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  1. #1
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    Hi all,

    I've been looking at some domain forwarding sites where you can register domains and then point them to URLs of your choice (and cloaking the actual URL), including subdirectories and pages.

    Besides the obvious use of say www.yourdomain.com pointing to www.somehost.com/yourdirectory/somepage.html and having it show www.yourdomain.com in the visitor's browser bar, what are some other uses for this?

    And does it/can it negatively impact your search engine rankings?

    Thanks,

    David Nguyen
    Nexus Imports, LLC
    http://www.nexusimports.com/affiliates/index.shtml

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    It could negatively effect your search engine rankings, yes. Here's why - if you have domainA.com and a folder called domainA.com/folder/ then the spiders visiting domainA.com will find /folder/ via domainA.

    If you set up a domain called domainB.com and point that to domainA.com/folder/ then it is possible that people will link to domainB.com . Consequently, search engine spiders might see
    domainA.com/folder/ and domainB.com as duplicate pages and penalise you for it.

    That's the worst case scenario. You will need to keep carefully control over how people are linking to your site to avoid this. It's not really a big problem if you are careful about how you promote your domain names - but it is something to watch out for.

    Search Engine Positioning - 1 Design 4 Life

  3. #3
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    If you place robots.txt (User-Agent: * Disallow: /) in domainA.com/ then the spiders will/should not spider domainA.com therefore it will not find domainA.com/folder/

    If a spider uses domainB.com/ then it will not see the robots.txt in the root of domainA.com and carry on as normal

    It means using up a domain for nothing, but should that not solve the problem?

    Q.
    If the domain is a sub domain domainB.domainA.com/ will that also be seen as duplicate or triplicate content as most sub domains are sub directories anyway?

    And how could you stop that? Apart from the be careful and dont promote it method.

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  4. #4
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    SEs *can* get awfully confused by forwarding. Sometimes Google will list both the cloaked URL and the real URL. Sometimes it won't list the cloaked URL.

    I got round the whole problem by splashing out for a hosting account where I can add as many domains as I wanted. Pricey though.

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  5. #5
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    Thanks for feedback all.

    I'm interested in this because, aside from cloaking, I could also redirect my domains instantly.

    Example: I have a web site at Host A. Let's say Host A starts having lots of downtime and becomes unresponsive.

    Then I move to Host B. Because of the time it takes to redirect your domain name/IP and let it propagate through the Internet you're looking at 24 to 48 hours until it's fully changed.

    If instead, you could have your domain through a third party in the first place, you could just instantly redirect from Host A to Host B.

    Does anyone else have this problem? I try to go with the best hosts I can find but some times things change...

    So I'm thinking maybe a cloaking & domain redirecting service would be good "insurance". But if I go through with it I want to make sure it's a good idea in the first place.

    Any thoughts on that?

    David Nguyen
    Nexus Imports, LLC
    http://www.nexusimports.com/affiliates/index.shtml

  6. #6
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    IMHO, cloaked redirects only really work on single pages.

    The problem is that the SE will then go and index all the pages "behind" the cloak.. with the *uncloaked* URLs. In other words, if you point the redirector elsewhere, you'll *still* have the old uncloaked URLs in Google or whatever, and your visitors will still be trying to go to a host that isn't working.

    If you've optimised your inner pages for products, then this can completely blow you out of the water.

    For example, if your main site URL is gnomeworld.com and you redirect to www.geocities.com/gnomeworld, then your page for "fishing gnomes" - fishing_gnomes.htm - would be indexed as www.geocities.com/gnomeworld/fishing_gnomes.htm. If you then point the gnomeworld.com redirector at gnomeworld.cheapohost.net, then the SE deeplinks will *still* be pointing to Geocities. That means if you've got the #1 Google result for Fishing Gnomes, partly on the back of the search engine optimisation you did, the visitors will end up going to the dead site (at Geocities) rather than the new one.. until the search engine index updates.

    Bottom line: get a reliable host.

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  7. #7
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    Point well taken.

    I actually do host my sites at what I think are reliable hosts. The problem was that one of them recently went down the tubes. They were great for the first 6 months or so. Then they took away phone tech support. Then they took away their ticket system online. Then they would have sporadic outages.

    So I found a new host. But during the transition I had some down time. I've never used domain cloaking so I don't worry about the search engine aspect of it.

    But assuming I'm not going to use the cloaking feature, only the instant redirect feature that would allow be to switch hosts quickly. Would this be a useful way to protect against possible future hosting problems?

    Does anyone else do this?

    Thanks,

    David Nguyen
    Nexus Imports, LLC
    http://www.nexusimports.com/affiliates/index.shtml

  8. #8
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    I know that TigerDirect have a backup store running at Yahoo!. If they're going maintenance, they can redirect the site on their servers to the backup store. However, this is done on the server itself, so there's no DNS change that needs to replicate.

    Crucially though, this requires the TigerDirect.com nameservers to do the switch. This is the key thing.. you can switch hosts almost instantly if you can change the *settings* in the nameservers themselves. Most of us have to make do with changing the *nameservers* in the domain settings. So for this trick to work, you need to have access to two nameservers. Which is not what you'd get with a standard hosting account.

    But, if you try to redirect the traffic at the registrar level (e.g. Network Solutions, Dotster etc) it will take up to 48 hours for ANY change to the nameservers to be complete.

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  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Doc Sawyer's Avatar
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    I have a related question. I thought I was doing the correct thing but now I am not so sure.

    I bought my first dotcom: my-web-site.com. I was a newbie and made newbie mistakes.

    In the following two years, I have been able to pick up:
    my-website.com and myweb-site.com. I have one more that is an existing site: mywebsite.com which will come up for renewal soon and I plan on backordering just in case...

    My site is and always will be my-web-site.com and I auto redirect any hits to myweb-site.com and my-website.com to my-web-site.com.

    I don't promote or ever have submitted
    myweb-site.com or my-website.com; they just redirect. I look at it as insurance for my domain. That is all.

    But this thread has me worried. Does a straight redirect from a dormant url constitute a problem?

    Thanks

    Doc

    "Half this game is ninety percent mental." -- Phillies Manager, Danny Ozark

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