From time to time, I meet clients that have hit up the domain candy store. Like a kid in a candy store, they have grabbed any domain they can get their sticky fingers on. This can certainly be a wise investment and a necessary step towards reputation management.
However, just like eating all your Halloween candy in one night, how you manage your domains can end up hurting too. At face value, gathering domains to protect your brand, slogan, executives, and variations of your domain is a smart move.
However, pointing these domains to your website in an attempt to improve your website rankings, to improve your link popularity, or to generate additional traffic can be a dangerous move.
Let’s look at an example. (Shout out to my favorite candy: I love you, M&Ms!)
Mars Inc. is currently using at least two domains to represent the M&M brand: www.mms.com and www.m-ms.com. When you type in each of these URLs, you’ll see the same website and the address bar will continue to show the URL that you entered. This approach creates two identical websites (aka: duplicate content) and, for the many content-rich websites out there, this can result in being penalized by the search engines.
What’s the best solution? A 301 Permanent Redirect or park the websites
By permanently redirecting the domains to a canonical version, you will avoid creating duplicate content and continue to direct visitors to your main site. To see a 301 Redirect in action: Type in the www.SEOIncorporated.com URL. The www.SEOIncorporated.com URL will automatically be redirected, and https://www.seoinc.com/ will appear in the address bar.
Coming Soon: Top Types of Domains to Buy Next Blog Post: Social Competitive Analysis