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redirecting multiple domain names to one


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#1 Liz

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Posted 19 September 2002 - 06:03 PM

We have a website that has changed their name, but have multiple domain names now that are live. None of the domains were created to enhance keywords. They are just variations of the company name. We'd like to consolidate and have all the domains go to the new name.

Question: Can we put a server redirect on all "old" domains redirecting them to the new domain or will directories/engines think we are spamming? Or is it better to have people who type in or click on old domains go to a page that says "Our name has changed. You will be redirected to our new domain now." Obviously, I'm concerned about losing traffic with the latter.

Thanks.

#2 Advisor

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Posted 19 September 2002 - 07:06 PM

Welcome, Liz!

The best thing for you to do is this situation is to simply ensure that all the Web sites are actually just one site. That is, the domain names are all parked at the same IP. So you simply have on set of files and when you update anything on the site, it automatically updates all the different domains (because they're the same site).

Does this make sense? You hosting company should be able to park all the domains for you.

Any other method could pose potential problems as the search engines don't really like redirects and mirror sites. By having just one site with multiple domain names, you're not spamming or mirroring or anything. It's normal procedure, and not a problem.

Hope this helps!

Jill

#3 Liz

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Posted 19 September 2002 - 08:59 PM

Jill,
Thanks for your advice. All the domains do now point only to one site and they're all on the same IP. There is only one set of files.

so, you think it's OK to have multiple domains all pointing to one set of files?


Liz

#4 Black_Knight

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Posted 19 September 2002 - 09:19 PM

Where there are simply differing TLD country codes (e.g .com, .co.uk, .us, .ca etc.) I generally advocate using the additional domains pointed at the same IP.

With mis-spellings and variations, I do not. The last thing most companies want to do is confuse branding. Your company name should always be seen in its correct spelling and format, or you weaken or destroy your own brand.

For mis-spellings, always use redirection, preferrably with the HTTP status message code to tell the spider that the page has moved permanently (301), which then passes on PR or link popularity to the correct version of the URL.

HTTP Status codes:
301 - Moved Permanently - The requested page has moved to a new url
302 - Found - The requested page has moved temporarily to a new url
303 - See Other - The requested page can be found under a different url

#5 Advisor

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Posted 19 September 2002 - 09:30 PM

Jill, 
Thanks for your advice. All the domains do now point only to one site and they're all on the same IP. There is only one set of files. 

so, you think it's OK to have multiple domains all pointing to one set of files? 


Liz

Absolutely! Just don't go actively promoting the various domains to the search engines. Don't expect to get multiple domain listings or anything like that. The search engines will usually choose one domain and stick with it. If you use any rank checking software, just make sure you set it to check for all the various domains so you don't miss any.

Jill

#6 glyn

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Posted 20 September 2002 - 11:56 AM

[/quote]
Absolutely! Just don't go actively promoting the various domains to the search engines. Don't expect to get multiple domain listings or anything like that. The search engines will usually choose one domain and stick with it. If you use any rank checking software, just make sure you set it to check for all the various domains so you don't miss any.[/quote]

Sorry BK would you clarify this,as I am a bit confused. I was under the impression that multiply parked domains were potentially hazzardous particularly is reported to search engines.

#7 Advisor

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Posted 20 September 2002 - 12:21 PM

I think that was my quote! (Not bk's)

Parked domain names are not a problem. You only have one website, not a whole bunch. The engines will just choose a domain name (not sure how they decide) and use that one. Occassionally you'll see both domains in one engine, but not too often.

Many sites have multiple domain names, but one site. I have webwhiz.net which is the same as highrankings.com. Not a problem. (I have lots of other domain names that are parked at the same spot for the time being, in case I ever want to use them for something else.)

This, in my opinion, is the best way to deal with multiple domain names for the same site.

Where you get yourself in trouble is if you're using multiple domain names for different versions of your site. In other words, you have to make a change to each one for the change to show up (can't make a global change, if you know what I mean). They are separate sites, not the same site as with my example.

It's a common business practice to change domain names or have multiple domains. If the engines started penalizing for this there would be utter chaos!

Jill

#8 ricka

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Posted 21 September 2002 - 01:49 PM

A related question. Two sites I'm concerned with have PR0's. What would happen if you got a new domain and parked the PR0 domain to the new one? Would the PR0 of the old domain hurt the new one?

