by Terry Young
Multiple domains will help your business get results...
This is an issue that seems to be on the rise and needs to be addressed, especially as businesses and their web designers are desperately trying any methods they may have heard about to obtain more online leads.
The usual misconception is that a company's web designer believes that search engine results are greatly based on the domain name.
They create several web sites, often with only one or two pages, each with a different domain name, for example interiordesignchesapeake.com, and expect that each will get great search engine results for that term, just because of the domain name. Another practice is to just forward several domain names to the same site, but to 'mask' the address, so that each appears to be a different site. This is a very old misconception that has been circulating the internet for over a decade, and is propagated to this day by businesses and individuals who purchase 'keyworded' domain names, then try to sell them to unsuspecting companies, telling them these will help them.
This can be dangerous for a business if the designer just creates multiple site copies, containing identical information under different domains.
However, even worse is if the designer just fills each 'site' with paragraphs of nothing but keywords.
So what is the effect of creating multiple, identical sites for the same company?
We have, so far, come across six different companies this year whose designers have resorted to, and fallen victim to, this practice.
Search engines have become extremely sophisticated over the years, and one of their abilities is to spot a web site that is a copy of another one, just as they can spot a site which is full of nothing more than lists of keywords, and no useful or relevant information.
Quite simply, rather than each site being judged and its position improved, the search engines see such activity as nothing more than an attempt to fool, or spam, the search results.
The effect of this is that the search engine will very likely ban all of the clone sites from its results and, if there are several of them and they all link back to a 'parent' web site, ban that as well.
At the very least, the overall search results could be seriously penalized for unethical behavior, and results reduced, not improved.
What can you do if this applies to you?
You should take any clone sites offline, especially if they link back to your main web site. If you have multiple URLs leading back to one site, do not mask the domain name, clearly show the visitor that they are now on a different site.
The bottom line is that the domain name you have is almost completely irrelevant to where you show up in the search engine results.
A business can still be at the top of the results, even if their domain name says nothing about their profession, purely if their site was professionally developed, and effectively search engine optimized.
If you are ready to increase your business, now is the perfect time to consider our WebUpdate systems, which employ advanced marketing, promotion, and optimization features designed to give businesses the best competitive edge online.
Terry Young is the founder and CEO of Internet Marketing and Design. Since 1997,