Whats the best method in having multiple domains online with the same content so that it does not affect SEO.

Say a www.domain.com and www.domain.com.au. The *.com.au domain has significant SEO history and the *.com domain is brand new and currently only has a 301 redirect to the .com.au domain.

Would I just put a copy of the same website up on both domains or will a redirect from one domain to the other do the trick?

What would be the best method to go about this?


3 Answers 3


What you need is canonicalization.

<link href='http://yourfavdomain.com/' rel='canonical'/>

Look at blogspot for example, each blogspot blog can be accessed with many extensions, the canonical tag is there to say that .com is the favourite option.

Permanent redirection works fine too if it's an available option.


There is no geotargeting value to duplicating content on multiple domains, or even using 301 redirects from different ccTLDs.

By definition, geotargeting serves up different content based on the user's geographic location. If you're just redirecting to or serving up the same content, that's not geotargeting. That's just buying lots of different ccTLDs for no reason.

There is also no SEO value in doing this. Google will not increase your ranking for Chinese users just because you happen to redirect a .cn domain to your site. Why should they? If I put up a German site and redirect a .uk domain to it, does that suddenly make the content more useful or relevant to UK visitors?

  • What would you recommend then? Jul 30, 2013 at 1:47
  • If you simply want to use another domain as an alias to your existing domain, then a 301 redirect is the best way to go about it. It doesn't improve SEO in itself, but it lets you use the additional domain without producing duplicate content while also maintaining consistent URLs for end users as well. This is what most major sites tend to do. E.g. yahoo.org redirects to yahoo.com, wikipedia.com redirects to wikipedia.org, slashdot.com redirects to slashdot.org, etc. You could alias the domains, but then you'd have to include a canonical link, and it's still more confusing for users. Jul 30, 2013 at 2:17
  • My aim is to improve the SEO of the new .com domain so in your words the 301 redirect doesn't do this. So i'd have to put up different content for my domains based on their target and utilize geotargeting to serve up the related content yes? Jul 30, 2013 at 3:52
  • If you have a large amount of content for the different regions, I would simply put different content on the different domains and link the .com to the localized domains to give users the ability to choose which region they're from. If they search with Google Australia, then they'll naturally find the .com.au first, but they could live in Australia and still prefer American or Indian content. Additionally, separating by domain makes it easier to manually target the content (e.g. via GWT) when the content cues aren't enough to help search engines distinguish the different regions. Jul 30, 2013 at 14:55
  • Generally speaking, the most SEO friendly ways to deliver geotargeting are the ones that provide unique URLs for each content rather than just serving up different content at the same URL. So, say, automatically redirecting users from the .com to .com.au if you identify them as Australian would be way way to do this. It's still automatic, but they end up on example.com.au/help when they type in example.com/help. Jul 30, 2013 at 14:58

Running the same site on multiple top level domains that target different countries is absolutely fine from an SEO perspective.

  • Make locale specific spelling and wording changes appropriate for tho audience of the site. For example when targeting the .com site to US, use "vacation" instead of "holiday"
  • Use appropriate currency and shipping options for your audience of each site. (AUD vs USD for example).
  • Log into Google Webmaster Tools, add each site, and set the geo targeting of each site under "Site Settings" from the gear icon menu. Your com.au should be automatically targeted to Australia and you will be unable to change this.

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