Suppose you have invented a new product. It is an Atomic Lint Remover. Naturally, you will want to register the domain name AtomicLintRemover.com as soon as possible.
You register a domain name by going to an Internet Domain Name Registrar. After you type in the name you want, you will be greeted by a blizzard of variations on the domain name as shown in the above image. It must be a good thing to register more names, right? Wrong.
There are several things you can do with extra domain names:
- Build an separate stand-alone website for each extra domain name
- Build a link-wheel of websites that link to the .com website
- Alias the additional domain names to the .com website
- Cloak the additional domain names using your .com website
- Forward the additional domain names to the .com website
Let’s look at each of these…
1 Build a website for each domain name:
With this approach you have several domain names each with their own website hawking the Atomic Lint Remover. Google imposes a penalty for websites that have duplicate content. So, this approach is bad for SEO.
2 Build a link wheel:
This is a collection of websites all of which link to your main website. This kind of scheme violates Google Webmaster Guidelines. It will cause your main website and all of the others to be penalized in search results. So, we can check this off our list.
3 Alias the additional domain names:
This lets all of the domain names look like they are separate, but they all show the same website. All of the domain names will separately appear in Google search results, for a while. Then, the axe will fall and all of them will disappear from search results. Why? Duplicate content.
4 Cloak the additional domain names:
This is the most absurd of all possible approaches. A few hosting services like GoDaddy offer it. It takes your .com website and cloaks it in a frame. When you type in one of the other URLs, you see the .com website but the URL remains the one you typed in, because the website is displayed in a frame. Search engines will list only the Home page and nothing else with such an arrangement. Also, the URL of every cloaked page will be the URL of the Home page, creating a bad visitor experience.
5 Forward the additional domains:
This is what most people do, but it has no SEO value. Zero. If people type in one of the extra URLs you have registered, it will immediately change to the .com version. Search engines will never index any of the extra domain names you have registered.