Danger! Multiple domain names, 1 site - why it is bad

September 2nd, 2007

I’ve been on an hiatus from writing here, so I thought I might break the trend by talking about the practice of creating multiple websites to ‘corner the market’ - jealously guarding your url to ensure no-one uses a variation.

An example might be registering mysite.com, and then being seduced by the offer (godaddy does this regularly) to register variants of your new domain name (eg .biz, .net, .org) at a ’special discount’ - they don’t offer fries just yet, but domain sellers really are the masters of the up-sell.

I consider registering more than one domain a bit pointless

The days of people memorising and typing a url into a browser are pretty much over - except for a few notable and brilliant exceptions with catchy names like utheguru.com, oyoy.eu and other less successful or well known sites such as google and youtube most people get to a site the new-fangled way - by following links or doing a search. So, really in essence, you’re probably paying extra for not much benefit.

Furthermore, the practice can have insidious side effects - you can actually shoot yourself in the foot.

Multiple domains = Multiple sources of links

When presented with duplicate content, google often seems to pick one page as the ‘original’ and consign the others as unimportant copies, and they don’t rank well.

You could end up with a situation where google chooses a page from each of your site copies as the ‘original’ and you end up with search traffic spread between all four.

Registering Multiple domains for the same site can actually be bad for business

Links to your sites naturally tend to come with traffic - and a lot of traffic generally comes from search… so… you’ll also end up with your incoming links spread between all the copies of your site.

In such a circumstance, the meaning of synergy (the parts are greater than the whole) does NOT apply. You end up with four sites with a quarter of the links they should have rather than one strong site that aggregates all the power of the incoming links in one place - end result? You don’t rank as well as you could.

How to use your multiple domains ‘the right way’

Best practice is to use something called a 301 redirect - rather than having 4 actual copies of your site all competing with each other, a 301 redirect seamlessly redirects clients (and google) to the ‘main’ url you want to rank well. If you google “how to do a 301 redirect’ you should be on your way to understanding that a bit better.

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50 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Chris Hunt  |  September 3rd, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    It makes a bit more sense if you’re outside the US - registering both mycorp.com and mycorp.co.uk for example, but even then it’s only really worth it if “mycorp” is a known brand.

    .biz domains and their ilk are just worthless anyway.

  • 2. theDuck  |  September 6th, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    Chris - I’m discussing a different animal altogether.

    If you have a business that you are trying to target to different audiences, certainly registering country specific versions of your domain can be worthwhile for SEO purposes - I do it with one of my commercial sites.

    But, even then, having exact duplicate content on both those domains is going to kill your rankings too, just as I have described here.

  • 3. Spencer  |  September 9th, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    Interesting article, we actually registered multiple variations of our URL but now i’m wondering whether that was the right thing to do. I’ll be following your advice with the 301 direct. Thanks for the info.

  • 4. shambhavi  |  September 10th, 2007 at 9:29 am

    Hey Matt!

    We just put up this cool splash page, and I was wondering about just this VERY question you address. Psychic? I think so. :)

    I wrote to my registrar, and they suggested using Website Forwarding in order to redirect the .com and .net versions to jayakula.org, the main entry page. Is there anything objectionable about this from your wise persepctive?

    Hope you are well and only free-falling out of airplanes for fun.

    OM OM OM
    Shambhavi

  • 5. Erika  |  September 18th, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    I have to say I really like your website. It’s clean, tidy and easy to read.
    So many I’ve seen are too colourful, too many things flashing, too busy. My eyes go round and round in my head. In fact, I think I’ll change my templates right now.
    I have a main site “ceconn.com” and the following blogs:
    ceconn.com/canwetalk
    ceconn.com/saycheese
    ceconn.com/whatsmellssogood
    Would the 301 redirect apply to me? Probably not.

  • 6. theDuck  |  September 20th, 2007 at 10:47 am

    Hi Erika - in your case you’ve just got subdirectories of the same domain with different content. That’s perfectly OK and you’re right - no need for 301 redirects.

    Matt

  • 7. Peter  |  October 15th, 2007 at 8:12 am

    Hhmmm after reading your reply on Erika I think I won’t be needing a 301 redirect eighter.

