If your website hosted on different domains, it will either be a great or lousy strategy when it comes to SEO.
However, a common question that we used to get a lot when discussing multiple domains is, Are they bad for SEO? There is no fixed answer to this question. There are always pros and cons of having multiple domains.
In this article, we will discuss why having multiple domains are bad for SEO.
The first thing which came across in having multiple domains is you are dividing the link authority between them as this will create havoc between the companies fighting over highly searched keywords phrases.
Then, there is a thing called “Branding effect”. As we know popular brands are on the top of Google when it comes to better “optimized” websites. Google will let you know the site’s popularity through usability signals and how many users are using them more than ever before.
And if you are using multiple domains, you have to brand those domains, implement it on numerous social media platform and more. By doing this, will divide the resources which will make you less effective as splitting makes it more difficult.
If the domains have an adverse history attached to them and wrong links are pointed at the previous domain, then those links will now look at your leading site or current domain when you redirect them. If an algorithmic action like Penguin or over-optimization filters applied to the old site, you risk carrying that baggage to the new site.
As most of the companies were using multiple domains, Google made some changes which shook up the world of domain names. Companies try to improve their ranking and expanding their SEO with the weak website that features EMD (Exact Match domain). Google came up with the algorithm which reduces the low-quality “exact-match” domains in search results.
There are multiple issues of having various sites I would like to mention.
- There are negligible benefits of having numerous sites illustrating the same company or products. Websites can be penalized for similar content, even if published in different languages.
- Generally, people tend to look up a company by name, so multiple domains can be confusing or can make it difficult for a user to find what they need.
- Permanence matters the most for a domain name if it keeps on changing it will miff the website’s reliability.
- As there are multiple domains, time and money are also required to maintain these domains and both the parameters increases with increase in domains.
- Depending on the brand, Dividing the products and services on multiple sites can weaken the market influence of the company.
- If a company decides to move to a single website, then migration of these websites should be done correctly, and also movement will be more expensive.
However, there are some benefits as well of multiple domains. In the next section, I am going to talk about some pros of it.
Pros of Multiple Domains
- If you ask any marketing professional, they will tell you that one size does not fit all when it comes to communicating with different people. Everyone has its own set of needs and expectations about products or services, what will these products and services do for them. When a variety of messages are required, separate sites make it possible to approach an individual group.
- Small websites are much more appealing than large websites as large websites have the risk of too much overlapping with the competing site which lessens the probability of adding links. However, small sites allow for the kind of specialization which is helpful to balance the services of other websites. It can support the topic-specific content making the site a valuable resource.
- If the company is doing business in multiple countries so it will be good for them to have separate websites for each location, so that they can customize the site to match the cultural norms as per the area to make the website more user-friendly. And matching local preferences and habits will make it easier for the customer to find the URL very easily.
- Buying a country-specific SEO is always a good idea. It will give the user a better ranking. Also search results country-specific SEO can affect ranking results. Search engines programmed with information that tells them which IP address belongs to which particular country. These days, international SEO has become more crucial for many businesses. If correctly executed, even a small business can also claim a significant ROI. Country-specific traffic should be kept in mind when planning for the ROI. Most traffic comes from the US and UK, which converts better in terms of sales.
Let’s talk about International SEO in brief.
The International SEO checklist can assess international SEO. This checklist evaluated based on four questions.
Question 1 – Do you have International SEO potential?
Question 2 – How can you target international web targeting?
Question 3 – How can you develop an internationally targeted site?
Question 4 – How can you measure your international SEO process?
International targeting is one of the critical factors. When targeting countries one should keep in mind that keywords are significant and rationally competitive. If organic search is not enough to target one specific country user can focus on a language-based process which can be helpful as well.
If anyone tries to use multiple domains for their website, it will become confusing for search engines and can upset the rankings. Let us understand this by an example.
Suppose you have a website www.example1.com and you buy the domain www.example2.org and keep it on your existing website. Google will consider these as 2 different websites as different web pages, and as I mentioned earlier in this article that 2 different web pages cannot contain similar content, so if you keep www.example2.org on www.example1.com, but they are still separate website addresses, So Google can punish you for identical content which will lower the website ranking.
There is also a best practice for keeping multiple domains; which recommends that the other domain should be pointed with a 301 redirect so that it does not create duplicate content issues.
The only positive in buying multiple domains and pointing those domains to your existing or current website is that it can collect any direct visits which means someone would have to type the URL into the address bar directly, but then again, this scenario is scarce.
Keeping with the last line in mind if someone is thinking of ways to improve their website’s SEO, they should not purchase multiple domains.
SEO is a bit different if we compared it to other web development, where you update the code, go to the other tab, hit the refresh button and changes you made are visible. SEO ranking calculations change frequently. Although SEO developers are working constantly to figure out what is working and what is not.
SEO development helps to drive the traffic towards a website due to which, when a developer is enhancing his/her site they stay up-to-date for SEO updates.
To summarize this article, using multiple domains can help SEO only if you are using it to generate unique and better experiences for the seekers. Majorly, it is terrible for your SEO as you have to split your link authority, which makes it challenging to rank in competitive spaces.
So, before deciding to combine or keep the websites separate, look at the perspective business wise and SEO wise and then estimate based on both the parameters to come to the final decision. Think what is best for the user who will give value to the website and then Google rankings will come into the picture.