Why having multiple domains is a waste of time

There are any number of SEO strategies and techniques that have been publicised over the years, some more successful than others. Some have actually worked for a while, only to be crushed when the Search Engines update their algorithms. For online marketers and people with technical skills this was not so much of a problem. These changes simply meant creating a new website and “off we go again”.

However when working for a client there is a moral duty to ensure that their business is protected from these changes. So the start point of any new project is to put-aside any preconceived ideas about SEO or Google and to establish what the client actually wants to achieve.

Every business is different, and every business owner has their own unique plans for their future. A successful online marketing campaign is going to closely mirror those goals and help the business move in the right direction.

Online marketing has become such an important part of most successful businesses existence that they will rightly regard their virtual address (domain) as being as valuable as their physical address.

Our goal is to help you achieve your goals, and to ensure that nothing you do in your online marketing activities will harm your business.

Does owning multiple domains help rank in the Search Engines

We are quite often asked about the benefits of owning multiple domains for the same business.  It is not uncommon to find that a potential client has purchased 100’s of domains related to their business name or business activity.  Sometime in the belief that this will help them get traffic from Google.

There is rarely a good business case for maintaining multiple domains and websites for the same core business activity.

Clearly businesses that are separate legal entities, or carry out entirely unrelated activities can be, and probably should be, kept separate. But in almost every other case the potential benefits do not justify the extra effort (money) involved in maintaining multiple websites.

To be clear. There is no reason why a business should not own multiple domains. It is also perfectly reasonable to use those domains in offline marketing and pay-per-click advertising. And of course it is also beneficial to own any related domains rather than risk a competitor purchasing them.

The diagram below outlines a possible example of using multiple domains:

possible example of Multiple Domains for one website

The perceived benefits

People often think that owning multiple web properties will mean that a business can appear in more than one place on the first page of the search engines. However this is becoming increasingly difficult, and Google has publicly stated that they are taking steps to stop this happening. Even if a business manages to attain multiple listing the likelihood is that would only be for non competitive keywords and generate an minimal level of traffic.

A Search Engine’s number one priority is to return results that users will find useful. And they will go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that this happens. With this in mind Google often refers to wanting to find web pages that it can trust and those that have authority. For a business with a physical presence i.e. shops factories etc. then making sure that their web sites are closely linked and associated with their physical address will help towards engendering trust.  Anything that even potentially could damage trust should be avoided.  In this regard your relationship with Google is just like the relationship between two people; once the trust has gone it takes an awful lot of hard work (and time) to get it back!

Authority comes from well written unique content that is shared by other people in the same marketplace.

In future for websites to rank for competitive keywords it will be necessary to spend a lot of effort gaining the search engine’s trust. The authority flows from the quality of the content on the website. So, it makes sense that trying to achieve this outcome for multiple websites for the same business is a signifiant investment in time, which would probably be more profitably spent creating a single high quality website.

In short: no harm in owning as many domains as you can afford to buy, but be careful what you do with them.