    I got one site with 5 subdomains (they have their own urls) and they all have totaly different content but the maindomain is indexed and the subdomains still aren’t.
    I have just set up the 301 redirect after reading your post here. We will see what will happen the next week(s)….

  • 8. theDuck  |  October 15th, 2007 at 8:49 am

    Peter,

    Subdomains (ie urls of the form subdomain.domainname.com) are a different animal altogether to subdirectories. Subdomains are seen as completely separate sites by Google - they are indexed separately etc.

    If you have 5 subdomains with different content I’m not sure why you’d need a redirect at all under the context I’m discussing.

    Subdomains are sometimes really difficult beasts to get indexed - it seems that (particularly if the primary domain is quite new) the ‘bar’ is much higher for subdomains - you need quite a few more incoming links to get a subdomain indexed than you do for an equivalent primary domain.

    doc

  • 9. Peter  |  October 19th, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    Yep, I definitely notice that right now. While two weeks ago about 52 pages of my primary domain were indexed, now there are only 4 left??
    All my subdomains are indexed in google but only 3 or 4 pages instead of all pages.

    I will need 100+ links to get those pages indexed I guess.

    Few days ago I created a xml sitemap for each subdomaines so maybe this will speed up the proces.

    gr,
    Peter

  • 10. Mike  |  August 8th, 2008 at 3:38 am

    Interesting read. I’ve got a site at http://www.nsartonline.com and am in the process of considering multiple variations on the domain name in order to capture more traffic in the event someone types in the company name, which varies a bit from the domain name. After reading your article however, I’m not sure how valuable that would be so I’ll consider holding off for now.

    Thanks so much for the information!

  • 11. The Credit Agency  |  September 10th, 2008 at 1:08 am

    Interesting thoughts…… mirrors what I’ve recently been thinking!

    In our case we’ve got our main website http://www.TheCreditAgency.co.uk and additional domains such as http://www.online-credit-reports.co.uk.

    We’ve noticed some content is indexed for the second domain but not for the main domain. What happens if we remove the second domain from operation? Will our main domain then get considered to be the ‘Original Content’, or is it too late for us after the content has already been indexed?

  • 12. Chris  |  September 17th, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    I read your info multiple domain names 1 site - with great interest. We run a B&B business on http://www.convictbeachhouse.com and I have started to run a separate domain on the same site http://www.tasmanpeninsula.com.au to promote the region and help a few smaller operators to market together. When I first launched the site it was ranking very high and now I can’t find it anywhere on google? I am using a forward from http://www.tasmanpeninsula.com.au to http://www.convictbeachhouse.com but obviously something has gone wrong? Can you give some insight? Many thanks, Chris

  • 13. Eric  |  September 24th, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    I have a question… I have one niche and bought the top 20 keyword domains. I have created 1 wordpress site focusing on the 1 domain name keyword throughout the site. I want to start a second site, almost identical, but change the keyword throughout the site to that specific domain keyword, so they will not be exact, but very similar, what are your thoughts on this kind of thing? I don’t think they will be competing because they are for all different keyword phrases.

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  • 21. Allan  |  February 27th, 2009 at 6:00 pm

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  • 22. Webmaster Forum  |  March 22nd, 2009 at 3:49 am

    Thank you, somebody posted this article on our forum

  • 23. Jay O'Connell  |  March 30th, 2009 at 12:23 am

    I’m starting a side business doing different types of photography; we’re using the photography as one of many loss leaders as we build a rental multiple listing service for the Boston Metro Region. I wanted to expand beyond cheap apartment photos into other cheap photos; cheap headshots, cheap food photography, etc. So I created a site called ‘fastcheapgoodphoto.com.” I want to own the keyword “cheap” for photo stuff in the boston region.

    I realized that my domain didn’t have the word ‘boston’ in it, and I’m a local business, so I bought a few domains which added “Boston” to the URL and did a redirect on them from whatever company google contracts with to do their domain name pointing for domains bought under their umbrella.

    Bad idea? I _think_ that I’m doing a 30 redirect; how do I make sure?

