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302 versus 301 domain redirection
What makes 301 "good" and 302 "bad"?
millenniumtraders




msg:3038926
 6:08 pm on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hello,

I have been having a problem with getting Google to answer this question so I thought I should ask it here.

Recently our company purchased several domain names that are similar to our domain name [URL removed by moderator]. For example we purchased [URL removed by moderator]. The reason we did this was simple, many people do not know how to spell our domain name correctly and we believe there is a potential of 10-15% of our business lost because of it.

I know that, for example, if you type in www.gooogle.com it will automatically take you to www.google.com. I believe this is done by using something like Go Daddy’s “Domain Forwarding” option. However I have read on message boards and such that using Domain Forward is looked down upon and considered bad by Google. If it is how else am I suppose to do this? I do not wish to decrease the ranking of our site or get it banned by Google for doing this. I do not see what could be wrong about it but I am simply concerned.

Also, we own several other domains that are not similar to our domain but <are generic> to our industry <snip>. If I were to use the “Forward Domains” option on this domain would we get punished for it?

One last thing should I use what is called Domain Masking with the Forwarding Domains tool on Go Daddy?

Thanks for your help guys.

[edited by: Webwork at 1:38 pm (utc) on Aug. 10, 2006]
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[1][edit reason] Charter [webmasterworld.com] [/edit]
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bsterz




msg:3038948
 6:15 pm on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Point all domains to your server and 301 redirect all vanity url's to the authoritative url. Most servers allow you to alias domains - this is probably the easiest method.

gpmgroup




msg:3039109
 7:54 pm on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Implementing 301 redirects depends on the server OS

Apache
[webmasterworld.com...]

IIS
[webmasterworld.com...]

anallawalla




msg:3049362
 3:53 am on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't know GoDaddy's forwarding methods but I don't think they amount to a 301 "Permanent Redirect", which is the best solution for you. There is plenty to read on this subject on this site.

MamaDawg




msg:3049820
 12:23 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

I belive Godaddy's forwarding returns a 302 (temporary redirect). You need to do a permanent (301) redirect - as others posted, plenty of information on WW.

jdancing




msg:3055200
 2:38 am on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

Just a follow up to this... I have 20 variations of my main domain at godaddy. So instead of redirecting them through the godaddy interface I should host all 20 domains seperately just so I can 301 redirect them? Seems like the cost could add up unless I am missing something.

Does forwarding widgit.net to widget.com using godaddy put me at risk of a SE penalty? That's hard to believe.

DonMateo




msg:3055337
 6:03 am on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you get a VPS you could host (and 301-redirect) 1000's of domain names for only $25-35 per month all up.

trader




msg:3055362
 7:14 am on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

Just a follow up to this... I have 20 variations of my main domain at godaddy. So instead of redirecting them through the godaddy interface I should host all 20 domains seperately just so I can 301 redirect them? Seems like the cost could add up unless I am missing something. Does forwarding widgit.net to widget.com using godaddy put me at risk of a SE penalty? That's hard to believe.

I have been asking about this too for a very long time at various venues and never get satisfactory sounding answers to the issues. Perhaps most forum mmbers simply do not understand the issue of needing to create all those server sites and doing lots of tedious work simply to do 301's since they may only have one or a few domains to deal with themselves, or do not need to use registrar forwarding such as GoDaddy and others?

Most everyone say's simple 302's are a serious no-no and to only do work intensive 301's. As you pointed out, it can be a very big and time consuming tedious job creating new sites in your server only to do 302 domain forwards. When you have hundreds or even thousands of domains creating the server virtual sites (and using either htaccess or framing an index page) to do 301's is a lot of work for questionable returns.

Whereas 302's are much more simple and can be done quickly in a few seconds using so called domain pointing (which results in a 302, not 301). The 302 pointers can also be easily masked if you wish where the forwarded url appears in the address bar (which I strongly prefer).

And yes, GoDaddy and other registrars in effect use 302's to forward domains since they are so simple vs 301's and avoids creating website spaces for each 301 and then using htaccess or framing, which is both time and server intensive to do.

