Sometimes clients ask me if they should register multiple domain names.
If they already have a web site at www.abcd.com.au, they wonder if the also need to register abcd.net.au, abcd.org.au, abcd-anotherproduct.com.au – the list of options is seems endless, but you get the point.
Well, the simple answer is “no”.
The more complicated answer is “no, and be very careful if you already have”.
The idea of registering multiple domain names is technique being recommended by unscrupulous people calling themselves Search Engine Optimisation Specialists, but it’s really just a quick buck for them and a lot of heartache for you.
Okay, so it seems a reasonable (if expensive) idea at first.
They tell you to purchase multiple domain names to cover your product category and also to deprive your competition of those domain names.
Once you own them, you have each of these domain names pointed to your main web site.
BUT BEWARE …. it can actually DAMAGE YOUR PRIMARY DOMAIN.
Please take a look at this article >>> http://www.rainbodesign.com/seo-tips/multiple-domain-names.php
This article talks about search engines and “duplicate content penalty”.
What this means is, if you have the same content on multiple websites, the search engines will DEVALUE ALL YOUR SITES.
As that article says “some hucksters are so anxious for any benefits that they’ll register dozens of domain names that are variations of the primary keywords” but it “damages your overall rankings”. I do like the term “hucksters”:)
The reason is that multiple domain names all pointing to the same content is considered spam.
It is spam because you’re trying to get search engines to index multiple domain names that point to the same physical content on the server.
Basically, think of it this way.
If what you are wanting to achieve is to “trick” search engines into indexing your site higher than others, then the search engines will always be one step ahead. They will penalise you for your trickery.
And rightly so!
We all love search engines. The internet is pretty useless without them!
Search engine live or die by who uses them, so they need to maintain scrupulous integrity in delivering their results.
90% of users worldwide use Google because it delivers the results they are looking for. So any technique that tries to trick Google into delivering content is squashed by Google as quickly as the idea emerges.
There is really only one simple rule for search engine optimisation and that it to make sure the content of your website is good.
Always put yourself in the position of the potential customer who is using Google to search for your product, because that is how Google looks at it.
People use the internet because it gives them a lot of information about the range of products and suppliers available.
Whatever product you are offering, when people use the internet they also want to see your competitor’s products. They want to compare what all the similar products.
And those results are what Google provides, and that keeps Google the king!
Here is how Google themselves phrase it:
“Our users typically want to see a diverse cross-section of unique content when they do searches. In contrast, they’re understandably annoyed when they see substantially the same content within a set of search results.”
So, whatever SEO experts say, hoping to fill half of the first page of the search results with links to your site is a complete waste of time.
It is better to spend your efforts on the site you already have and provide more information about your products and improve the content.
Don’t be tricked into registering multiple domains because that strategy is not going to achieve anything and it may even damage the positioning you currently have.
For more information, have a look at:
http://www.askdavetaylor.com/does_your_domain_name_affect_your_search_engine_ranking.html - Dave Taylor says this in relation to search engine optimisation “we don’t actually know the exact formula and there’s an entire industry of people trying their very best to figure it out … and while some of them are sharp marketing professionals, many are snake-oil salesmen and should be avoided at all costs.” I wish I’d said that, but quoting it is nearly as good
http://www.seo.com/blog/multiple-domains-seo/ - Scott Smoot discusses why having multiple domains is “mostly bad”.
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2008/09/demystifying-duplicate-content-penalty.html - Google explains what is meant by ”duplicate content penalty” and advises that “Duplicate content on a site is not grounds for action on that site unless it appears that the intent of the duplicate content is to be deceptive and manipulate search engine results.”
So there you have it, right from the horse’s mouth – If you are using a duplicate site to be deceptive and trick Google, they won’t like it and your site will suffer!