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Best way to utilize two related domain names

One for online search audience, One for offline billboard types.



11:22 pm on Aug 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I own two domains related to a topic.

One is the exact search phrase. The other is a short more brandable version.

The exactsearchphrase.com version is the way 90% of the searches are done, the shorter version is more branding-friendly.

My vision is that they address two different demographics. The longer grabs the person searching Google for that exact phrase. Google gives the love because it shows relevance. And when the user gets there he finds everything he ever wanted to know about just what he was looking for. Everyone is happy.

But the short-version is better for t-shirts, billboards, and the memory.

I'm thinking I could either:

#A Put the majority of content on the long one, optimize for all the Google searches. Then use the short one for offline marketing and transition the visitor to the long one through a link somehow.


#B Do it the other way around


#C Try to build two sites with parallel but not duplicate content...ARRRGH!


#D The really smart idea that somebody here knows that I haven't thought of yet :o)

My experience has been that my exact search phrase domain sites can get indexed in as little as a week, my others may take years. If I had to choose between the two I would take exact search phrase domain and forget the offline marketing. But I would rather target both.


Webwork & Pageone out there? I would love to hear your thoughts.

[edited by: Webwork at 3:06 am (utc) on Aug. 18, 2007]
[edit reason] Whereever possible we stick to using Example.com and shy away from "this isn't real" [/edit]


11:27 pm on Aug 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Use both for the same site. Promote one, the shorter, more "user friendly" domain and have the other (longer / exact keyword) domain pointed to the same directory in your hosting company, or change the DNS / 301 redirect to the shorter name.

You only have one site to manage, it takes up half the space as having two sites, and is easier to manage.


2:50 am on Aug 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks Draggar

So which would display as the site name for a visitor?

Are you saying I could host a single site in such a way that each visitor would see the same pages display with either short name domain or longer search phrase domain depending on their path of entry?

I'm not very experienced with server side tech, so please explain more if that's the case.

I'm somewhat familiar with the 301 redirect. If I used 301 I guess it would make the most sense to optimize longer search phrase domain and redirect the short domain to it, since short name would be getting mostly direct navigation from offline advertising.

Thanks again

[edited by: Webwork at 3:08 am (utc) on Aug. 18, 2007]
[edit reason] See Above Comment [/edit]


9:41 am on Aug 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Whichever domain is the site and which one is redirected is up to you. Personally, and this is my own opinion and nothing else (and we all know what opinions are like! ;) ) I'd say promote the short one (example.com), it takes up less text (for advertising mediums that have limited space, such as business cards) and is easier for the average user to remember, but keep keywordfilledexample.com and point it to example.com so that you also get the search engines on that domain for the people who are "searching".

The most important facter, either way, is content, which this forum has many, upon many, threads on that subject. :) If your site is worth it, then it won't matter the domain, people will have you bookmarked and the people who find your site though search engines don't care if it's reallyreallyreallylongkeywordfilledexample.com, they can just click on the link.


2:01 pm on Aug 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks Draggar,

I agree with your suggestions.

My biggest question is implementation.

I would think that in order to get search engine love on longersearchphrase.com I would need some relavent content. So how and when do I transition the visitor?

I don't have any domains that are 301ed, but my guess is that if I just 301 it with no content I won't get the same good search engine results.

Am I wrong?

If I get links to the longersearchphrase.com and just 301 it straight to the other site will it rank?



2:23 pm on Aug 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

This is what I've been doing with multi-domained sites (and to the more experienced people here, PLEASE tell me if I'm doing something wrong or 'not right'!).

My host has set me up with a file structure (I'm assuming they're all like this. I have a root directory:


I could throw a site onto the root, but instead, I made directories.


and so on, each directory a site.

I have domains (my registrar and host are the came company, don't shoot me people!) :)


and so on

In the properties for each domain, I can select the folder that they can go to, so I set the destination for each domain to point to the relative subdirectory.

example1.com, example1.net, example1.org all have a destination to the /root/example1/ directory while example2.com has its destination set to /root/example2/ directory.

I think the big drawback of this is that theres no redirect, so people who use (in your example) example.com and keywordfilledexample.com both sites would look like clones of each other while, in fact, they're the same site.


10:21 pm on Aug 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks for the detail Draggar.

That may be exactly the answer I was looking for.

Are the sites ranking well?

I wonder if the SEs can tell they are not duplicate content when you do it that way?

How does the navigation appear to the visitor?

Does each visitor see the domain name they typed as they navigate through the sites?

Thanks again. Very helpful.


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