Idaho Real Estate >> ID Real Estate Specialist

head_left_image

Multiple Domain Names >> What is the latest news?

I created a website back in 1999 with an Ihouse template and it worked well for some time.  I of course wanted to get more exposure so I took Ihouse's advice and purchased some more domain names that pointed at this same site. Ihouse referred to this as "Mirror Domain Names".  At one time I had 4 different domain names pointing at the same site.

With this and other things I did my site started climbing the search engine ladders.  Then all of a sudden my site started falling from grace in terms of the search engines.  I phoned Ihouse for ideas but no great ideas were given and my site kept falling. This went on for over a year.

About 3 years ago I was referred to an SEO specialist out of Florida and I explained my dilemma to him.  He informed me that this use of multiple domain names was hurting me because Google and other search engines viewed my site as "Spam" due to the practice.  I was shocked to hear this and immediately called Ihouse.   I spoke to someone different this time and sure enough I was told the rules had changed and yes, multiple domain names were bad when used as I had been using them.  Read The Danger with Multiple Domain Names which in part says:

"Depending on the actual content that you place in these domains, search engines and directories would flag them as mirror sites and refuse to list them. You will spread your incoming links (and therefore link popularity) across multiple domains. This will keep any one of them from ranking as highly as your main domain would if all the links pointed at it".

I stopped using multiple domain names and sure enough my site starting climbing the search engine ladders again.  When I joined Active Rain and joined Karen George's project my site skyrocketed

I have since been told multiple domain names pointing at the same site is O.K. if setup properly but I don't know what SEO experts mean.  What is the latest news on multiple domain names?  Anyone heard what is currently acceptable and what is not?

I appreciate your opinion

 

www.SearchIdahoHomes.com

Native Idahoan and Boise Idaho Real Estate specialist serving Boise, Meridian Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell and the surrounding Treasure valley area of southwest Idaho. Specializing in residential, investment, land and commercial real estate. Search thousands of MLS listings at Boise Homes for sale and learn all about Idaho by visiting Search Idaho Homes

Comment balloon 58 commentsGeorge Tallabas • August 26 2007 01:18PM

Comments

George, I still don't think using multiple domain names is a great idea, because the SEs see sites with the same content but with two different domains as two different sites with duplicate content, and may downgrade one or both for having duplicate content. I would only use it for short term uses such as single property listings using the home's address as a domain.
Posted by Suzanne Stephens, Real Estate Website Design (Stephens Design) almost 12 years ago
Thanks Suzanne - I am not referring to two different with the same content.  I am referring to one site with multiple domain names pointing to the same site.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
I was under the impression that they are still bad. Hmm...I'm parking here to see what other's say. :)
Posted by delete account almost 12 years ago

Yes, George. I realize that YOU aren't talking about two different sites with duplicate content, but that's exactly what the search engines will see if you point two domains to the same site.

Example: I have two domains pointing to my own Web site, SuzStephens.com and AntiCookieCutterSites.com. As far as Google is concerned, I have two different sites that have all the same content.

Posted by Suzanne Stephens, Real Estate Website Design (Stephens Design) almost 12 years ago

Pamela - Thanks, I am anxious to know what some SEO specialists know.  Several AR members use multiple domain names and feel it is important for us to find out what is acceptable and what is not. I hope your day is going well.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
There is a way to point to a domain and it is called a "301 redirect" I have decided not to do it but was told by an "expert" lol (who is an expert in that business) that that is the proper way to do it. Try to Google "301 redirect" for pointers... Best of luck, Charles
Posted by Charles McDonald, REALTOR®, Blogger, Principal Broker®, Owner (Charlottesville Real Estate Solutions) almost 12 years ago
Suzanne - So has two domain names pointing at the same site hurt you in terms of the search engines?
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
Charles - Thank you...for us "Mortals" LOL what the heck does "301 redirect" mean and how do we go about doing it?
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

George, for my own marketing, the search engines are rather irrelevant. So, even if having two domains hurts me, I don't care. I am in such a specialized niche that there is virtually no competition (I am the only professionally trained graphic designer working on Point2Agent sites). If I were trying to get myself found by searches on "web site design", then yes, I would care. However, most of my site traffic comes directly from Point2Agent.com. I get a handful of visitors who've searched for variations on "Point2Agent design", where I come up either first or near the top on Google.

This is why I'm such a huge fan of niche marketing.

For example, my client site (and an ultimate example of niche marketing), OutdoorProperties.net, comes up 2nd or 3rd on searches for "Cabelas Trophy Properties." Plus, they get traffic directly from the Cabela's Trophy Properties web site. So, in spite of the fact that their site is impossible to SEO in traditional terms because they cover 4 different states, they will always get good traffic because of their affiliation with Cabela's. It's a very narrow niche, but it's hard to fault a small brokerage that had $80MIL in listings the last time I counted.