#9 Advisor

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Posted 21 September 2002 - 01:50 PM

Hmm...I think it would hurt the new site. If the search engines saw the domains as only one site (as they should) then all would be PR0'd I believe.

Jill

#10 Black_Knight

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Posted 21 September 2002 - 03:48 PM

Rick, to remove the PR0 penalty, look to the out-bound links on the sites.

#11 ricka

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Posted 21 September 2002 - 04:02 PM

At this point there are virtually no outgoing links (from http://cec-waterjet.com). Got rid of Zeus. If I add any OBL's, I'll do so very judiciously. Forgive me if I've asked you this before, but I want to double-check: you're confident that with no outgoing links, or at least no bad ones, a positive PR will be restored? Do you think it will do any good to appeal to Google at googletech@google.com? Somebody actually reads those things?

#12 Guest_Mel_*

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Posted 22 September 2002 - 10:18 AM

Hi Rick:
I have worked with several sites that asked me to help them with their PR0 problems, but have never been able to get the penalty fully revoked, even after a site cleanup, and appeal to Google (especially with heavy Zeus users) the best results we have seen so far are a restoration of the HomePage to PR2 with all internal pages at PR0 and the rankings generaly reflecting this.

But Google has said that the end of Sept. update will see the lifiting of some of these penalties. It seems to me that they like to keep you in limbo for about six months before they fully restore your PR.

But in the meantime you can still optimize your pages and get some decent rankings for PR 2 pages if they are very well optimized.

#13 ricka

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Posted 22 September 2002 - 09:17 PM

That's where the site is at now. PR2 on the home page and PR0 on all the 600+ other pages (all unique, legitimate content). We're close to the end of September, so I'll keep my fingers crossed.

#14 glyn

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Posted 23 September 2002 - 06:23 AM

I think that was my quote! (Not bk's)


I know it was your quote I just hoped BK would drop in to clarify this for me. No intention to offend its just I've known BK online in the forums for about 2 years and so it was a case of the longer friendship being more concrete in terms of changing my opinion of how to use multiple domain names.

However could you help we out with your reasoning:

Does that not mean that I could register 1000s domains and point them all to the same server. You are saying that this is okay to do but I'd like to know why a site would not mark your domains as a mirror site?

For example if I took your domains and reported them to the search engines and could display multiple listings in their listings are you saying that the search engines would ping your server take the hosting IP/ or DNS entries and then match them to the domain names before giving you the boot? I would think that they'd just kick you out? No?

Thank for your input.

#15 Black_Knight

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Posted 23 September 2002 - 07:36 AM

Sorry BK would you clarify this,as I am a bit confused. I was under the impression that multiply parked domains were potentially hazzardous particularly is reported to search engines.


Hi Glyn. Where multiple domains are being actively used and promoted, this is indeed a big potential problem for search engines, and something they react harshly to. However, many companies have bought dozens of variations and mis-spellings of their names - Microsoft for example. Those domains will redirect to the correct name. For this, I recommend setting the HTTP response to a 301, 302 or 303 response as appropriate. Google and other engines take note of the response, and will index the correct domain, rather than the redirected one.

Here's a server header for a redirect that shows how the spiders see the server header response (check the tool at http://www.searcheng...servercheck.cgi ).

Server Response: ' target='_blank'>http://www.pricerunner.co.uk[/b]
Status: HTTP/1.1 302 Found
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 11:31:12 GMT
Server: Apache/1.3.26 (Unix)
Location: http://uk.pricerunner.com/
Connection: close
Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1

In this case, Pricerunner have used a 302 redirect (Temporarily moved) because they may decide to use the UK TLD at a later time. They redirect in this case to reinforce the .com branding.

However, it is not unusual for companies to use multiple country TLDs, pointing at the same site. After all, there are many countries that share languages, so having a .co.uk domain and a .com domain and perhaps even a .ca domain all pointed to the same site is not unknown, nor unreasonable.

My general advice would be that when in doubt, use a 301, 302 or 303 redirect.

#16 Advisor

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Posted 23 September 2002 - 08:36 AM

Does that not mean that I could register 1000s domains and point them all to the same server. You are saying that this is okay to do but I'd like to know why a site would not mark your domains as a mirror site?

I believe you could do this, but it wouldn't help your search engine presence. It would be seen as one site and only one of the domains would generally get in.

