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While I have seen similar threads I haven't seen one that exactly covers this idea.
It is something I am starting an experiment on but I do not want to destroy my rankings in the process so is both an idea but also a question as to the wisdom of said idea.
Here's the gist of the idea:
I have a site called industrytype-widgets.com which ranks okay for a number of industry related keyword searches but mainly is a ppc driven business.
within industrytype-widgets.com I have all sorts of categories and subcategories of these widgets so I decide to take some of the best keyword searches and turn them into domain names such as bluewidgets.com, redwidgets.com, purplewidgets.com, etc. I then take those domains and point them directly to the pages of my site that have blue widgets, red widgets, and purple widgets.
This in my mind does a couple of things:
1: directs highly targeted type ins to the correct widget pages
2. Serves me very well for adwords
3. Makes it extremely easy to have nice easy to rmember links from website owners who are agreeable to lining your site
4. Makes it quite easy to give out the address for those who are interested specifically in seeing your specific subproducts over the phone or via some other verbal communication.
All other benefits I see fit in those categories in one way or another.
Now the only possible drawbacks I see here other than cost (which if buying the correct domain names for products that are marketable should be no problem) is that maybe the search engines will give you a dupe content penalty or take it as spam.
I have client's that had multiple domains pointing to the same site. We have needed to take severe actions to clean up problems associated with this. Some could not be resolved and are still haunted with the problem.
In some cases a redirect is ok, if the domain being redirected itself, has some merit and standing on it's own.
It seems sort of dumb to get penalized if I 301 redirect a domain name to a specific part of my site as long as I have not promoted it under a different domain name (for instance getting linked from other sites to "industryspecific-widgets.com/bluewidgets&50results.php" as well as [bluewidgets.com")...]
and even in this case it seems ridiculous if the domain name is a valid domain for the content (products) that specific department on the site sells.
If the site was going to be marked ad "dodgy" because of that it seems that google should be marked as "dodgy" for having their parking program and allowing adwords to show up on those ultra spammy parking pages.
It is targeted traffic and why shouldn't my website benefit from targeted traffic from a specific domain or otherwise. No-one is being tricked into coming to my website.
Is that really wrong? I mean I could 301 redirect those domain names at any site and would that make the other person's site "dodgy"? I don't get why this would be a problem.
[edited by: uhzoomzip at 6:21 am (utc) on Mar. 1, 2006]
The 2 gentlemen who just posted are pretty well versed in matters SEO in my book. Show them their props and you just might get a leg up.
Ultimately, you don't run your experiment on your actual site. You employ lots of throw away domains and servers and other resources to perform your realtime testing of search engines and then apply that hard earned knowledge to your money makers.
You sound like a candidate to attend a PubCon. Do it and you will understand why they are so popular.
I am totally not trying to disrespect anyone at all. I am just trying to get all opinions / input and throw this idea out there.
I did a search on webmasterworld on doorway domains and found this thread which seems to support my theory that 301 redirects of the nature described are ok:
It is however from 2004 and maybe things have changed. I will certainly take a look at googleguy's posts about redirects and my respect to all seniors and moderators here at webmasterworld. This is an amazing forum and I have benefitted greatly from tons of great advice.
The largest benefit seems to come from the clickthrough on google adwords.
PS thanks for the recommendation. I would like to attend pubcon but will have to wait for the next one as I will be making a major move around that time.
What if I have already 301'd a couple of domains to my regular site?
It hasn't been a problem for me. YMMV.
In theory, penalties should only apply if your actions were designed with the intent to game the SEs. 301s have legitimate reasons and a per se penalty would do unwarranted harm, likely on a massive scale.
Permanent? What's permanent in this world? Ease up on that idea. There's very little that's permanent in the e-world, especailly your website's ranking, so don't build a long term business model around the assumption of search engine love.
Now, go play with your new domains and servers. You can even keep your play domains and put them to good use.