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  1. #1
    Yup, Sure ... now let me check ... Cagles Mill's Avatar
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    Would you build a new site or forward the domain name?
    Rather than revive a 2 year old thread I found, I suppose I should start a new one.

    Yesterday I registered 2 new domain names related to 2 sites I already have up and running (one new domain name for each of the 2 sites). Rather than try to build 2 new sites for pretty much the same thing I already have, I figure I should try forwarding the domain names.

    GoDaddy lets you forward the names and suggests "masking" them so you can attach a title and keywords to the domain name and improve its chances of ranking in the search engines. However, the more I think about it, this sounds like a good way to get penalized by the search engines and to make it appear there are 2 sites with identical content.

    I want both the new and old domain names to rank in the search engines. Does this mean I should just go ahead and get new hosting services for the new names and build new sites for them?

    Any advice and reports of past experience with this issue will be greatly appreciated.
    Rick M.
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  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I would agree with your reluctance. It sounds spammy to me, and I wouldn't be surprised if that technique resulted in a penalty at some point.

    I would suggest either redirecting the domains to your existing one, or developing totally new content for the new ones.
    Michael Coley
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  3. #3
    Yup, Sure ... now let me check ... Cagles Mill's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply, Michael. I was beginning to wonder if anyone would reply to my post.

    I went ahead this morning and left the 2 new domain names as forwarding to their respective existing sites using a 301 permanent redirect setting on GoDaddy, but I removed the masking. Hopefully, this way both the old and new domain names can get ranked in the search engines, yet I can hopefully avoid a duplicate content penalty.

    If the new domain names never get any decent positioning in the serps on Google, then I suppose that will mean I need to go ahead and build out new sites for the new names.
    Rick M.
    I would rather have a bottle in front of me, than have a frontal lobotomy!
    Does your bubblegum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight?

  4. #4
    Full Member Tech Evangelist's Avatar
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    A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect. It causes the search engines to replace the old URLs with the new URLs. You won't get both the old domain and a new domain indexed by using a 301 redirect.

    I have not checked GoDaddy's masking feature lately, but the last time I checked it just used an HTML frame to make it look like the site was under a new domain. This has always been a disastrous way to do things with search engines.

    You do not want to have multiple identical sites indexed under any circumstances. The duplicate is called a mirror site and it is likely to get banned by the search engines.

    Just trying to keep you out of trouble.
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  5. #5
    Yup, Sure ... now let me check ... Cagles Mill's Avatar
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    Posted by Tech Evangelist:
    You do not want to have multiple identical sites indexed under any circumstances. The duplicate is called a mirror site and it is likely to get banned by the search engines.
    They are not mirror sites, but two domain names pointing to the same site. Is this bad, with or without a 301 redirect? Part of the problem is, even if this is fine, is it possible to get both domain names optimized in the search engines when they both go to the same site?
    Rick M.
    I would rather have a bottle in front of me, than have a frontal lobotomy!
    Does your bubblegum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight?

  6. #6
    Full Member Tech Evangelist's Avatar
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    If you get two domain names indexed for the same site they ARE mirror sites. It doesn't matter if they are one physical site or two physical sites on different servers. If you get the same site indexed under multiple domains, you are creating mirror sites. A mirror site is a site duplicated under another domain. Mirror sites are never a good thing.

    A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect. A 301 tells the search engines that the domain URL or page URL with the 301 redirect should be changed to the new URL it is being directed to. A search engine should change the URLs in their database. This avoids duplicating the site and should not create a mirror site.

    At the domain name level, a 301 redirect is commonly used when someone decides to change from an existing domain to a new domain. Everything passes to the new domain. If can sometimes take a few months for everything to change, but the search engine listings for the old site will disappear.

    If you set up additional domains that are common misspellings and related names that someone may type into a browser address window, you can set those up as 301 redirects, but they will not get indexed because no site exists. It is a redirect to the main site.

    The mirror site penalty, which frequently results in domain names being banned by the search engines, was set up to penalize people who steal sites. Several years ago there was a problem with people who looked for a top-ranking web site, which they would then copy and set up under another domain. Theoretically, if you did this with a #1 ranking site, your site should also rank very well. The mirror site penalty solves that problem by banning the duplicates. The problem is that the search engines do not always get it right. There have been situations where the original site was also banned.

    If you are going to duplicate a site, you need to make substantial changes to the new site.
    Last edited by Tech Evangelist; July 19th, 2007 at 07:58 AM.
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  7. #7
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I would think that either a 301 or 302 would be fine, depending on whether or not you might eventually use the site for other purposes. For instance, "gmail.com" uses a 302 temporary redirect to "mail.google.com/mail/". I agree, though. Using a frame, a page with JavaScript or meta redirects, or any other method to try to get both sites indexed is a very bad idea.
    Michael Coley
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  8. #8
    Full Member Tech Evangelist's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, a 302 won't do the job. A 302 redirect is a temporary redirect, which means the search engines are not supposed to change the URL when they see a 302. That can cause both domains to get indexed and may create a mirror site.

    For many years GoDaddy only offered a 302 redirect, which caused huge SEO problems for many site owners when it wasn't used properly. They just started offering the 301 redirect recently.

    The bottom line is that you won't gain anything long term by duplicating a site. It will only lead to penalties.

    There is a difference between the way Google treats their own sites versus others. They are known to violate their own rules. Hey, it's their playground.
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  9. #9
    Yup, Sure ... now let me check ... Cagles Mill's Avatar
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    Well.... it sounds like I need to just go ahead and build 2 new websites. The 2 names I already had are good ones, but the new ones are just as good or even better. So it sounds like if I want to make full use of both the new and old domain names in the search engines, I just plain have to build additional sites. Of course, the problem there will be keeping them distinctly different, while still dealing with the same topic.
    Rick M.
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  10. #10
    Full Member Tech Evangelist's Avatar
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    That would be the best way to do it.

    The real trick is to differentiate the content for each site. Duplicate content is the main reason that most data feed sites end up in Google's supplmental results.
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  11. #11
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    Building out two additional sites is definitely the way to go. There is no value in redirecting the new domains unless a) you think they will get significant type-in traffic or b) already get traffic through existing search engine rankings or links from other sites.

    You most definitely want to differentiate the content and link these new sites back to you main site. Depending on your business consider hosting a blog on one of the new domains.

  12. #12
    Yup, Sure ... now let me check ... Cagles Mill's Avatar
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    Yeah, I went ahead and sat them up as new sites and have working like mad for the last 3 days to build them out. And yes, I put links on each of them back to their respective older "sister" sites.

    Wish me luck.
    Rick M.
    I would rather have a bottle in front of me, than have a frontal lobotomy!
    Does your bubblegum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight?

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