    I built fastcheapgood photo in a few hours, and spent all of 30 or 40 bucks on domains, so obviously, I’m willling to rethink this whole thing if I have to.

    any thoughts?

  • 24. tara  |  March 30th, 2009 at 6:44 am

    Hi…I have a question/concern. I started my website about a 6 months ago and withi a few months, I had ranked on page 3 for bellingham real estate. Currently, I’m revamping the site, and have added a few more niche specific domain names to the website hosting account.

    I was told that this was the best way to go about adding the new domains, rather hosting them with a different host and forward via the 301 redirect. I asked about the duplication of content posibilities, and they said if wouldn’t affect my ranking, etc. Since adding them I’ve dropped into oblivion in the rankings…but, I also have alot of changes behind the. I w

  • 25. danny  |  May 25th, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Well, you said 301 redirects are better, but there is a problem here.

    When I redirect my site for example http://www.redirectsite.com is redirected to http://www.mainsite.com, google does not find any results if clients type “test site” for http://www.redirectsite.com. When there is actual content behind the domein, it does find content.

    http://www.redirectsite.com doesn’t have a title, or any contect in it for google to index, so it will not find

  • 26. danny  |  May 25th, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    This website had a javascript error.

    I wasnt fnished:

    http://www.redirectsite.com doesn’t have a title, or any content in it for google to index, so it will not find anything in the search engine, unless you type the full url manually.

  • 27. Stewart Engelman - Domain Sales  |  July 19th, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Hello,

    Your points are well taken and technically correct. If you are going to purchase multiple extensions, redirects are much more intelligent than mirror sites, for the PR reasons you stated. Also, if you already have a trademark (which you should obtain before registering your domain name), you’ll be able to confiscate the “copycat” domains that may be siphoning off your traffic.

    Best regards.

  • 28. Jerry  |  July 31st, 2009 at 5:38 am

    Good post, but it needs more clarification… our main domain is http://www.TubeHaus.com and we are thinking about buying variants of our main domain possibly with a variety of keyword phrases added. We were planning on doing a 301 redirect for the the variant domains and point all of them to our main domain http://www.TubeHaus.com. Is this OK and is it the right way to do it or will this be harmful for our rankings? There will be no content on any of the variant domains, just a redirect to our main site. A previous commenter indicated that Google will not find domains that do not have any content, so we’re not sure how well this whole idea would work. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks

  • 29. Stewart Engelman - DNI Services  |  August 8th, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Some comments on Jerry’s July 31st, 2009 at 5:38 am post. I think the thread author is right that 400 links to one site is alot more valuable than 100 links to four sites. The whole point of the redirects is not to get PR on the less important extensions, but simply to ensure that if they are clicked for whatever reason (say, type-in traffic), the user ends up at your site and not someone else’s.

    Jerry is correct that Google probably will not grant any PR to pages that have no content, and thus it is not worth performing any SEO efforts on them. They are simply being registered to avoid siphoning of traffic. Placing duplicate content on multiple exetnsions not only makes it harder to get high PR for any one of the sites (since you are dividing your backlink efforts between multiple sites), but may lead to penalization from Google with respect to having multiple web pages with identical content.

    While I can’t be adamant about this, I doubt Google would impose any penalty to your main site for the redirects, as they would have no way of knowing you own the alternate extensions unless they did a WhoIs lookup programmatically. And even this strategy could easily be blocked by registering the alternate extensions using privacy service (the registrar owns the domain for you beneficially, and is the owner of record at the domain registry, even though you retain full rights to control and sell the domain).

    Stu

  • 30. Lonnie  |  August 15th, 2009 at 6:17 am

    We are a publishing company. We have four main cities we serve, Brentwood (our flagship), Oakley, Discovery Bay and Antioch. We produce weekly newspapers for each. But the content is common to all newspapers. We just arrange it differently as to what is front page vs. what goes inside.

    We own brentwoodpress.com, antiochpress.com, discoverybaypress.com and oakleypress.com. A few years ago we advertised each domain individually. This gave each citiy a feeling of their own web site. But we realized that all four web sites have the same content.

