Recently Matt Cutts was quoted in an article on Search Engine Watch. He spoke about how people are registering domain names with extensions different than .com to try and manipulate the search engines. However they are using other country extensions. It’s an interesting thought and he dispels the myth that it actually works.
This brings up a common question that I get asked on a regular basis: “If I register 5 different domain names, ones with industry terms, will that help me rank better on Google?”.
The answer is both yes and no.
If you simply register the domain names and forward them to your primary domain, then no, it will not help you. The reason is because the domain won’t even be visible in the URL line (at the top of your browser), which is where it needs to be displayed in order to be effective at all. This strategy is kind of like having multiple middle names – it doesn’t matter how many you have, people are probably just going to call you by your first name and they will never remember the rest.
If you register these domains and then alias them, it won’t help you either. Just like in real life, an alias is when one website has two or more domains (or names). Let’s say you have a website and your website’s address is www.ReallyAwesomeBusiness.com. Then you decide to register an additional domain like www.MyBusinessRocks.com to use as an alias. When someone types in www.MyBusinessRocks.com, that is the domain that will show in the URL line instead of www.ReallyAwesomeBusiness.com, and all your pages will work with the new address. However, the primary domain is replaced with this new domain when the new domain is used. The problem with this strategy is that while the new domain may get some SEO action, it devalues your primary domain because the content for both domains is identical and Google will see both URLs as duplicate content. Google hates duplicate content, so you are risking lower search engine rankings by using this strategy.
To get these domains to work for you, you need to develop them as separate websites, including separate hosting and separate content that is well-written, relevant and focused! We call these additional domains “properties”. If you develop these properties and keep them focused on a specific service set or product, then it can be a very effective marketing strategy.
If you are looking for additional ways to market your company and website, please give us a call to talk about the additional domain strategy or our monthly website maintenance plans so we can determine what is right for you!