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I would like to know if a domain which we purchased and is re-directed to our main site is hurting seo. The forwarded url is being masked (and there is no way to turn this off).

So say our main site is www.badges-and-buttons.com we then purchased www.badges-buttons.com

Anyone typing www.badges-buttons.com into the address bar is forwarded to the www.badges-and-buttons.com main site but the url in the address bar stays www.badges-buttons.com

I am thinking that google may see this as duplicate content? Any advice?

  • How is there no way to "turn it off"? Either your domain registrar can do a proper redirect, or your server can handle the redirects (e.g. via PHP). – DisgruntledGoat Sep 19 '14 at 20:26
  • @DisgruntledGoat - the registrar can't do a proper redirect they mask the domain "for free" web2.freeparking.co.uk/default.asp?f=9. We don't have any server for this domain so we can't run any php code. – Matt Wilko Sep 21 '14 at 10:24
  • Wow, it's like I went back in time to 1999! ;) So it sounds like you're just using their free page builder? In which case your options will be severely limited, not sure you'd be able to add any meta tags or JavaScript. – DisgruntledGoat Sep 21 '14 at 23:43
  • @DisgruntledGoat - I know - don't shoot the messenger. We are not using a free page builder. We don't have any pages on that domain. We have just registered the domain with them and are forwarding all traffic to another domain. – Matt Wilko Sep 23 '14 at 9:45
  • could you explain a little more about the hosting situation then? Can you use the same settings (nameservers) for both the domains? – DisgruntledGoat Sep 23 '14 at 12:11
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Google punishments

If both sites are the same and both sites are in the index then yes, one will be marked as duplicate. Do a site: www.example.com` as a search on Google. Generally what normally happens is when a site is marked duplicate it will noted by Google and if enough pages and content gets marked as duplicate the site will receive a punishment resulting in lower rankings. However this is normally only received by the copy-cat and not the master site.

Possible solution using no-index or redirect

Its doubtful that a website that copies content from one domain to another (Masked effect) will ever receive good enough rankings to get good traffic. A safer option would be to use no-index or redirect users from that domain to the actual master.

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It won't harm your website. Make proper 301 redirection of your old domain.

e.g.

www.badges-and-buttons.com

301 redirect to

www.badges-buttons.com

Also, read this https://stackoverflow.com/questions/8450573/how-to-301-redirect-an-entire-domain-while-preserving-the-path

  • There is no facility to do any other sort of redirect with the domain registrar we have. I can't use an htaccess file as we have have no host for these sites, just the domain registered. – Matt Wilko Sep 21 '14 at 10:26

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