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Multiple Domain Names, SEO and Forwarding

I’ll make this article real short for some of you by answering the big question: buying multiple domain names will not help with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or drive more traffic to your website. But there are some other big benefits and that’s what we’ll explore here.

There are some out there who believe buying up multiple domain names will somehow send more people to their websites. Simply not true. In fact, the only thing you can really do is “forward” those new domain names to an existing website. Forwarding a domain is also technically known in geek-speak as a 301 Permanent Redirect of a URL.  Here’s what forwarding does.  Let’s say you buy abc-xyz.com and forward (redirect) it to your main website at yourwebsiteexample.com.  If or when someone types in the EXACT domain name of  abc-xyz.com, the user will be taken to yourwebsiteexample.com. That’s it. That’s all there is. Exciting, huh? (yawn)

Okay, now for the benefits I mentioned. Here are the reasons why you should buy up multiple domain names:

  1. Brand Yourself. You have a brand and people know it by name. Someone is likely going to type your brand name thinking it’s a web address. Anyone who owns a business should at least try to get their business name in a domain name. This also offers protection. Your competitor could buy it too!
  2. Virtual Real Estate. You want to buy up the common domain names others may try to use to compete against you. If you have a salon in Pleasanton, you should own every domain name with the words “salon” and “Pleasanton” in it. After all, what’s to keep a salon opening up across the street from you and buying that domain name?
  3. Misspellings. Get domain names related to your business, services or products that are commonly misspelled and forward them to your website. For example, my domain is 6x6design.com. I also own (and have forwarded) 6by6design.com, sixbysixdesign.com, etc.

Alright, you have a bunch of domain names and now you want them forwarded to your main website. I made a video tutorial on just how to do this, assuming you are using GoDaddy.com.  Even if you’re using someone else to get domain name from, the procedure is pretty much the same from my experience.

GoDaddy logo

By the way, if you are considering buying more domain names from Godaddy.com and don’t already have an account with them, I’d appreciate it if you’d use my affiliate link here. I get credit for your purchases. All you have to do is click on the Godaddy.com logo.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4770qvktd0&feature=channel[/youtube]

24 Responses to Multiple Domain Names, SEO and Forwarding

  1. Can anyone advise of a good search engine optimisation company for me? there seems to be a mountain of them, some people say use who shows up first in the search engines when you type in seo which kind of makes sense but I’m not sure. Any help or advice would be appreciated. I’ll check back regular for responses.

    • Well, being a web designer saying you do SEO on your website, not sure why you would be asking this question. Likely just to get the link. I’ll share the love anyway. Best wishes to you and your business.

  2. This is what I am looking to accomplish. I have one live domain and I want to forward a second domain name with masking to that live domain. This is simple. What I want to do is be able to use email for the forwarded domain even though that name is not live on the server.

    Do you have any suggestions on how to accomplish this. Can we forward a domain and at the same time point the MX record to the mail server or is it best just to purchase email hosting at Go Daddy to accomplish this?

    • Hi Jason,

      Yes, it would be best to just pay for Godaddy email hosting if domain forwarding is all you need. Either way, you need a mail server to hold the domain’s MX record.

  3. Hello,
    I’m a ski boot fitter from the Netherlands and my site is quite well ranked for dutch keywords. That’s not the issue.
    My business name tough is: DutchBootFitter every now and then I get people to say I can’t find your site at http://www.dutchbootfitter.nl off course it’s on http://www.bootfitter.nl!
    So can I register dutchbootfitter.nl and 301 redirect it to bootfitter.nl without losing ranking?

    Thank you in advance, when you ever come to Holland I will fit your boots.

    Met vriendelijke groet,
    DutchBootFitter

    Marco-Paul Breijer
    Podoloog

    http://www.bootfitter.nl
    http://www.twitter.com/DutchBootFitter

    • Hello,
      If you purchase the domain dutchbootfitter.nl, simply park the domain (do nothing with it) and use the simple domain forwarding option to point it to your main domain name. This will easily achieve what you’re looking to do. On the other hand, a 301 redirect is different from forwarding. This is a permanent redirect of the URL from one to another. It would only serve you if you have a website and links on dutchbootfitter.nl, which of course you do not.
      Best wishes and happy skiing.

  4. thanks for this article, its very helpful. Would you say that its best that those extra domain names (that are be redirected), be submitted to search engines? That way those names are at least recognized?

    • It wouldn’t do you any good as far a s forwarding goes. It would be better to place a one or two page website on the extra domains if you want them indexed. It will help to “age” them domain if you decide to use them later.

  5. Sometimes people type what they are searching for in the address bar instead of a search engine. If you own .com it is very possible the browser will try to automatically guess what they want and send them to your website.

  6. While JOCKpost is right, there are only a select few “BIG” domainers who have these kinds of domains, so I’d say it doesn’t really apply to 99% of regular marketers.

  7. I have a 2 domain sites for my home care agency.I want to forward site#1 to site #2.
    1) Will this effect my page ranking to Site#1?
    2) Would I be able to still create new pages on site’s 1 & 2 and have them to both rank as they are now?

    • If you have websites on both domains, domain forwarding will not work for you. You are better off with both domain names hosting a website and hosted separately with unique content for both.

  8. Our situation is that we had an old URL with a hyphen and that is currently still the domain that has the CMS and files. But internally as a business we decided to no longer use in collateral material (and on the site, our email addresses, etc) the hyphenated domain name.

    At the moment, we’re hosting with Google and using the DNS Manager simply have an A record from the non-hyphenated domain name point to the hyphenated domain name. But we have issues with a Google Map (GMAP) mashup, specifically the key looks for the hyphenated domain, and throws a Javascript alert that the GMAP key is invalid, when you visit it with the non-hyphenated domain name. And with Google Analytics, you can’t use the cross-domain feature as with the A record there’s no place to insert the GA code for the non-hyphenated domain name.

    So we’d like to use the masking option, so people see the hyphenated domain name, but we also fear being penalized by the crawlers/spiders.

    Thoughts?

    • Honestly, it would be much easier to just bite the bullet and use the domain you want to use without redirection. I’d create a new account (on paid hosting, not Google’s free hosting) and transfer the website to it. Then all you have to do is do a 301 Redirect of the old URLs. Thanks for the comment.

  9. Hello and thank you for your great post! Quick question: I have hundreds of domains around the topic of my one, central, main business domain that has a website on it. Do I forward all hundred? I’m in financial services, so my main domain is on a variety of topics, then I have a bunch of others that I don’t use on separate topics (eg: 529plans.us, saveforcollege.org, etc. etc.) The last thing I want to do is hurt my SEO for my main site. Thanks!

    • Thanks for the comment. You can forward as many as you wish to your website but it will not help you (or hurt you) with SEO. Your parked domains are not “searchable”. They would only be useful if someone typed in the exact URL in the address bar to look for you. Hope that helps.

  10. If you have a main website would it be best to redirect all your other related domains to that website or just duplicate that site into each domain creating virtually independent websites that are all almost identical all having google adsense an each one.? Just to recap should i copy my main website with google adsense and paste it into each domain name creating 10 websites or just keep 1 site with 9 redirects ? My reasoning is that it may look more real and keep web browsers from detecting redirect and maybe its better for Google Adsense some how ???

    • Your website is about SEO? Hmm… Well anyway, duplicating a website would be a major mistake, unless of course they all have different content, then it’s okay. It’s always best to have a domain name attached to a live website versus parking it or redirecting it. The more websites you have – again, each with it’s very own unique content and topic – the better your AdSense program will be.

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