However, a real estate agent who is not targeting a specific niche, must then slug it out among every other agent in his or her geographic area, so he or she must then take extreme care with SEO. 

Posted by Suzanne Stephens, Real Estate Website Design (Stephens Design) almost 12 years ago

George,

I really do not know what it means, but was told that it was the only way that the search engines do not penalize you. Here is the link to several sites that can at least explain it.

http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&q=301+redirect&btnG=Search

Best of luck, Charles

 

Posted by Charles McDonald, REALTOR®, Blogger, Principal Broker®, Owner (Charlottesville Real Estate Solutions) almost 12 years ago

Suzanne - I am not sure what you just said!  Maybe I am having a brain freeze!

Charles - Thanks for the help I am sure many of us will checkout the links and this 301 redirect.  I appreciate your feedback.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
301 redirects are not applicable to this situation. They are primarily useful when moving an entire web site from one host server to another. For example, if you had a site using your domain on a regular web hosting server, then began using a service such as P2a where you have no control over page URLs, you could use a 301 redirect to point the SEs from a page on the old host to the equivalent page on the new host.
Posted by Suzanne Stephens, Real Estate Website Design (Stephens Design) almost 12 years ago
Hi George! I'm having a great day thanks! :) Hope your day is going well. Hmmm....looks like we're still waiting on more comments.
Posted by delete account almost 12 years ago

George, the short answer is "no", having two domains doesn't hurt me. First, because the search engines are only a minor source of traffic for me. Second, because most searches are for something "Point2Agent design", such a speciaiized search that my site is likely to be one of the only sites listed in search results.

A comparable situation: suppose you were the only real estate agent authorized to sell property on Hoity Toity Exclusive Island. Then, no matter how many domains you use, your site is likely to be the only site that comes up when people search "Hoity Toity Exclusive Island real estate".

See? It's really hard to screw up search engine marketing and SEO when you serve a tightly defined niche market.

Posted by Suzanne Stephens, Real Estate Website Design (Stephens Design) almost 12 years ago

Hi George. I did a little searching online and it says what Suzanne mentions about 301 redirect.....

The Right Way to Do It

That said, it IS permitted to have multiple domains pointing to the same content BUT it may only be done via the use of a Permanent 301 Redirect being applied to the secondary domains, e.g. typing in the URL for any of the secondary domains will redirect you to the main site. This change can easily be implemented, at no cost other than a few of minutes of time.

In this example, 2nd domain is redirected to 2nd domain and neither visitors nor SE spiders ever "see" content under the secondary domain name. The same logic should also be applied to the non-www versions of both domain names to complete the process and to prevent potential conflicts with the search engines. I found this at webpronews.com/blogtalk/2006/09/05/multiple-domain-names-penalty

www.webconfs.com/how-to-redirect-a-webpage.php----it explains it more here. Kind of confusing. :)

 

 

Posted by delete account almost 12 years ago

I'm not sure whay those are highlighted above...they aren't meant to be links...they don't have the http in front.

Posted by delete account almost 12 years ago

Now you know why I did not do it.... it was "clear as mud" lol

Posted by Charles McDonald, REALTOR®, Blogger, Principal Broker®, Owner (Charlottesville Real Estate Solutions) almost 12 years ago
Holy cow, I'm so confused. I have three domain names pointing to my website. I have Pam sells crossville, Pam sells Lake Tansi and Pam sells FairfieldGlade. Is this a problem or not? I'm techie challenged!!
Posted by Pam Hofmann, Your Crossville, Lake Tansi & Fairfield Glade Specialist (Third Tennessee Realty & Associates, LLC) almost 12 years ago

Pam, this could be a problem. Google will see your site as 3 different sites that mirror each other, and may choose to either ban your site if it notices it and decides that you've deliberately engaged in deceptive practices, or the Google Gods may simply decide only to display one of your domains in search results. For more info, see the Google Webmaster Guidelines article on duplicate content.

 

Posted by Suzanne Stephens, Real Estate Website Design (Stephens Design) almost 12 years ago
Wow, I may have an issue too. I have multiple domains pointing to the same place.  I look forward to hearing from the experts...
Posted by Ginger Wilcox (Sindeo) almost 12 years ago

Ok, I'm parked and want more. I have several domains and they point to my web site and have for years. If I am doing a ad in a certain paper, I may not want to use the word Ann Arbor in it, if it is a house in Saline.

For instance if I run an ad in the paper for a listing in Saline, I will use Saline-Houses.com, if it is in Ann Arbor, I will use AnnArbor-Houses.com, if it is in another community, I might just use MissyCaulk.com

 On Google the MissyCaulk site is the ONLY one that gives me rankings.

