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My client owns a webshop exampleshop.it - and we use adwords and google analytics to promote it.

He somehow has the idea that more domains (pointing to the original webshop) bring more traffic and better ranking.

What do I tell him and how do I proove it?

1) Would it be okay to have the same domain with other TLD endings (because I have seen many companies do this)

The site will not be split up and there will not be different sites with different content. Not even differnet languages.

So is there a way to have exampleshop.fr exampleshop.es exampleshop.de exampleshop.com exampleshop.net showing the same content and not be punished?

2) Apart from that, is there a way to have shoe-shop.xyz and beautiful-shoes-shop.xyz and others showing the exactly same content and site as exampleshop.it and not be punished? (different 2nd level domain name)

3) If the one or the other is possible, then how to do it tecnically (redirects? http code?) to have the best SEO effects?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

He somehow has the idea that more domains (pointing to the original webshop) bring more traffic and better ranking.

He's wrong.

1) Would it be okay to have the same domain with other TLD endings (because I have seen many companies do this)

Sure. Lots of companies do this.

2) Apart from that, is there a way to have shoe-shop.xyz and beautiful-shoes-shop.xyz and others showing the exactly same content and site as exampleshop.it and not be punished? (different 2nd level domain name)

If the language used in each site is different then you do not need to do anything. If the language used is the same then you should canonical URLs to tell Google which one is the "main" site and to index that one and consider the other pages duplicates. This does transfer link juice much like a 301 redirect does.

3) If the one or the other is possible, then how to do it tecnically (redirects? http code?) to have the best SEO effects?

Canonical URLs should work fine. But if you do not wish to have so many domains using one language then use 301 redirects to forward users to the main domain for that language.

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Thank you. Please can you specifiy what you mean by "use canonical urls" in a technical way. –  mit Jul 20 '11 at 15:18
    
I should have linked to it in my answer. You can read more about canonical URLs in Google's blog. It's pretty straightforward which is cool. –  John Conde Jul 20 '11 at 15:24
    
@mit: even if what John Conde says is true, I suggest you not to tell your customer He's wrong. :) –  Marco Demaio Jul 20 '11 at 19:13

If you client wants more domains, and you are in the business of selling domains or maintaining the site, then you should sell him more domain. There are some instances where it is suitable. For example my customers, in the UK, often ask for both the .com and .co.uk version of their name so that users don't accidentally go to one when they should be on the other. Also if you want to protect a brand name or trademark you should register all possible TLDs for that domain. Big first like google and yahoo do this even if they don't use that other TLD for any real site. Also you should look at registering common misspellings of the name. Especially if the name is difficult to spell. If the name is made of double words, you might register both exampleshop.com and example-shop.com.

So there are several practical reasons for registering multiple domains which may get you some addition traffic. It will also get you some extra $ on the bill for setting it up for him so why tell him no.

  1. On your first point, there no problem with having multiple domains as long as you do it the right way. The best way is to use a 301 redirect on the additional domain names to redirect to the main domain name. This will also mean that not only users but search engines like google will recognise the main and secondary names correctly.

  2. As long as it's a 301 redirect you won't be punished for duplication. The same content will show up no matter what the domain that is typed in but the search engines will only list the main domain.

  3. The same again, just a 301 redirect. Park the domains one on top of the other and put a 301 redirect in your .htaccess file.

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