    So we changed our focus at the beginning of the year to bring all the cities to one web site. We launched thepress.net. (thepress.com was not available). We have been branding our site as thepress.net on our 4 local newspapers and throughout our community advertising.

    Now the question has been raised, Why are we not advertising the 4 domain names in addition to thepress.net.? While it is true that the 4 domains point to thepress.net, my question is, Will advertising 5 domian names for one web site be good or bad? And what are the reasons?

  • 31. Stewart Engelman - DNI Services  |  August 15th, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Hi Lonnie,

    There is nothing wrong with branding the multiple domain names in the sense of offline advertising. The main thing is that that you only have a certain amount of time and money to devote to link building efforts. You want to maximize the value of this effort relative to the time and money expended. The basic idea is to funnel your link building efforts into thepress.net. There may be specialty sites related to specific locales where you might want to build links to the individual papers, but this should be the exception rather than the rule. In rare cases, you might even be able to link to all of the sites (such as via online articles submitted to syndication sites). The important thing to keep in mind is: build as many high quality links to the main site as possible so you get high PR for the “portal entry”. From there you can of course link to the individual papers so users get the most relevant possible news.

    Stu

  • 32. melanie  |  September 7th, 2009 at 2:35 am

    Hi there
    I have a question. Would really appreciate help here. I have a domain name.. let’s call it for the sake of ease “birds.com”. On the main menu I have links to white birds, blue birds , red birds
    Let’s say, I have been able to buy several domain names that relate perfectly to the content of each page… bluebirds.com , whitebirds.net . Perfect names that folks actually look for in search engines.. ie white birds, blue birds..etc..
    What if I want to give each of those bird pages its own domain name, so if someone types in “ white bird” in the search engine , they will get the address for the white bird page, rather than the home page. And red bird , the same. Yet both of these pages, would have the same home page.. which is birds.com, and links to the other birds.
    Can this be done without pissing google off?

  • 33. Stewart Engelman - DNI Services  |  September 7th, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Hi Melanie,

    I don’t think either approach will get you into trouble with Google. The real question is what method gets you the most bang for the buck in your SEO efforts.

    In Lonnie’s case, it seemed to me to make sense to focus optimization efforts on a single entry portal, as the individual cities would not likely be the subject of many searches, particularly exact searches. Your situation is a little different, as long as the “birds” analogy is truly accurate. In other words, if each sub-level term will get alot of exact search activity, performing separate SEO efforts for each sub-level and the main level web site begins to make more sense.

    You can use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool at https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal to get an idea of how many local/global exact/broad searches are performed each month on your terms of interest. This can help guide you in determining the best strategy for your SEO dollars.

    Stu

  • 34. melanie  |  September 8th, 2009 at 1:00 am

    Thank you very much Stu
    There is no doubt that using the domain names for each bird would be the best bang for my money.
    The real concern here for me is the each bird page has the same menu choices as the home page. So in other words, a visitor can do a search for white bird in google, come into the site via whitebird.com, and later click on the red bird link on that same page, taking him to redbird.net.
    I wondered if the spiders would pick up on the common links that run through the site, and see it as duplicate content.
    Plus, I do not know if this is important, but my site is fairly new, and I do not have tons of content per each bird.
    Nor do I have any 301 directives..not sure if I need them or not
    Cheers
    Mel

  • 35. Stewart Engelman - DNI Services  |  September 9th, 2009 at 8:03 am

    Hi Melanie,

    My advice would be to make each landing page somewhat different, which you were probably planning to do anyway. For example, the “white bird” site would no doubt have main content, starting near the top of the page, which would differ from that applicable to the main content in the “red bird” site. I don’t think the mere fact that the various sites have common outgoing links will cause Google to depreciate your PR. The main thing is that there are meaningful differences in the textual content on the various landing pages.

    The absence of meaningful content could be a problem, as your site’s PR will go up with number of incoming links and traffic, both of which are hard to obtain naturally without an adequate amount of useful content. You may need to supplement your SEO strategies with actions that artificially create links to your landing pages and goose up traffic, such as paid ads, posting to high PR blogs that permit you to enter backlinks, high PR directory submission (can be somewhat expensive), and paid links from high PR sites (Google will penalize unless the fact that you are paying is a secret, so you may need to work with an SEO firm on this to identify the sites; note that this approach can be very expensive due to the SEO firm markup).