I really want to here what SEO experts have to say too ?

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) almost 12 years ago

Thanks everyone....I just returned from a family gathering and appreciate all the comments.  I wrote this because I have a new Point2 site and want cancel an old site I have with Ihouse and use a 9 year old domain name that I used for my old site and direct it to my new Point2 site.  I want to do this so that everyone that knows the old domain name will be directed to my new Point2 site that already has a main domain name.  I still am not clear if this is a wise move or not.

Also, I know there are many like Missy and Renee Burrows that have multiple domain names pointing to the same site.  I hope many more SEO techies will respond and give us all some words of wisdom.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

I know if you mask the domain it hurts your SEO rankings.  Not exactly sure what I did because I am not quite an expert but I lost strength in google but once I stopped masking the multiple domains and had traffic coming in from those domains, it became stronger than ever!

I would recommend:  Don't mask, don't point all to the same sight (point some to subdomains) and use your old P2 for your main site that is hosted so you have the traffic immediately.

OH, and I think your SEO advice did not hurt one bit.  All happened at once so I can't tell you exactly what the formula is, my friend, and I apologize!!! 

Posted by Renée Donohue~Home Photography, Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer (Savvy Home Pix) almost 12 years ago
Thanks Renee - As you can see there are a lot out there that are using multiple domain names and if one does not know who to use them correclty it can hurt. I am hoping some words of wisdom will help many.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
Great discussion here. I'm confused, but will check back for more information. Parking!
Posted by Kelly Sibilsky (Licensed Through Referral Connection, LTD.) almost 12 years ago

Hi Kelly - I understand your confusion.  Somtimes many don't realize many of us are mere mortals and don't understant some tech terms used.  Hand in there dear.  I hope we get some answers that will help all of us.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

Hi George - I have two domain names that are on one server.  I have one forwarded to the other so that no matter which site a person clicks into they get me.  Now I don't know if this matters in my ranking on the SEs but so far it's been effective for me since I advertise one or the other of the sites on every listing, business card, note card, meeting notice, etc.

I am still trying desperately to learn all this web status stuff.  You have given me a real good start!  Thanks! 

Posted by Carol Smith (Casmi Photography) almost 12 years ago

Carol - Thank you my friend.  I hope you find the answers as all of us do.  Take good care.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
Hey everyone.  Look at what I found tonight: The Danger with Multiple Domain Names which I just added to my post.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
Wow, great post George.  I have just set up my website and was thinking about doing this.  This discussion definitely helps!
Posted by Ana Connell, Burbank Real Estate Agent (G & C Properties) almost 12 years ago
Ana - Good morning and I hope you read the link I posted because it seems to reinforce what I was told that multiple domain names are dangerous and considered spam by Google and others.  So far no one has proven anything different.  I hope all is well.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
George, thanks for the post.  I was actually thinking of registering some additional domains to llink back, but after reading your post, I'll avoid that mistake. 
Posted by Seth Callen (Farmers Insurance) almost 12 years ago
Seth - You are very welcome.  I want to help everyone avoid a big mistake.  Check back occasionally to see if anyone has offered any proof that is contrary to what I was told and the weblink I attached.  Have a great day.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

Yes, Sadly it is true. Search Engines see each domain name as different websites with the same content and will ditch your ranking or even ban you for spamming them.

If you have multiple domain names pointing to 1 website that is fine just don't submit each to the engines and also try to avoid letting others link to you through them.

If you have had a problem with your ranking lately because of this, it is recommended that you find a Pro-Level submission firm to resubmit your site properly to force a reindexing of your site to fix this.

Only reasons now to have more then 1 name pointing to your site is if your trying to maintain branding by buying the .com, .net or .org (submitting just the main) Or if you have names that generate Type-in traffic which you will Not submit to the engines.

I hope this clears up this issue for ya.

Posted by Don - LeadWebDesigners almost 12 years ago
Don - Thank you so very much!  You have answered a lot of questions.  Have a great day!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

This was great information, George, and a terrific discussion. Guess some of the domains I have will just sit. Am I correct in understanding that another domain could point to a particular page on my main website rather than the main URL  without this being an issue?

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) almost 12 years ago
Jeff - Thanks, I wanted to help all AR members that were interested.  Go read my latest blog Real Estate Domain Names >> Choosing the right one makes all the difference to see what happened to me today.  It is realy exciting!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

 

Thanks for the posting.  As a new member and someone who is looking to expand marketing.  The addition of the "danger of multiple domain names" is invaluable.  I can see where the temptation exists to try and saturate the market or the Internet.  But after reading the article, I know understand how important it is to focus the marketing and maximize the potential of the work that you do.

