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Q: Search Engine Optimization ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Search Engine Optimization
Category: Business and Money > eCommerce
Asked by: sheilahowell-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 26 Jan 2004 14:35 PST
Expires: 25 Feb 2004 14:35 PST
Question ID: 300464
I have several urls that have names similar to my main site.  I have
thought about setting up site for those urls that are basically "ads"
for my main site and have links to the main site.  Would the increase
my natural search since I wouldn't have much traffic to these sites
and would I get penalized by the search engines?  Is this what some
refer to as a webring?
Subject: Re: Search Engine Optimization
Answered By: serenata-ga on 29 Jan 2004 06:56 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi Sheila ~

In a word -- DON'T!

There are many reasons people buy several domain names that are
similar to their main site. One of the major reasons is to accommodate
common typos, misspellings or other variables (such as pluralization)
of a common word or words.

Smart site owners will "point" (that is, permanently redirect) all the
similar domain names to the 'real' domain. They do not try to develop
the variation-type domains, nor do they list them with search engines.

The variations are merely there to aid visitors and repeat customers
who might otherwise type in the "wrong" url.

There is an additional advantage to doing this - it keeps a competitor
from taking advantage of common typing or name mistakes by buying and
developing that domain.

As an example, your domain has the word "designer" in it. You might
also have the variation "designers" (plural) or similar variations.

Owning those variables is a good idea to eliminate confusion, but it
is definitely *NOT* a good practice to develop/design them all
basically as "ads" and put them online with a link to your 'real'

Most search engines view this as 'spam', and the chances are very good
they will all be penalized - including your main site. While your
intentions may be good, the results could be disastrous for you.

Here's what Google says about it in its Information for Webmasters,
"Quality Guidelines - Basic principles",

     "Don't participate in link schemes designed to increase
      your site's ranking or PageRank."
   - ://

While it may not be your intent to be a linking scheme, since so many
others HAVE done it specifically to boost the links to their sites, it
will be seen as a linking scheme and can hurt you in the long run.

From "Quality Guidelines - Specific recommendations",

     "* Don't create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains
        with substantially duplicate content.
      * Avoid "doorway" pages created just for search engines,
        or other "cookie cutter" approaches such as affiliate
        programs with little or no original content."

     "These quality guidelines cover the most common forms of
      deceptive or manipulative behavior, but Google may respond
      negatively ... "
   - ://

I understand your reasoning and intention, but you have to weigh how
it may appear to others and decide whether or not you want to risk
getting penalized or even permanently removed from Google's index.

The best way to handle the similar domains is to have your domain
registrar permanently point those to your main site in the form of a
proper redirect, and concentrate on optimizing the main site.


To answer your question about a webring, a webring is defined as, "A
WebRing is an Internet service and concept which links together a
group of sites that have the same theme. In each WebRing, member Web
sites have banded together to form their sites into linked circles.
Their purpose: to allow more visitors to reach them quickly and
easily." Definition from Net Set,

At one time, webrings were very popular, but they are seen as "amateurish" now. 


Search terms ~

   * For multiple domain question, I relied on working knowledge
     from day to day interaction with customers and my own web-
     based design & consulting business.

   * For the webring - Google definition search on the term
   - ://


While owning variables on your main domain name is a good idea from a
practical standpoint (that is, to keep competitors from developing a
site with a name that is nearly the same as your own), putting ads on
those pages and pointing them to your main domain will in all
likelihood be seen as an attempt to 'spam' the search engines.

Google does not look favorable on such practices, and it could
possibly lead to your being removed from its index. Why risk it?

I trust this answers your questions, but don't hesitate to ask for
clarification on any matter if need be.

Best regards,

Google Answers Researcher
sheilahowell-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
The answer was very thorough.

There are no comments at this time.

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