I think BK's advice, however, if you were to have thousands, would be the smart way to do it just in case!

Having multiple domain names isn't a problem in and of itself. Trying to promote multiple domain names in the search engines to gain extra presence in the results, IS a problem.

Jill

#17 glyn

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Posted 23 September 2002 - 10:56 AM

Thanks Bk for that response I figured there were problems with this strategy as in two years I've never known any of the experienced bods offering this as a strategy. In fact quite the converse I have heard that people following this method getting in to all sorts of problems if not now, then eventually.

Still you dropped in a complete answer and am thankful for that, and I can acutually say I learnt something today! Which is a bonus!

Shame you don't hang round the other forum as much as you used to.

Just as well I play a bit of virtual tennis between these forums!

Be well.
Glyn.

#18 ricka

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Posted 23 September 2002 - 11:01 AM

301 - Moved Permanently - The requested page has moved to a new url 
302 - Found - The requested page has moved temporarily to a new url 
303 - See Other - The requested page can be found under a different urlLiz
Posted: Thu Sep 19, 2002 8:59 pm    Post subject:


Is this something one would set up through one's ISP?

#19 Advisor

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Posted 23 September 2002 - 11:01 AM

I figured there were problems with this strategy as in two years I've never known any of the experienced bods offering this as a strategy.

If you're talking about having 100 domains all pointing to the same IP as being a search engine optimization strategy, of course it's NOT, and that's why you wouldn't hear of it being talked about as one.

My point is simply that if you have a lot of domains, and they're parked under your main site's IP, you won't have a problem with the search engines. It's absolutely, positively NOT a way to gain more exposure in the search engines, and if one tried to use it that way, they would surely get into trouble!

Jill

#20 glyn

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Posted 23 September 2002 - 11:19 AM

Ricka,

To set these redirects on a linux you'd go and edit you .htaccess file which, depending on these permissions from your ISP, would give you the chance of being able to most of the server codes above. On windows I don't know.

here is a resource on the basic function I found in a couple of minutes on the most common 404 error. Personally I serve up a site map as a 404, you might serve something different.

Hope this helps.
:D

#21 Black_Knight

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Posted 23 September 2002 - 11:51 AM

Rick, these server responses are setup through the server configuration. With Apache it is a piece of cake, and it isn't that much harder to do with any web server software worth the name.

The web-server administrator is the one to do it.

#22 Ron

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Posted 11 October 2002 - 03:03 AM

Great Forum, My client registered 5 different domain names all relating to his main site. these domains are aliased to the main IP so the they all go to the same web site. Am I understanding that this ok as long as I only submit the one domain?

thanks for any replys
Ron

#23 Black_Knight

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Posted 11 October 2002 - 04:10 AM

Make that "as long as you only ever promote one of the domains" and you have it right. Remember, search engines crawl links, so if anyone even links to one of the other domains, its as if you submitted it.

If you want to be absolutely certain of safety, create a page on the server that will redirect visitors to your primary domain, (for best results, set the server to perform a 301 redirect) and point all domains but the primary domain to use that redirect as their default page.

#24 kneelsit

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Posted 05 November 2002 - 07:22 PM

Google, I know, definitely prefers 301s for re-directs.

While on this topic, has anyone out there used a piece of software "404fix" by a young programmer Adrian Ling from Malaysia.

It picks up on any mispellings of your domain, old links, outdated gifs, jpgs etc. and sends the query direct to your index page and notifies you by email whenever these occur. Sorry I don't have the url handy right now but will give it if you pm me.

#25 JimZim

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Posted 09 December 2002 - 04:30 PM

Make that "as long as you only ever promote one of the domains" and you have it right.  Remember, search engines crawl links, so if anyone even links to one of the other domains, its as if you submitted it.


Hmmm, Curious, BK. If appropriate, could you briefly expound upon how you would differentiate promoting and submitting? Just curious to see what a list of "To Do's" might look like that would make one activity different from the other (in your opinion, of course.)

Thanks, BK.

#26 Black_Knight

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Posted 09 December 2002 - 08:19 PM

Submitting a url is very specifically giving the url to a search engine - typically via an 'add url' form.

Promoting a URL can be simply mentioning it in a newsletter or an advertisement, having it printed on your t-shirt, or anything else that is to promote the idea or interest of visiting that URL to anyone who may see, hear or read the promotional material.



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