There are a variety of reasons that 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 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 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 the 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 mysite.com and mysite.net being complete sites which stand side-by-side, the two will be combined, and typing mysite.net into the task bar will bring the user to mysite.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, contact your DNS provide and point over the 'Domain A Record' of each URL you are going to use. Please see Step #1 on this guide:
- Next, Login to your Liveedit website.
- Click on the 'Dashboard' Icon.
- Click on "Account Settings"
- Navigation to the "Manage Your Aliases" tab.
- Enter in each domain name you own and will be pointing to your website.
- Next to your Primary URL, click on the 'Star Icon' to the left. This will indicate the primary domain name being used.
- After the domain names are entered, click on the 'Notepad' icon to the right of the domain name.
- Checkmark the 'Redirect To" option
- In the field that will appear below, enter in your Primary Domain and click 'Update'
- This domain name is now redirect to your Primary domain name. Please repeat for each additional domain name.