    To my knowledge, 301 redirects do not cause search engines to penalize you, and in fact may be advantageous in cases where you want to use a well aged and high PR domain to shuttle traffic to your site. Of course, buying or renting the the redirection source will cost money. Hopefully, other readers will comment on this (i.e., whether or not 301 redirects cause search engines to penalize your SERP).

    Stu

  • 36. theDuck  |  September 9th, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Hey Stewart - thanks for your comments and helping out Melissa - I’m in broad agreeance with most of your responses, by the way - but my counsel would be to aware of the google webmaster guidelines and be very careful about doing anything ‘grey’ that is designed to ‘goose the system’ -

    One example of goosing the system would be redirecting (via 301) websites to another totally unrelated website in an attempt to gain PR… that’s outright against policy.
    Cheers,

    M

  • 37. Stewart Engelman - DNI Services  |  September 9th, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Hi Duck,

    Thanks for your input. I specifically requested input on the 301 redirect question as I was not sure my advice was correct. You were kind enough to point out a potential error in my comment on this point.

    I was wondering what your opinion might be on an alternative strategy. It is at best “gray hat,” but it might have merit from an effectiveness standpoint.

    What if the high PR redirection site had a hidden HTML button (i.e., was enclosed by a DIV element with a style/display parameter set to “none”). Then, an external Javascript file, pulled in as a browser side include, programmatically pressed the button, whose handler was the redirect (i.e., “document.location.href=’…’;”). Both the handler code and the button push command would be included in the external Javascript file. For human emulation purposes, if necessary, a timer could be included in the external Javascript file to wait 2-3 seconds before executing the redirect.

    To Google, this would look like a normal human click, unless they had code that programmatically traversed the DOM, which I would be very surprised if they were doing. Assuming such traversal is not performed by Google, the entire redirect scheme is invisible, since it is buried in a browser side include, and thus will not show in the HTML page page source that Google analyzes..

    Please opine on this strategy if you can. If you think it has merit, I’ll post code in this thread so Melanie can implement it in her system if she wishes to (Melanie - if this process turns out to be safe from a Google ranking standpoint, the code I give you will involve nothing more than a couple of easy copy/pastes into your system).

    Stu

  • 38. theDuck  |  September 9th, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Stu -

    Check the Google Webmaster Guidelines and specifically check the “quality guidelines” section, specifically cloaking and sneaky redirects.

    “assuming that such traversal is not performed by google”, I would suggest, is a serious danger ;) I have seen sites completely disappear from the index for much lesser sins.

    My suggestion - Cutts and his team take this kind of thing extremely seriously. Stay away from Blackhat. Stick to the basics - write great content, get coverage from other sites, grow organically. Don’t try to goose the process.

    Cheers,

    M

  • 39. melanie  |  September 10th, 2009 at 5:58 am

    wow
    thank you stu and duck. good stuff there. lots to think about.

  • 40. Stewart Engelman - DNI Services  |  September 10th, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Hi Duck and Melanie,

    I checked the “Quality Guidelines” section of the Google Webmasters Guide. The applicable section would appear to be “Cloaking, sneaky Javascript redirects, and doorway pages.” This section describes three scenarios web site owners need to be mindful of in order to avoid SERP deductions in Google.

    The first is cloaking, whch they define as “presenting different content or URLs to users and search engines”. Since my proposal does cause content to differ by user agent, Google’s crawler will see exactly the same content as other users, so there is no violation here.

    The second area is “Sneaky JavaScript redirects”. Google defines this as placing different text in JavaScript than in a corresponding noscript tag, with the idea that the user will most often have a JS enabled browser and execute the JS (containing the redirect), and Google’s crawler will see the noscript-based text variant instead (which omits the redirect). Since my proposal contains no use of noscript tags, I feel we would be in complete compliance here.

