There are a variety of reasons why a site owner would own more than one domain. Business owners who are concerned about protecting their brand often buy up every possible domain extension for their intended URL (.com, .co, .net, .biz, .info, etc). Alternately, SEO-minded webmasters might purchase domains with keywords relevant to their business in hopes of cornering a market and driving more traffic to their site (AwesomeYoga.com, AwesomeYogaStudio.com, YogaAwesome.com, etc). Others utilize ‘vanity URLs for certain marketing campaigns that require an easy-to-remember URL. When you create a website on the LiveEdit platform, you can certainly use your DNS to point in as many domains as you’d like. But just because you can does not mean you should.
Isn’t Having Multiple Domains Better for My SEO?
The quick answer to whether or not pointing multiple domains at a single site is a good, solid SEO strategy is No. At LiveEdit, we encourage our clients to concentrate their efforts, and their SEO, on one domain, and to serve up content on that domain that is original, relevant, and valuable to potential customers. Using multiple domain names (or domain extensions) has the potential to dilute the equity of your content and your website, essentially causing you to compete with yourself!
What are the Downfalls of Using Multiple Domains for a Single Website?
Site owners who launch a range of domain names or domain name extensions will have each of their domains crawled and indexed as a separate site. Mysite.com is considered a different website than mysite.net and mysite.info. Each and every page can potentially be indexed.
When new information is put on the internet and indexed by search engines, it is recognized as original content and assigned value which is reflected by its position in the SERPs. If a site is indexed more than once on multiple domains, there can be only one original copy--meaning that any subsequent listings will be recognized as duplicate content. Duplicate content is either ignored or even worse, penalized, by the search engine algorithm.
Having multiple live domains causes the webmaster to lose control over the indexing of their site. Instead of site pages being indexed cleanly and as a group when the search engine spiders crawl, it is possible for some pages to be indexed and ranked, and credited to one site and others to another. This divides equity and makes it very difficult to collect valuable analytics data.
If your backlinks profile is divided up over a number of sites, you will have to duplicate your efforts in order to garner a higher rank for your keywords. Having twenty high-quality, relevant inbound links to mysite.com is far more valuable than having five-point to mysite.com, five to mysite.org, five to mysite.edu, and five to mysite.info.
Is There a Way to Utilize All the Domains I Purchased?
If you have already purchased a batch of domain names and feel compelled to utilize them, it is safe to 301 redirect them (not point them) to your primary URL via your DNS. Instead of example.net and example.com being complete sites that stand side-by-side, the two will be combined, and typing example.net into the taskbar will bring the user to example.com. Redirected domains will take the user to your primary domain, the one to which you are funneling your optimization efforts. In turn, your primary domain will get all of the credit, link juice, and equity available.
Here is how to redirect a domain name within your website:
- First, please make sure each domain you wish to redirect is launched and a Primary Domain is set (Launch Guide).
- Log in to your LiveEdit website
- Click on Account Settings
- Click on the Domains tab.
- Click on the Edit/Pencil icon of the non-primary domain you wish to redirect.
- In the window that appears, add your Primary Domain to the Redirect To field.
- Click Update to save.