I wonder why some website changes their short and user-friendly URLs to long URLs - examples:
cricinfo.com ----> espncricinfo.com
indiafm.com ---> bollywoodhungama.com
Why would a webmaster choose to make that change?
migrated from stackoverflow.com Mar 7 '11 at 11:19
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In these instances the reasons are branding and for SEO.
Crininfo in now part of the growing ESPN sporting network, like Soccernet is - ESPN like to see their branding extending throughout their estate. cricinfo.com still works though.
In the second case I think that branding was a secondary consideration behind the need to get better natural search engine rankings for the expression 'Bollywood' - domains that contain a search term get a natural boost in all search engine algorithms (this is demonstrable by testing the theory, the actual algorithms are usually secret).
bollywoodhungama.com is #4 in a Google search for 'Bollywood' - a search with hundreds of millions of choices, so the site is clearly optimised for 'Bollywood' which strengthens SEO as the most likely primary reason for the change.
The most obvious reason is search engine optimisation. If your website can be access from more than one URL, then there's a major hole in your SEO.
The alternative URLs will/should 304 redirect to the original domain. The domain that the companies use as their "primary" domain will be down to where the content and assets are stored, such as images and stylesheets, that may be loaded in with relative paths.