    The third area focuses on so-called “doorway pages”, which are collections of low quality pages as respects content, but get high SERP rankings on particular search phrases due to their textual construction, and then automatically shuttle the user to the desired site (in this case, “birds.com”). Although the hypothetical highly ranked page here may not have low quality content, it is possible that Google may consider my strategy as at least “gray hat” because of the automatic redirect. Google’s precise wording on this topic: “Google’s aim is to give our users the most valuable and relevant search results. Therefore, we frown on practices that are designed to manipulate search engines and deceive users by directing them to sites other than the ones they selected, and that provide content solely for the benefit of search engines.” This is just a guess on my part, but I think Melanie will probably be OK as long as the textual content and META keywords in the redirector page are highly relevant to the content at “birds.com”. I say this as I’ve seen many sites with high PR that use branded names for their domain, like “www.jonesbowling.com”, but have a collection of generic domains (like “bowling.com”) that automatically redirect to the branded site. The idea in this case is to benefit from type-in traffic. Melanie’s scenario is probably a little different, as she is probably trying to get traffic at “birds.com” from a site that gets a high SERP in orgainc search. But the method of reaching the redirector page is not dispositive with respect to the safety of using redirects. According to Google’s own statement, the vioaltion comes into play when the redirects frustrate users by causing them to end up at sites that are unrelated to their search. I thus feel (reasonably) confident that my proposed methodology would not cause harm to “birds.com’s” PR, as long as there is a good contextual sync between the high PR redirector site and the birds.com landing page. A further element of safety is offered by my browser side include strategy with timer based human emulation delay; this strategy makes it virtually impossible for Google to even see what’s actually happening.

  • 41. melanie  |  September 11th, 2009 at 3:57 am

    Thanks Stu
    Your a prince.
    It had just dawned on me that in short that what I was asking about, was having different landing pages for each bird, but the content the same on all the other pages. Lol… I think that would’ve been an easier way to put it! I suspect from what you and duck have said that this is not a good plan, tough if not impossible to get around.

  • 42. Stewart Engelman - DNI Services  |  September 11th, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Hi Melanie,

    I do know that Google tends to depreciate the value of pages that link in to a given page, where the content of the former are all identical or at least very similar.

    Now, this does not address the issue of whether or not multiple similar destination pages are an issue. This does of course multiply the amount of work you need to do to get each of them highly ranked (i.e., it’s easier to optimize one site than many), but it may have no impact on how much work is required per site.

    In short, the “similarity” issue applies to the pages linking in, not the pages being linked to.

    Stu

  • 43. Jay  |  November 10th, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    My client has “birds.com” and is highly ranked for it’s keywords. He has decided to buy approx 100 domains names, all his keywords, and variants with dashes, cities, etc. eg “white-birds.com”.

    He wants a single page website built for each of the 100, with content relevant to the domain name, and have them each point to the Contact page of the main “birds.com”.

    As well, each will have general info on “birds.com”, the main site, and have a link to the specific page “birds.com/white-birds” that also deals with the subject presented in “white-birds.com”.
    Still with me?

    Will all these 100 domains negatively affect the high ranking of “birds.com”?
    (He’s not interested in achieving high rankings for the individual sites, just wants to secure the domains over his competition, provide some info, but promote his main site, and ultimately keep me bu$y for quite some time!)

    Appreciate your thoughts on this.
    Cheers,
    Jay

  • 44. Richard17  |  November 28th, 2009 at 2:14 am

    Hi Everyone

    I’m a real SEO novice but have, in the past, had what I thought was decent advice that I’ve tried to put into practise.

    Anyway, I have two domains. The main one is a .org, while the secondary one is .org.uk

    The secondary domain is just a page of different descriptive content that then has links to the main, bigger site.

    I only have this extra site because I was told that I needed an active domain with “uk” in the name so google/users knew we are uk based.

    The secondary site is always listed before my main site on Google.

    My questions is…

    Do i really need the secondary domain and page or shoud I just use the address as a re-direct to the main site? I’d prefer to do this to avoid have two sites showing up on Google and perhaps confusing me. I’d also prefer not to make the .org.uk the main domain.

    Any help would be really appreciated.

