Multiple Domains for one website have been a constant matter of discussion for almost every company which is hoping to expand and so for the start-up founders. Some consider it as a manipulative way to gather traffic, while the remaining take it as a smarter way to fetch the crowd.
There are certain pros and cons for both the strategies that I’ll be writing on ahead. But, prior to the consequences, we must acquire some acquaintance with the basics of the web address or URL and the actual scenario related to domains in the market.
URL or Web address basically consists of 3 main things-
- Protocol – HTTP/HTTPS
- Domain – www.“Abcd”.com (The bold part)
- Extension -.com/. co/.in/.org/.net/.au/.uk, etc.
The market scenario of Multiple domains–
- One can understand the concept of multiple domains for a single website by assuming a business for a single organization named ‘abcd’, which has multiple domains but with different extensions or sub-domains to its name, like www.abcd.com, www.abcd.co.in, www.abcd.org, etc.
In such a case, there are a few things to remember on a serious note that, all the aforesaid URLs for the same business, must work separately and should not be redirected to one website only.
Hiddenbrains is an organization working overseas with different URLs but same domain, having difference of extensions only like https://www.hiddenbrains.com/ as a global website but https://www.hiddenbrains.co.uk/ specifically being run for United Kingdoms.
These two URLs are separate but having the same domain i.e. ‘hiddenbrains’ and are globally running with separate extensions.
2. Another way to grab the crowd is they use their old website which is ranking good because of its numerous backlinks, meanwhile its further progress, they put a new website which may sell a relevant product, so that the traffic can be directed through it back to the older/main website.
Now, one would wonder how a new website has managed to grab traffic for itself first?
Well, a few website development companies who run more than one website definitely has a website of lower DA but optimized so well that it manages to rank on the first page in SERP despite having poor link profile ranking for the same keyword.
As the website is new and has come out with an only target to support the old one, it becomes easy to optimize it perfectly through choosing accurate keywords, phrases, and best possible on-page, off-page optimization, sometimes through PPC (Pay Per Click) as well.
Examples to such strategic businesses are companies like Shutterfly, which runs a parallel website Wedding paper diva which sales only out of many products that Shutterfly sales i.e. wedding invitation cards.
As Redirection plays a vital role, I would suggest the reader to ‘take care of the redirection method, whether to opt 301 (permanent) or 302 (temporary) one.’
Go through each of them once, if one has less knowledge about it.
Websites often get penalized due to their duplicate content, duplicate domain, and also if two of your websites are selling the same content, Google may consider it as a spammy site irrespective of the language used for describing the product/content. Just make sure your intent behind the multiple domains is legit enough in the eyes of Google.
BBK Electronics, a Chinese tech giant, is a parent company to big brands like OnePlus, Oppo, Vivo and Real Me and an example to the different strategy, which says about ‘having multiple child websites, named differently but pursuing the same business with different brand names.’
3. To make your website reachable for everyone, you can use multiple domains. This is how-
Suppose your website’s name is “everything.com”. Now, there would definitely be some areas in this world which may not search your keyword as per their search intent, or may be written in a different manner in a different language, therefore, this could be one reason to have another domain so as to reach everyone in this globe either of your community or of other’s.
You can also have specific domain extensions like lawyer.lgbt if you are a lawyer for LGBTQ rights etc.
It helps people navigate to the proper website in an easier way.
4. Split the traffic
Hosting is a crucial aspect as far as traffic is concerned. When a website gets popular, it requires a better hosting to manage numerous users at a time, but there are certain circumstances when one cannot offer such high hosting charges.
Splitting a website is an alternative to expensive hosting services, used by many e-business owners. Also, it is something where the process of redirection may play a vital role.
How Splitting can be dangerous and beneficial both at the same time?
Splitting can help you in maintaining the traffic from different zones belonging to the separate diaspora.
As mentioned in point no.2, it helps in reaching the people out of your country or diaspora, who may not match your keyword but will start knowing you and your organization when you run another website with a different language, with an appropriate extension.
For example, being an Indian entrepreneur, if you own another website for your business with an extension of ‘.uk’ or having an extension accordingly can be a game changer.
Consequently, rather missing the customers due to searcher’s intent, it is better to grab them by acquiring multiple domains with accurate keywords.
Splitting can also be dangerous to your website in terms of page ranking.
As when you go for a split, it will definitely divert your traffic for at least one-fourth of your original. In addition to that, some will bounce back, and some others would opt out due to no reason after redirection (if used), which ultimately can affect your page ranking. Therefore, splitting a website or would require effective planning and strategy before a go. Else it can turn out in losing both ends rather having one in hand.
Apart from these positive facts, there is a negative side too of having multiple domains-
- Multiple domains for a single product can also confuse a customer.
As I mentioned above, that hosting is an aspect which may lead you to have more than one website when you are getting more than a limit of users into your website. Here, if the purpose behind another domain is hosting or just a way to grab traffic, you must be very accurate and have a clear face of your second domain, so that your regular visitors should not get confused in between your different domains.
Time is money, and no one would give a heck to take a pause, think of the correct one and move back to it if confused. It would turn into an increment in your bounce rate.
2. Loss of authenticity, credibility
These negatives are successive to each other. As one user gets confused and goes to another website, it would not only reduce your page ranking but also affect your credibility.
Authenticity is a term which matters to those who moves according to what they hear from others. If any user has reviewed or has verbally exchanged his thought regarding the confusion that he faced in between your domains, it will be going to impact or might raise a question about your authenticity in them.
3. Migrating issues
Migration of two websites into each other is not an easy task to do and requires a proper shift with more than adequate agility for the pages which are to be merged if the websites are made up of two different technologies.
Unless the websites are of the same technologies, migration is a simple process that can be done with the redirection method using either 301 for permanent and 302 for temporary redirection as required.
Conclusion of the Context
People usually prefer multiple domains for 2 main reasons. First is they want to lead in the competition by acquiring top trending extensions of.com/.net/.org for their websites so that they can get the maximum possible traffic and also it builds a repo over a newcomer or customers.
Secondly, people do not want their customers to miss just because of sluggish spelling mistakes, thus, they try to own both possible domains for it, which may not seem good to Google and could be a subject of review.
Considering ‘Multiple websites for a business’ and ‘Multiple domains for a single website’ as two different strategies, the later one has a higher tendency to get spammed out by Google.
Therefore, one should keep this in mind that Google as a responsible search engine has itself stated to have more than 200 criteria to rank and judge the website.
Aayush Goswami is a senior content writer at MAAN Softwares INC. He has been with this company for the past 2 years. Aayush specializes in technical writing with an emphasis on mobile app development, web design, and technology trends. Aayush finds covering the tech world to be an exciting and engaging experience as each day brings new and groundbreaking technologies to explore and write about.