A related issue is the fact ppc provider firms say doing any forwarding or redirects is a violation of their TOS and is strictly prohibited, meaning they can close your account and some places may even keep your funds if they detect it. But why? (oddly even 301 frames may also violate their TOS which may ban framing, so it may be only htaccess method is really permitted but I may be wrong on that).

As you correctly pointed out, what is so bad about forwarding a bunch of very similar or like-kind domains to your main domain as long as they are in the same categories and the traffic is in effect a very similar quality?

Your example of widgit.net going to widget.com is the best example. I actually have asked parking firms and website ppc providers if that is OK to do and they always say absolutely not. But why as it makes no sense? Many large corporations routinely do that with hundreds of similar names and typos. Hard to believe Google/Yahoo and others penalize the traffic, or do not count all the traffic (but my testing reveals that is correct and the 302 traffic is indeed not counted in the impressions and stats).

Anyone else comment on this?

jdancing




msg:3055689
 1:51 pm on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't do adsense on my main site. Is the risk related to losing an adsense or other PPC account and not related to general serp penalties toward the main site? If so, it's a 302 I go..

Kirby




msg:3055847
 3:38 pm on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

>One last thing should I use what is called Domain Masking with the Forwarding Domains tool on Go Daddy?

GoDaddy doesnt do any 301s. Domain masking/forwarding at GD will be with a 302.

>302 is easier

The 301 vs 302 issue should not be decided by level of convenience, but by purpose and/or intent. There are fundamental differences between a 301 and a 302 and they should be used correctly.

[w3.org...]

10.3.2 301 Moved Permanently

The requested resource has been assigned a new permanent URI

10.3.3 302 Found

The requested resource resides temporarily under a different URI.

Moniker is one registrar that employs 301s with domain forwarding. There may be others that do this as well, but I am not aware of them.

trader




msg:3055878
 3:58 pm on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

Are you positive about that as it would be highly unusual for a domain registrar to do 301's for all the domains registered there? Perhaps they do 301's for Traffic Club domains, but even then it would be unusual?

Quite surprised about Moniker and that nice feature not being well known or listed as a benefit in their marketing?

If that is correct it's a good reason for many domainers even by itself to use Moniker (along with their many other excellent services, including high security).

jdancing




msg:3056240
 8:18 pm on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

I just called moniker and the CS rep said it is a 301 redirect. I asked if it is included with all URLs and they said I would need to talk to my sales rep to work out the pricing (whatever that means - never dealt with them before).

The web page states "You can opt-in to choose URL forwarding when you register domains with Moniker or add it later as a value add-on service."

To me, it sounds like they charge extra for the service. If not, I agree that they surely should market this feature more aggressively.

BTW: I also called godaddy and they stated they use a 302 redirect.

Webwork




msg:3056372
 9:58 pm on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

Nice work jdancing. Thanks for checking that out and passing the info on to the membership.

trader




msg:3056758
 6:48 am on Aug 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

You are a genuis jdancing to know that Moniker's url forwarding does in fact do a 301. It's surprising Moniker is not promoting this cool feature as 302's are the standard with the major registrars from what I understand, including GD.

As a test I forwarded a non-parked newly registered org to the com version from within the Moniker CP. I selected the framed forwarding which was very fast and worked within 1-minute of the change. Next I ran a report using the handy free tool located at webconfs.com/http-header-check.php and the report below say's it is indeed a 301.

HTTP/1.1 301 =>
Date => Wed, 23 Aug 2006 06:37:50 GMT
Server => Apache/2.0.43 (Unix)
location => http:// testdomain dot com
Content-Length => 0
Connection => close
Content-Type => text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

The service is free even though the webpage kind of fools you into thinking there is a fee because you need to order it and add the service to your shopping cart and go thru the checkout process but the charge upon checkout is 00.00. For some odd reason I did not see it mentioned anywhere that is was a 301 (and free) or any discussion on that aspect (a missed marketing opportunity) on the Moniker site.

Thanks again and sorry I asked if you were positive about it earlier? I was definately wrong in assuming it was likely not a 301 and should have run the test in real-time before questioning you about it being correct information. It's just that every one of the many registrars I have used in the past always only did 302's and did not even offer 301's even as a paid service, let alone free. In fact, some of them even charged a fee for the 302 service.

jdancing




msg:3057285
 2:14 pm on Aug 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

Trader, Kirby is the genuis, I just made some calls to verify. I keep all domains at Godaddy, but this one simple feature has me thinking about moving all my domains to Moniker depending on their pricing and service level.

trader




msg:3057341
 3:00 pm on Aug 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

Right, I should have said Kirby, in error I thought the first post about it was from you getting the names mixed-up. Thanks for the follow-up work.

