Can I register a domain similar to my competitors and rank higher in google?

For example, my competitor uses competitorwebsite.com, can i use competitorwebsite.news and redirect it to my actual domain, so that i can come up in results for "competitorwebsite", "competitor website"?

I would like to mention that I DON'T want to mislead people to coming to my website.

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    Using an Exact Match Domain (EMD) is not likely to help you outrank your competitors since Google updated its algorithm quite some time ago to make that a negligible factor. Creating brand-name recognition using a domain name may help, but ultimately it's the quality of your content, number of incoming links from authoritative sites, etc... that will help. See What are the best ways to increase a site's position in Google? for more effective strategies.
    – dan
    Commented May 25, 2018 at 7:22
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    It's highly likely that they use those keywords in their content more, and Google may have identified them as part of their brand-name. It's highly unlikely that you'll be able to co-opt their brand-name just by using a similar domain name, and very unwise if they've trademarked it. I'd suggest sticking to what you have and making the content a better match for those keywords. If you change your domain name, you may significantly impact your current rankings.
    – dan
    Commented May 25, 2018 at 7:41
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    That will be of no benefit. Google only associates the content with the domain that it appears under, not redirected domains.
    – dan
    Commented May 25, 2018 at 8:05
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    Depending on your location you may be close to cybersquatting
    – jrtapsell
    Commented May 25, 2018 at 8:20
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    IANAL, but using the same name creates risk as your competitor could sue you or at least use mechanisms such as UDRP or URS to shut down your website. Commented May 26, 2018 at 17:46

2 Answers 2


In addition to everything else that was mentioned, if your competitor found out you were doing that, you could be hit with either a Cybersquatting complaint in court or a UDRP, which you would likely lose under the "Registered in Bad Faith" principle.



What you propose is not a good strategy on several fronts. You cannot register a domain name similar to your competitor and expect to get rankings for the words in that domain name.

Redirect domains don't influence rankings

Redirecting a domain name to your site doesn't have any influence with Google. The only time that Google might increase site rankings for a redirected domain would be if that domain has lots of external links pointing to it. However, a freshly registered domain name isn't going to come with links at it would be a better use of your time to build links to your own site rather than to a redirect.

Exact match domains don't make better rankings

Even if you re-branded your site with this domain name it likely wouldn't help much. Google changed its algorithms a few years ago to demote exact match domains in the search results.

What you are proposing is trademark infringement

Besides the fact that it won't work, what you are proposing could get you in legal trouble. Even it it isn't registered, your competitors have a common use trademark on their name. Registering similar and confusing domains is exactly the type of thing that trademark law was written to prevent.

You say that you "don't want to mislead people", but you are proposing ranking your home page for your competitor's name. That is precisely the definition of misleading people if you ask me.

If you want to legitimately rank for a competiors name you could create a page that compares your services to theirs.

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