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Search Engines penalize for having multiple domains?

Yikes! Need some help please...



3:23 am on Oct 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi, gotta little problem here... This is kind of hard for me to explain, so please bare with me!

I have 2 domain names, 1 is my main domain, and the other is a different domain that redirects to my main domain.

Recently I found out that some search engines penalize for having multiple domains with the same content.

So I've been told to use a "301 permanent redirect" on the 2nd domain that I wouldn't like to show up in search engines.

So my question is:
How would you do the 301 permanent redirect for this?

Will really appreciate help on this! I'm tired of my uglier, 2nd domain showing up in search engines, and redirecting to my main domain! Not to mention, some search engines penalize for this. Any other comments or other possible solutions to this, are very much appreciated!

Thanks in advance!


3:26 am on Oct 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jdmorgan is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member


How would you do the 301 permanent redirect for this?

The answer depends on what server your site is hosted under, and how much control your hosting service allows you. You will need to provide more info to get a good answer.



3:40 am on Oct 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi Jim, thanks for the quick response.

I'll try to answer your questions as best I can... The servers my site is hosted under is Unix and I'm not sure how much control my host allows.

I'm not sure what other info to supply that would help, as I'm new to this, I apologize for that. All I really know is my host uses Unix and Apache and that I would use the .htaccess file for the 301 redirect. Any other questions, I'll try my best to answer.

Thanks for your help!

[edited by: PFOnline at 5:31 am (utc) on Oct. 1, 2002]


4:29 am on Oct 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jdmorgan is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

OK, Apache/Unix...

In .htaccess in your root directory, add:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.maindomain\.com$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^123\.456\.789\.07$ #(Your IP address goes here)
RewriteRule (.*) [maindomain.com...] [R=permanent,L]

Put your main domain name in the first RewriteCond line, inserting a backslash "\" before any period.
The next line with your IP address isn't strictly necessary, but it allows you http access to your site via IP address if your DNS goes down.
Put your full URL in the RewriteRule line as shown, without backslashes preceding periods.

So this reads, "If the visitor got here using a domain that is not my main domain name and not my IP address, redirect to the main domain, update the visitors's browser address bar, and this is the last rewrite to be processed for this request.

You may also need to add:

Options +FollowSymlinks

ahead of the "RewriteEngine on" line if it doesn't work. If it still doesn't work after that, you may not have mod_rewrite available to you.

See the Apache mod_rewrite documentation [httpd.apache.org] for more info.



5:04 am on Oct 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hey Jim... Excellent post, thank you! I understood completely...

The only thing I have a question about before I try this is:
I'm still using Dial up 56k Modem internet, so my IP address is always changing.

So should I delete that line completely or just keep it the IP as 123.456.789 etc...?

Can't wait to try this! Hopefully it works!

Thanks again!

Nevermind (refer to msg #7 in this thread) hehe

[edited by: PFOnline at 5:32 am (utc) on Oct. 1, 2002]


5:12 am on Oct 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Oh ya, I forgot to mention, you wouldn't happen to know how search engines handle this line of code would you? I mean, is it 'google and other search engine friendly' and whatnot? I'm mostly concerned on how google would treat this, as most of my hits come from them.


5:23 am on Oct 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Nevermind on the IP address line question! Used a little common sense and removed the line... Added the code u suggested, uploaded it, and it worked! All is good now... When you go to domain #2, it takes you to domain #1 now, and updates the visitors's browser address bar, like i had hoped.

Everything's working great and as planned, now all i have is:
How will google and other search engines treat this?

Hopefully they wont penalize, and it's ok! And also, hopefully this will stop search engines from bringing up my secondary domain in searches!

Thanks so much, once again! Beautiful! Something I did actually worked! LOL.


5:40 am on Oct 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I can almost start a new topic now, asking if this code is google friendly... Now that you've answered my question and fixed my problem, Jim. :-)

Thank again! I can't thank you enough! hehe


6:30 am on Oct 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jdmorgan is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member


The IP address in the second RewriteCond should be the IP address of your hosting server, not your personal ISP (dial-up) IP address. You can get to your site using either its domain name or its IP address normally. But if you have DNS problems, you might not be able to use the domain name, but the host IP address would still work.

Without the second line, you are shut out until DNS service is restored.

Google friendly? If Googlebot accesses your site using the secondary domain name, it will receive a response code of 301-Moved Permanently, redirecting it to your primary domain name. This will cause Googlebot to update the domain name it has (the secondary one) and start using the primary instead. This is what you and Googlebot want - See the Webmaster info [google.com] and Webmaster help [google.com] pages on Google. Any PageRank associated with the secondary domain will be transferred (additively) to the primary domain name, and Google will no longer show the secondary domain name in their search results.

Generally, this applies to all major search engines, although some are quite slow to pick up on the change.

Hope that covers it - it's very late in the Lone Star State!



8:59 am on Oct 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Does 'additively' mean that when google see's new links to the old/secondary domain it will 'add' the PR associated with those links to the new domain? Or does it just mean it will associate the current links PR to it?

I am trying to get a 301R done as well, but I do not have access to the redirect features of the apache web server that is hosting me and my webhost thinks that 301 redirects can get you banned from SE's and multiple domain pointers are just a cold hard fact of life 0_o

Is there any 'proof' that this works properly at current? I did a search (on this site under 301 + google) and noticed some people saying a 301 got them blacklisted on google, it sounded like it was a bug in google that was getting people banned, but I obvously would like to cover all the bases and make sure they 'fixed' the bug before I go and auto-ban myself with a 301 0_o)

is there any chatter from the google people about how this works? (for all I know all of you work at google but I would really like to be sure and it would probably help me convince my host if I could say: so/a/so from google said:"*")

If I cannot convince my webhost to allow the redirect via an .htaccess file is there any other way to do it with an apache server? Or would I *shudder* need to find a new webhost 0_o?

TIA, You guys are great! :D


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