    Thanks.
    R

  • 45. Stewart Engelman DNI Services  |  December 1st, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Hi Richard,

    The .org.uk site is a blessing in disguise. I defintely would keep it for now, even if you have no need for it, as its higher SERP will help drive traffic to your main site via a hyperlink.

    If the .org.uk site simply redirected to the main site, this is probably OK as long as the .org.uk has no PR. If it has PR, then it could lose it from just being a redirect, and thus its SERP would diminish.

    The real question here is why does the secondary site have a better SERP on your main keywords than the main site? Try to look at the following:

    (1) Keyword Density - should be about 3-7% for each META phrase. DO NOT OVERSTUFF YOUR CONTENT WITH META PHRASES. It is critical that your content looks natural to the GoogleBot.

    (2) H1 and H2 tags - these are important, and should reflect most of your META phrases once. If you don’t like how they look (too chunky), use CSS to modify them.

    (3) META Description - It should be 2-3 sentences at most, and should reflect most of your META phrases once or twice.

    (4) HTML Title - This should reflect ALL of your META phrases at least once, no matter how silly it reads.

    (5) HTML Comment - This should reflect most of your META phrases at least once.

    Compare the .org.uk site with the main site on the above points. You may find that you inadvertently handled them better in the .org.uk site. If you can bring the main site up to the same standards, you may be able to dispense with the .org.uk site due to improvement in the main site’s SERP.

  • 46. Vodacom Specials  |  December 29th, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    I have 1 main domain with a PR of 4, and the 2 other domains also have PR4, so redirecting them to the main domain now.. hoping for a positive result!

  • 47. markc  |  February 9th, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    I have read all the comments and it has been a great help, but I am still short on a solution to my problem.

    I think that I was heading down the “doorway pages” path until I read these comments!

    I have been asked to take over and promote a site relating to solar installations. The problem is that the domain name does not really have huge relevancy to the product. So I jumped in a bought a few new domains that combined the word solar and local place names.

    I then set up a one page site on one of these and left it for a while to see what would happen. Sure enough, if I now type in a search that includes the word solar and the place name, that site is right up there on the front page. And from my experience many people tend to search for products in this way so I am thinking that these new domains will be far more successful than the more obscure original.

    So I thought that I would just use these domains to point to the lower PR main page, but having read all the comments I am now unsure that this is the right thing to do. It is not really a case of misdirection as the search is a very specific one and leads the searcher to the very product that they were looking for, but will the likes of Google see it this way?

    So now I am stuck, do I just loose the old site, maybe putting a redirect (301) on that one and focus on one of the new domains, or would it be OK to put a few pages of relevant information on each of the new domains and a link to the main site which is only traversed should the visitor wish to do so? I.E. no automatic redirection.

    Any suggestions of a reasonable solution for this dilemma would be well received!

    Many thanks,

    Mark.

  • 48. SEO Agency  |  February 11th, 2010 at 1:04 am

    You have raised an important point here. Ine of our new clients registered lots of domain names and put the same site up on all of them. After looking into their analytics account they have very poor traffic levels and only receive traffic from their brand name. I presume they have been sandboxed for engaging in this sort of black hat activity so beware all those who have multiple domains. It is only worth it if the content on each domain is totally unique.

  • 49. Jason  |  February 11th, 2010 at 7:51 am

    We have a corporate site, that we’re considering breaking up into several smaller sites… I get the concept of doing this (more sites, cross-linking to one another should theoretically raise search rankings). What I’m not sure of is whether this is a good or bad idea.

    To come up with unique Domains for each of these sites, we first have to devise unique product brands for each line of product that we break out as a separate site - we have multiple lines of product that currently fall under a single corporate brand

    From a branding standpoint, I’m concerned we may well dilute and undermine our Parent/Corporate Brand in the process (which is established and known by name).

    After doing all that, the new domain names will likely be longer and harder to remember than our current site URL.

    So my question is, has anyone seen this approach (splitting a larger site into smaller, interconnected sites) work? Did it hurt, help, or was it a wash?

  • 50. Video  |  July 13th, 2010 at 6:58 am

    I have 1 main domain with a PR of 4, and the 2 other domains also have PR4, so redirecting them to the main domain now.. hoping for a positive result!

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