Is Having Multiple Domains Pointing To A Single Website A Good SEO Strategy? Semalt Knows The Answer!
Here is what you need to know before making up your mind on whether or not redirecting other domains to a primary one is a smart SEO move. We've had clients ask questions on having multiple domains point to one website. Their main interest is in understanding whether it is dangerous or beneficial from an SEO or Google's point of view. In one case, we had a client requesting that they would like to have ten different domains pointing to one website, so we thought it would be wise to discuss the effects of such actions.
The answer to this question isn't finite. As with many SEO qualities, using multiple domains can improve or damage your SEO efforts. It depends.
When clients or prospective clients say "point multiple domains to one website," we assume they mean "301 or some other form of redirect from extra domains to the client's website". And we assume that our clients aren't saying we should "have their website resolved for all of these domains."
It is important for you to know that having one website answer to multiple domains simply creates multiple websites. This means you'll end up having duplicate content, which is absolutely not beneficial to your SEO efforts or how Google perceives your site.
When can you redirect the other domains to your main domain?
Assuming we are talking about redirecting other domains to the client's primary domain, there are a few questions that need answering before we can know whether or not doing this is a good or bad move.
- What is the initial origin of these domains?
- Has the client always had these domains? Were they the original registrants?
- In the history of these domains, have they ever had any website of their own? Or do they currently have a website of their own?
- If any of the domains a client plans to use have ever been a standalone website (this means they have every served as a website with their content) or if they have been run by someone other than our clients, we will have to check up on its history before we use any of the domains.
- We will pull up a historical backlink profile that goes as far back as possible. Then we will create a fresh backlink profile for each domain.
- In the backlink profiles, our experts will look for links with questionable origins. They will figure out if the prior use of the domain involved buying links or if it has bad/ undesirable backlinks. We wouldn't want to 301 a domain containing thousands of spam or, most likely, pornographic links to our client's otherwise perfectly good domain.
- If we discover any kind of footprint in the domain that suggests that it was used for nefarious activities in the past, we immediately flag it as bad. We would not consider 301 redirecting such a domain to our client's healthy and active domain.
- However, if the domain in question has a type-in value, we can consider 302 redirect them to the client's website. Before the client or we agree to this, we will check to see if there are any actively ranking of the domains we hope to use. If we discover that there are, we then consider the content to see if it directly antagonizes our client's current content.
- There is no value or benefit in redirecting a domain that ranks for terms related to dance tutorials to our client's website that contains content about medical equipment. If the content in the domain and the content in the target website do not match, there is no value in redirecting.
- In a similar case here at Semalt, we got hold of a direct competitor's domain, and we were able to 301 redirect most of their pages to a client that had very similar content. This was great for our client because users still found exactly what they were looking for in our client's site and not the competitor's. The client was very pleased because all of the high-value links that previously went to the competitor were now 301 redirected to our client's website. The new influx of traffic came with the value associated with the links.
- In relation to that, if there are rankings on Google for any of the domains, and any of our analysis result triggers any kind of malware or malicious content warning, we immediately stop the process. That is because we do not want to redirect such domains to our clients' sites. If we find content on the domain, but it doesn't appear to be what our clients or we find is suspicious because it doesn't fit in, the chances are that the existing domain or website has been hacked.
- For example, on a site that offers pets for adoption, but all of their ranking on SERP suggests that it is a website that teaches kids how to play baseball; the chances are that it has been hacked.
- If a domain has been hacked, we might still be able to use it, but first and foremost, we must obliterate the entire file system and any database that is connected to the site. To be extra cautious, we may decide to move the hosting environment away. We would only go to this effort when we notice other valuable features that we can't do without on the domain; otherwise, it simply isn't worth the effort. By valuable features, we are referring to amazing backlinks or directly related content/ results.
Ensure that the client's website doesn't simply resolve for multiple domains
We can redirect other domains to point to doom our SEO efforts and the website as a whole. That is completely bad. It doesn't depend on what happens; it is our client's primary domain or website. What we cannot do is create X number of identical content websites. That will only spell a terrible hand on gambling.
We do due diligence on the domains our clients want us to redirect to their websites
- Backlink history: are the domains clean? Do they have anything good in them? Is there any scary element in them? If the site looks like it was undesirable in its past life, the chances are that it will only cause you more harm. Because of that, we recommend that such domains aren't redirected to our client's websites.
- Prior content: is the domain directly related to your client's current website? Does it carry the right message? If it doesn't match our client's current website or needs, there is simply no value in redirecting it to our client's current website.
- Security: are there any indicators that that is otherwise secured? If there are traces of compromise in a domain, we do not use it to redirect traffic.
What matters the most when evaluating the domains to use?
With the reasons listed above, selecting the perfect domain isn't all that difficult. If an otherwise desirable domain has amazing potential, then is it right that a redirected website has been hacked or compromised? We do not want to redirect a vulnerable domain to our client's website directly. However, we are careful not to pass value.
Any type of redirect that does not pass value will work. But these domain redirects still do not have the client's website, just answer the other domain. If this occurs, it is the same as creating a duplicate content site, so it is very bad.
So if we have a case where our client has registered a bunch of similar domains or the same name but different TLD domains, pointing such TLD domains to the client's website is completely useless.
Clients can still retain these domains without a website attached so that your competition or other people from registering or using the domain.
In closing, there is real value in using multiple domains that point to your website as an SEO strategy. However, the success of this method depends on the pool of domains you're looking to use and how they relate to the content you have published on your website. Let's say it isn't a slam dunk in any direction.
You will need the services of professionals such as Semalt. As experts, we are thoughtful about the decision. Our knowledge in SEO makes us the perfect agents to rely on when you're planning on using such a delicate method to attract more traffic to your site. We are very thoughtful about our decisions with the guidelines mentioned above. By doing so, our clients and their website will benefit greatly.