Adding Domain’s for SEOs
I have several domain names and I want them all to point to the same site while keeping all the link popularity.
I’ve already outlined the theory and basics in the previous articles, so in this article you are going to get a nice, easy checklist.
301 Redirect Checklist
- Set up a new web hosting account, different from the one your current site is on. This account can be blank – no need for a website or content in it. It doesn’t matter if it’s on the same server (or even IP address). But it does have to be a separate account.
- Go to all your secondary domains that you want to forward, and point them at this second account. If any are currently pointing at your main site, move them to the second account.
- You can usually do this by going to your domain registrars control panel and changing the name servers to match the ones used by the new account.
- Then you go to the new account’s nameservers and resolve them to the website account IP
- If it’s a straight IP hosting, you are done (though it’s a waste of an IP). If it’s a shared IP, then go to the account and make sure that the host headers for the account respond to the new domain.
- To be clear, only ONE domain should resolve directly to the main account/site – the main domain. All of the rest should resolve to the secondary one.
- You should now have your main site with only your main domain on it. You also have a second account with all the other domains pointing at it. If that’s not the case go back and fix it.
- Now we want to tell a visitor (including a search engine) that all domains pointing at the second account are actually supposed to be permanently pointing at the main site, which is where the real website it. We do this using a 301 Redirect. You can find detailed instructions on how to do this for each of these 2 common scenarios here:
- Test the redirect using a HTTP Header viewer and tying in a redirected domain. You should see a “301 Error” in the case of IIS or “301 Moved Permanently” in the case of Apache. If you see “302 Found” you did it wrong. If you do the header check on the main domain, you will see a direct return code of “200 OK“, if you did it right.
Diagram of a 301 Redirect
Basically, you are attempting to accomplish the diagram above. The visitor must go to a separate site and be told that you have moved permanently to a new one (i.e. 301) or it won’t pass on PR or link popularity properly.
Detailed Technical Information
- Domain Parking and SEO
- Apache Domain Redirects – 301 vs. 302
- IIS Redirects – 302, 302
- Redirects Using On-Page Scripting and Headers
Specific Scenarios and How To Deal With Them
- I have a .com website and I want to show up for searches related to a specific country (Geolocation)
- I have several domain names and I want them all to point to the same site. <– You are here
- I want a new domain to be associated with a sub-directory or specific page on my current site.
- Should I use a redirect for my error page?
Unless otherwise noted, all articles written by Ian McAnerin, BASc, LLB. Copyright © 2002-2004 All Rights Reserved. Permission must be specifically granted in writing for use or reprinting anywhere but on this site, but we do allow it and don’t charge for it, other than a backlink. Contact Us for more information.