Moniker_Man




msg:3058235
 4:11 am on Aug 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes folks we offer it...and you are right, we should talk more about it and will. email me my team and we will take care of you.

creepychris




msg:3058239
 4:22 am on Aug 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Nice. I almost moved 20 domains to Moniker a few months ago for the security reasons alone. The 301 redirect is icing on the cake. Are you listening other registrars? You will HAVE to compete. Webmasters have been asking for 301 redirect services for a long time.

trader




msg:3059131
 6:22 pm on Aug 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes folks we offer it...and you are right, we should talk more about it and will. email me my team and we will take care of you.

Yes, the 301 is a fabulous benefit very few if any other large registrars offer and it's even free! I just used it successfully for the first time placing a few domains on 301 forwarding.

A great reason to use Moniker, in addition to the many other benefits and high security (based on you having said Moniker never had a domain stolen), right?

However, FYI, the framing does not appear to really do framing correctly as the domain in the address bar shows the forwarded url instead of the domain coming from as it should. Both redirect and framed options seem to work exactly the same. It seems like a bug but the good news is I used each option and both successfully show 301's.

You are also the only registrar I know of who offers domain tasting to its registrants (no need to be a heavy hitter) who can get a refund (except for the small fee) by day 4 if they see no traffic during the test, or otherwise simply change their mind.

Keep up the good work and good luck with Kanoodle.

jtara




msg:3059371
 9:26 pm on Aug 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

A related issue is the fact ppc provider firms say doing any forwarding or redirects is a violation of their TOS and is strictly prohibited, meaning they can close your account and some places may even keep your funds if they detect it. But why?

Read their TOS carefully. In most cases, they don't bar ANY forwarding or redirects - only those that have some intermediate display (pop-up, page that flashs briefly, etc.) and/or those that are done for the purpose of gaming the system. (Such as having the same store display two ads on the same page.)

As an example, Google Adwords permits redirects, as long as the landing page domain is the same as the display URL domain. (And no pop-ups, intermediate pages, etc.)

Other uses of redirects are in most cases legitimate. For example, many sites use a third-party metrics site to collect statistics on their PPC traffic. The request first goes to the metrics site, which then redirects to the advertiser's website. Most/all PPC TOS's permit this.

Getting back to the main subject - I don't recommend doing ANY kind of redirect with your registrar. This is just one more potential point of failure. Much as registrars may try to hide this fact, redirects have NOTHING to do with DNS. The registrar is simply running a webserver (probably NOT the same hardware as the DNS servers) which is redirecting to your site. One more thing to potentially fail. And if you've carefully selected your web host to have the best connectivity for your user base - that is out the window, since they are being first bounced off of your registrar's redirect server, which may or may not be optimally located on the net for your needs.

The best solution is to use a web host that allows you to have unlimited virtual domains (or at least enough for your purpose) and do the redirects yourself. You shorten the failure path by one server, and get to put the server where YOU want to put the server.

trader




msg:3059484
 10:50 pm on Aug 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

The best solution is to use a web host that allows you to have unlimited virtual domains (or at least enough for your purpose) and do the redirects yourself.

The main reason registrar forwarding is popular is the ease of doing it that way vs the work in setting it up yourself on your server and making a number of virtual sites for each domain you own, which is all quite time intensive and tedious. Plus, if you do not have your own server you may need to pay for each site even if only used for htaccess based forwarding.

BTW, we have been specifically informed in emails from 3 different ppc parking firms that yes indeed, all forwarding/redirects from different domains be it 302 or 301 is in fact a violation of the TOS (without exceptions).

stu2




msg:3075677
 2:18 am on Sep 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

At least 1 ppc company (DS), their recommended method of connection is via a registrar url masked forwarding.

I've seen comments from other customers that those customers prefer to use DS's own nameservers.

I've seen comments from other customers that those customers do all kinds of data recording and filtering before passing the hit onto DS.

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