Thanks for the posting.

Posted by John smith (SmartRate Mortgage) almost 12 years ago
Paul - You are very welcome and good luck to you.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

Howdy George

Thank you for post some very good info to all us.

Heres a big 5 for you.

Have a good one

Posted by Dale Baker, New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information (Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections) almost 12 years ago
Dale  - Thanks my friend.  Have a great one.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
Hey George Update here!  If you google "las vegas new construction", I show up on the first page.  I have two domains pointing to that subdomain.  I do believe it has a bit to do with some black or gray hat SEO since I have been cleaning up my tag cloud per Karen's posts last week.  I wrote about this today and gave you a lil juice :)
Posted by Renée Donohue~Home Photography, Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer (Savvy Home Pix) almost 12 years ago
Renee - Thank you my dear friend...I will check it out.  I hope all is well in your world.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
George:  You asked a very good question and I've read all of the comments.  I can see where having mirrored websites would cause a problem with google but I think in some instances, it is warranted.  I by no means have any idea what I'm talking about, so I'll just leave it at that but here's an example of what I had in mind:  my website is:  www.move2northgeorgia.net  well, it occurred to me that some people might type to instead of 2 so with that in mind, I also got the domain name www.movetonorthgeorgia.net.  I'm not sure how google will treat that but I felt it was a necessary evil.
Posted by Donna Yates, Blue Ridge Mountains (BHGRE - Metro Brokers) over 11 years ago
Donna - Thanks for the comment and for sharing.  Have a great weekend.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
My wife pointed all my links to one site and it has made a good impact so far. 
Posted by Matthew Zgonc, Realtor, CFS, CVS (Aksland Real Estate) over 11 years ago
Matthew - Good for you.  Have a wonderful weekend.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
George,  After reading this post I hope I have set up my 301 redirect correctly.
Posted by Scott Guay, Associate Broker. Ocean City and Ocean Pines MD (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services PenFed Realty) over 11 years ago
Scott - I hope is works well for you.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

After reading all the comments, I'm still wondering....if I use the 301 redirect correctly, I can have multiple domain names pointing to the same site and Google won't think it's duplicate content?

Posted by Pam Graham, Jacksonville, Clay & St Johns Counties (All Real Estate Options) over 11 years ago

I used this site  http://www.internetofficer.com/seo-tool/redirect-check/ to check my redirect of http://www.oceanpineswaterfront.com/ to http://www.oceancitywaterfront.com/

It displayed this message:


Checked link: http://www.oceanpineswaterfront.com

Type of redirect: 301 Moved Permanently

Redirected to: http://www.oceancitywaterfront.com/

I also checked using just oceanpineswaterfront.com and came up with the same results.

I hope this means I am OK.

 

Posted by Scott Guay, Associate Broker. Ocean City and Ocean Pines MD (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services PenFed Realty) over 11 years ago

I'm not sure what the benefit is for having multiple domains if all are pointing at a single central domain.  Not only can you be penalized but what's the point in the end if you can't optimize them because you don't want Google to see them as duplicate content, even if you 301 them properly to the main site.

I think this article is good about explaining how it's better to have one authoritative site than many weaker ones:

http://www.seomoz.org/blog/why-it-pays-to-be-big-popular-than-small-niche

Good discussion!  I'm following along as I'm researching keywords right now to get my site in much better order.  Changing title tags alone did wonders now it's time to get deeper....

Posted by Josette Skilling (Keller Williams Capital Properties) over 11 years ago

Pam - I hope you are correct.  Good luck to you

Scott - Thanks for sharing

Josette - Thanks and I hope all will work well

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

My wife and I have found out that multiple domain names are bad if they are linked separately.  If you have them all pointing to one site, then it generally is not considered spam. However, that is just our experience with it. It may be different for others.

Posted by Matthew Zgonc, Realtor, CFS, CVS (Aksland Real Estate) over 11 years ago
multiple sites with the same content are downgraded by Search Engines..
Posted by Sandy Pitchford, Palm Beach, Jupiter, Tequesta Real Estate (Distinct Estates) over 11 years ago

Matthew - Thanks for sharing what you have found out and have a great New Year

Sandy - Thank you

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

Bumping this to get it to the top of the group. Very valuable information here for those of us who have multiple domains. I know I do and this explains why several of them do not receive any Google Juice.

 

Since the last response is almost a year old has anything changed? and is the information still valuable today? Things change so fast in SEO that I want to make sure I am still doing the right things.

Best,

Scott

Posted by Scott Cowan (RE/MAX Professionals) over 10 years ago

Scott - I have stayed away from multiple domain names and my site continues to draw a phenomenal amount of leads.  I won't change something that isn't broken.  Thanks for stopping by.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 10 years ago

Participate