Techemistry Blog

Busy Beavers & Domain Registrations

8/16/2012 3:57:00 PM -- Ted Krapf

It's been a while since my last blog entry -- life has been extraordinarily busy with IT and web development projects, some family transitions, and planning for my upcoming wedding to the girl of my dreams!  

Have you ever run into a client, or guilty yourself, of purchasing tons of extra domain names for a single business?  Even ones that aren't related to the business name, but end up pointing to the same website?

I had a client recently with hundreds of domain names.  Some had value, as they were common misspellings of their company name or alternate TLD's, but most that were just related to their industry.  The extra domains came to my attention as many of them were about to expire and the client wanted to know what to do with them.  Should we just point them all at the same website?  Should we build a separate site for each?  And how will this impact our search engine results and online marketing efforts?

We went through a series of options, research and explanation with the client:

Option #1 - Point all extra domains at the same web site
PROs: Quick fix
CONs: Doesn't allow the client to see if the other domains are being visited; could negatively affect SEO.

Option #2 - Forward all extra domains to the primary domain name
PROs: If the forwarding is done correctly with a 301 - Permanently Moved redirect, the search engines will at least get users to the correct site
CONs: Forwarding could get mismanaged by the client; could massively dilute their SEO results across many many domains; could have Google's Panda demerit their ranking because of domains with duplicate content

Option #3 - Create a site for each domain name
PROs: If, and a BIG if, the content were different on each site, you could potentially create a large foot print of referring sites for the primary domain
CONs: Duplicate content would demerit their rank; management 100's of sites instead of one, need to create the best content possible for 100's of sites now instead of a single site; Google's Panda is smart and getting smarter every day.  While only a handful of Google ninja's know Panda's inter-workings, I'd strongly advise against trying to trick Panda into giving your site a better rank.

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