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Can there be too many 301-s?
Will redirecting several domains to a site cause problems?

 7:31 am on Nov 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Let's assume that Brett, in addition to webmasterworld.com name also had registered GoogleSearchNews.com, MSNNews.com, Foo.com and so on. Now, he redirects each name to the respective category. Will google flip out? What if you link from your site's menu with the domain name (to get the benefits from the rich keywords in name)?

Does anyone have any experience in this?

thanks guys. I have registered PLENTY of names for a yellow page project (different language) and I am torn between doing it in one site or dividing it into widgets, gizmos, gadgets, etc...

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 7:56 am (utc) on Nov. 4, 2007]
[edit reason] edited specifics [/edit]


Robert Charlton

 8:04 am on Nov 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

What if you link from your site's menu with the domain name (to get the benefits from the rich keywords in name)?

Why not just put the appropriate key phrases in the site's menu, and not worry about domains? IMO, keywords solely in a domain name don't give you a boost. The boost comes from inbound anchor text. As I look at it, the primary advantage of keyword.com is that it's going to prompt the use of "keyword" in the anchor.

Now, he redirects each name to the respective category.

Also, keep in mind that when you 301 a domain to a category, the old domain effectively ceases to exist. If you had previously promoted the domain, you would be redirecting the presumably keyword-rich inbound links that the domain received.

In the scenario you describe, though, there wouldn't have been any previous promotion. No one, in fact, would ever see the 301ed domains, because they would be rewritten. But since you control the nav links, you're controlling the navigation anchors anyway. External inbounds to categories would possibly contain anchor text that reflected category names... but that's roughly where you'd be with category domains.

In answer to your question about Google's reaction to too many redirects... I've heard it on fairly good authority that if you did 301 a lot of previously promoted domains to one site, Google would probably not like that.

One other option here... you may simply be thinking about building multiple interlinked sites, using widgets.com, gizmos.com, gadgets.com, for those respective categories. I think you'd probably do better if you either just used one domain, or else perhaps used subdomains (assuming that each subdomain would have a lot of content).

Google doesn't like multiple interlinked sites, unless you can get lots of inbound links from independent sources to each domain. Otherwise, they may look like a closed network built to inflate PageRank.


 9:55 am on Nov 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

With the "abuse" potential of 301s this is a question I've often wondered about and found remarkably little info on, the only semi-official mention on it was a remark by MC saying it could be risky to have off-topic anchor text pointing to a site.

What I've never come across is a penalty due to excessive 301s, and I'm not sure what if anything can be drawn from that....


 4:27 pm on Nov 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks guys:
suppose I have an authority site that I can link with widgets.com to the widget directory? Plus, given that the names are generic, it's just a matter of time before people start posting them on forums as examples or sites will link back with the specific name. Basically, I will /can get links with those names.

To complicate matters: In most cases I own the English (ie. somecountryswidgets.com) and the local translations so getting credit for the exact terms is, in a sense, needed to attract bother languages. As I said I own many great and very specific names...it's a shame to let them sit in favor of a catch-all jcfheugfegf.com :)

I have thought of "Interlinking" but with a nofollow. it will probably be:
A "Company Name Site"
"Our Network: Sitea, Siteb, Sitec, Sited..."
all with no follow of course, at least for a long, long time. If I feel comfortable years later, I might remove the nofollow if enough random links for each site have been gained.

As far as doing a 301 with an existing name, I know it will cause serious trouble and it makes sense since the links were meant for a different site and with different anchor.

Robert Charlton

 6:59 pm on Nov 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Basically, I will /can get links with those names.

Again, the point is that if you 301 those domains, they won't show up in the address bar, so what is it that people are linking to? There is no visible domain for their reference.

suppose I have an authority site that I can link with widgets.com to the widget directory?

And again... if you control inbound links, you don't need those domains to motivate your anchor text. The redirected domain name, IMO, doesn't get you anything. It really isn't there.


 7:27 pm on Nov 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

points well taken, even though keywords in a domain are much more powerful IMO as far as google is concerned. I shall make one directory and maybe one or two other specific ones.

On the other hand, I can always sell those domains years and years later, or split the directory if it really becomes large enough. You never know how it gets adopted so starting with a narrow subject might mean empty pages.

thanks guys,


 12:20 am on Nov 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

I can speak for that topic having helped a site that has both the .com and .co.uk domains for several versions (long and short) of the company name and for several common mis-spellings of the company name.

Both non-www and www for all of the domains are accessible. All except one version send a site-wide 301 redirect pointing to the www on the canonical version. This has caused no isses at all.

Initially both www and non-www on the initial four domains all returned 200 OK for all pages, several years ago. Once the site-wide 301 redirects were added, it took Google about a year to completely de-list all of the alternatives. There are still a small number of external sites that link to the "wrong" domains. Those "wrong" URLs do not appear in any search engine indexes.

In the last year, some other new domains have since been purchased. There have been no indexing issues at all for any of those. None of them appear in search results. One was used in an advert, and it made it very easy to track the amount of type-in traffic for that name (However it was also amazing to see many people arrive at the canonical domain after typing the domain name into Google search, there was one page of the site that mentioned the non-indexed domain name as plain text to catch those people too).


 8:16 am on Nov 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

Some minor experience this year on 301s. I changed directory structure and directory names on a site, and added a substantial list of 301s via my .htaccess file, including whole directory redirects.

I had a message in webtools that I had too many redirects.

Because I had hadn't re-submitted the sitemap, I think.

As soon as I submitted a new sitemap, the message disappeared as Google could see the new site structure more clearly (I think, again...).

Not the same issue as redirecting your series of sites, but one to watch for

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