It is a known fact that medium and large companies own a domain portfolio with variants, keywords and similar domains to the one with their main website. Question that we want to discuss is should you own and redirect more than one domain to your single website?
Redirecting domains to a primary website is a good idea for SEO?
The main issue with the question of redirecting more than one domain to your website is are there any dangers and negative sides to this practice or will it provide only benefits.
Having in mind the average business website, the short answer would certainly be that it depends on a number of factors, meaning we need to outline certain cases and consequences of this practice.
Negative and positive aspects of multiple domains pointing to single website
In a nutshell, having multiple domains pointing to one website we can expect that a proper 301 redirect has been made from the domains to the primary website with the intention of providing some additional traffic as these domains may already have some organic traffic.
We will discuss what a proper 301 redirect is with another article, but before that we need to note that you do now want to be having the client site resolve for all of these domains as it will condition new issues.
Any website having multitude of domains to answer to will lead to cloud and CDN services creating “duplicate” sites or content which will induce confusing SEO information toward search engines and diminish the main domain authority, thus being an issue.
Conditions that need to be fulfilled for a beneficial redirect of domains to your single website
Another important factor we need to consider is the origin of these domains, their “heritage” meaning have they had a site on them previously, and have they ever been penalized by search engines) and who is the original registrant of these domains.
The history of these domains can have an impact on the website they are redirecting to, and if you are not the original owner but you want to redirect them to your site then first make a check-up.
This includes making a backlinks check-up and removing domains that have had a history of spam, porn, malware, malicious links or other undesirable links from your redirect plan.
Any domains which do show an active ranking for pages need to be checked for content relevancy, and those that are not relevant to your business niche should be removed. Such domains cannot provide direct benefit, but will rather devalue your main domain authority.
On the other hand, what this means is that any domains acquired that can provide high-value links that have been pointing at sites relevant to your business niche will bring with them the value associated with the links.
Lastly, any website that shows a history of content that is not the content you expected on the site is most likely a case of hacked website. While you may be able to use that domain the most important thing to do is thoroughly remove all files and any databases connected to that domain site.
If said hacked website was located on the same hosting environment then a safe course of action would be to migrate your main site away from that hosting in an effort to make sure that your site is not compromised.
A quick summary what needs to be checked:
- Backlink history
- Content history
- Has the domain been hacked or compromised
The specific case where you may want to use an undesirable domain for a redirect
There is only one specific case where you should consider redirecting a domain with undesirable or bad history, and that is when the domain has an amazing type-in potential, such as short domains, keyword domains or “typing error” (domains that are very similar to your main domain and get traffic through user typing error).
Because this is a domain that has a negative bias you will have to wage the value and the issues it may induce, and make sure that the value is worth it.
The main issue you will want to avoid is having the main website directly resolve (answer to) multiple domains which will lead to duplicate content and significant issues with decreasing your main domain SEO value.
If you are making a redirect for a client company which holds many domains for branding, company or product protection or other reasons then use only those that will provide value through traffic.
We can conclude that the overall value of domain redirect strategy is based on domains at your disposal and their individual value for the specific goal of driving traffic to the website.