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I've searched Google high and low. There are many answers to this question. I even asked another question similar to this one however it lacked specificity. Something this question will not lack.

I bought a new domain a month ago. The domain name was too long to make a brand name from plus the social media accounts were already taken for it. After deciding on a brand name I then bought the brand name as a .com, .org, .net and a 4th domain that was a good expired domain with great backlinks. I have redirected all 4 to my main site. My problem is I don't know apache code, Google has to many answers, how do I know If I redirected them properly? Properly as far as Google and my SEO are concerned I already know that they redirect to my website. That part works.

WHAT I WANT: I want to redirect all 4 domains to my main site, not have those 4 domains be indexed in Google (I don't have to worry about directives for indexing, crawling, which version I want; www or non-www, etc,.), not have duplicate content issues, want to have each one a 301 redirect, and I want the link juice for the 4th domain. A proper 301 will make sure I get the link juice.

Obviously redirecting the .com, .org and .net to my main site will neither help nor harm my SEO efforts. The 4th domain (containing great backlinks) will help my SEO efforts if I have the redirect set up right.

Did I setup my domains to redirect to my main domain properly? Did I leave something out, forget something important? Lots of variables.


THE EXAMPLE - PROBLEM


Main Site: http://www.mymainwebsitename.com

These 4 domains below are the sites that are being redirected to my main site.

  • http://www.example1.com
  • http://www.example2.org
  • http://www.example3.net
  • http://www.example4.com

I have redirected each of these 4 sites to my main site using an .htaccess file for each domain. Each are the same. Here are the directives.

# Rewrite Engine On
RewriteEngine on

# Redirect this entire domain, example1.com, to the domain example2.com
RedirectMatch 301 ^(.*)$ http://www.example.com

THE CONCLUSION


The major question here is this: This 301 redirect that I performed for each site. Is it correct as far as Google and SEO in concerned. like I said they work as far as redirecting to my site goes. I just can't know, without your help and guidance, if I did it right or left something out. This is the only redirect I have added to these 4 domains. So I still need to add more?

  • I have not added the www or non www version directive. Being that I have redirected the domains I didn't think I needed to do this. Do I need to do this? Do I need to still treat this domain as if it is a website?
  • Will this domain be indexed in the search engines or will me redirecting it keep it out of the search engines? I do not want duplicate content.
  • The domains will have nothing on them so if i redirect and they are also in the search engine this could be bad but If I redirect them they shouldn't show up in the search results right?
  • Do I need to ALSO use a robots.txt file that disallows the site from being indexed or will the redirect do that on its own?

Thanks for reading! It took me a long time to write this so please even if you down vote it to all hell at least give me some answers. I beg it of you. I have done all that I can to make sure this question was asked in a way that it applies to everyone, is very specific, and follows the rules. I have been battling with this for a while. Again, thanks in advance and I look forward to your replies.

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RedirectMatch 301 ^(.*)$ http://www.example.com

A potential problem with this is that you are redirecting everything to your homepage. Redirecting everything to the homepage is likely to be seen as a soft-404 anyway in the eyes of Google. So, no benefit.

That includes all the "backlinks" on that 4th domain as well. But unless you have related content for all those old backlinks that you specifically redirect to then you are unlikely to benefit.

Obviously redirecting the .com, .org and .net to my main site will neither help nor harm my SEO efforts.

Yes, SEO doesn't really come into it.

The 4th domain (containing great backlinks) will help my SEO efforts if I have the redirect set up right.

Not really, they'd have to be some pretty amazing backlinks. As mentioned above, unless you have the content that the backlink is expecting then any benefit is going to fall pretty flat. A redirect tells the search engines (and users) that the content has moved. If you point the redirect at something unrelated then Google is going to wise-up.

I have redirected each of these 4 sites to my main site using an .htaccess file for each domain.

If you are not intending to put any content on these domains then you could just point them all to the one account (DNS and VirtualHost config) and then have a single redirect in a single .htaccess file (or preferably server config). In fact, your canonical www / non-www redirect could do it already.

I have not added the www or non www version directive. Being that I have redirected the domains I didn't think I needed to do this. Do I need to do this?

Your redirect redirects everything, no matter how the user has accessed the other domain. So if example1.com and www.example1.com are accessible then they will both be redirected to your canonical domain. Which is what you want.

Will this domain be indexed in the search engines or will me redirecting it keep it out of the search engines? I do not want duplicate content.

They should not appear in normal search results. It's not "duplicate content".

Do I need to ALSO use a robots.txt file that disallows the site from being indexed or will the redirect do that on its own?

No. If you block with robots.txt then the search engines won't see the redirects (if they would ever find them). Note that robots.txt prevents crawling, it doesn't necessarily prevent indexing if the URL is being linked to.

  • Thank you for your in depth answer. You hit on all of the key points that I was worried about. Let's just say that obtaining SEO is not my goal but not LOSING SEO or getting penalized is my goal. Is what I have done the right thing? That I simply got the domains for branding purposes nothing else. You didn't answer one question I don't think so let me ask it straight, considering all you have said, pretty much being dead on, and forgetting about SEO as something I want to gain but as something i don't want to lose, did I set my redirects up properly? Can I be happy with my work and move on? – DeveloperDan Jan 18 '17 at 1:59
  • The only benefit I can see of having these additional "new" domains is to stop a competitor from having them and/or to perhaps be able to use them for a marketing campaign. Whether you set up these redirects "properly" - I can't really add any more that what I stated in my first paragraph. From a technical aspect, a 301 redirect is a 301 redirect - so if the intention is to redirect everything to the homepage, then yes, it would seem to be set up properly. You can implement the redirect in different ways (I mention above about combining the 4 redirects), but the net result is the same. – MrWhite Jan 18 '17 at 12:30
  • Yes all I care about is that those 4 domains redirect to my main page. My root domain. I don't care about benefiting anything of any kind, I don care about getting extra stuff, I simply just want to make sure I have properly set up the redirects from 4 pages to one. Again. I go t these domains so no one else would. That's it. And that being said Al I care to know is if they are set up right so that Google does not HARM me. i don't hare about being HELPED so long as i'm not HARMED. Is this not making sense? am I not asking it right it seems like the answer would be so simple to me. – DeveloperDan Jan 18 '17 at 20:00
  • Yes or no. If I ONLY care about directing those 4 domains to my root domain of my main site and not be negatively effected by GOOGLE did I set them up properly? Did I miss anything or forget to do anything? – DeveloperDan Jan 18 '17 at 20:01
  • I've accpeted your answer and +1 it so please answer my last question one just above this comment. – DeveloperDan Jan 18 '17 at 20:01

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