Google counts keywords in the domain as valuable, then this would help me rank higher for that target phrase.

My own domain, for instance, includes “Bay Area” and “Search Engine”, but no other specific terms. That’s deliberate. I didn’t want to box myself into one thing.

It’s a ranking factor, and it helps him get found for my target search terms. How much does it help?

The client can still sit on them without a website attached just to prevent other people from registering/using the similar domains.

In closing, there might be value in this strategy, but it entirely depends on the pool of domains you’re looking at and how they relate to your client’s content.

It’s not a slam dunk in any direction.

If there are, is that content directly analogous to your client’s current content?

When you say “point multiple domains to one website,” I’m going to assume you mean “301 or some other type of redirect from the extra domains to the client’s website.”

Do Due Diligence on the Domains the Client Wants You to Redirect to Their Website.

First, let’s define the situation and clarify some things.

If it looks like there is content on the domain, but it doesn’t look like what you or your client believes should be there (e.g., it’s a site that offers puppies for adoption, but all of the SERPs look like it’s a custom football jersey website), the existing domain/website is probably hacked.

A long, long time ago, I acquired a direct competitor’s domain and 301 redirected most of their pages to pages of mine that contained basically the same content.

However, if the domains in question might have type-in value, you could 302 redirect them to the client site.

If the domains have any kind of footprint that indicates there were nefarious activities in the past, I would not consider 301 redirecting the domains to the client’s active domain.

The last thing you want to do is 301 a domain with thousands of spam or porn links to a client’s perfectly good (wholesome) domain.

So, assuming we’re talking about redirecting these other domains to the client’s primary domain…

This week’s Ask An SEO question comes to us from Ellis in “Parts Unknown.” Ellis asks:

But ensure that you do not pass value.

In the backlink profiles, look for things like links of questionable origin.

Do Not Have the Client’s Website Simply Resolve for (Answer To) Multiple Domains.

Be thoughtful about the decision with the above guidance in mind, and I’m sure your client will benefit.

That is still creating a duplicate content site and it is still very bad.

Did the prior use of the domain involve buying links or are there naughty/undesirable backlinks?

Related to this, if there are rankings on Google for any of the domains and clicking on (or attempting to click on) any of those results triggers any kind of malware or malicious content warning, do not redirect that domain to your client’s site.

And you do not mean “have the client’s website resolve for all of these domains.”

“I would like your opinion on having multiple domains point to one website, and whether its dangerous or beneficial from an SEO and Google perspective. I have a client who is adamant they want 10 different domains all pointing to one website and we are curious about the effects.”

More Resources:

Summary.

Will redirecting other domains to a primary one be a good idea for SEO? Here’s what you need to know before you make that decision.

I can tell you now, having one “website” answer to multiple domains simply creates multiple websites of duplicate content and that is absolutely not beneficial for SEO and/or Google.

So any type of redirect that is known to not pass value will work – but still do not have the client’s website just answer to this other domain.

That is definitely bad.

If an otherwise undesirable domain (because of any of the above reasons) has amazing type-in potential, you can still do the redirect.

If it’s a hacked site, you might be able to use it but you will need to obliterate the entire file system and any databases connected to the site.

I’d probably move the hosting environment anyway, and I would only go to this effort if there are other significantly valuable features associated with the domain (like amazing backlinks, or directly related content/results).

You can redirect the other domains to the client’s primary domain/website, but don’t create X number of identical content websites.

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