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SE submission with a redirected URL/domain?

I would like my domain name to show up in SEs , not the domain it points to



11:45 pm on Feb 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My website is hosted/located on a member site of example.com (member.example.com/~membername/ etc. etc.).

I own a domain name that I have redirected to this site using mydomain.com. I'm aware that some spiders will have trouble spidering the site this way but I plan to submit each page seperately (from what I read that is how it is done best).

Question is: short of hosting my site on a professional yourdomain.com host is there a way to have the spiders use the domain name instead of the actual URL? I rather appear in a search result as the-example.com then this whole member stuff.


10:44 am on Feb 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

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

Big welcome to WmW, dawolf.

>is there a way to have the spiders use the domain name instead of the actual URL?

Definitely not the way you have it now. There are different ways of doing redirection and they'll have different results. I'm checking into the subject of redirection now because of some serious problems I've seen recently, so I'll definitely watch this thread.

Redirected site #1:
First, I noticed someone who had with a serious problem with a redirected site. I just double checked again, and this is what it looks like after the latest Google update: The person has had at least 40-50 links pointing to her domain name for many months now, that I know of. Google shows zero links pointing to the domain name, which is redirected to the angelfire site, which is what comes up if you look for the domain name in the browser (like yours does). Mind you, there are actually at least 40 or 50, and have been for a while. Google also shows zero links to the angelfire site. How the redirection is done, the same exact source code comes up for the domain name and the index page on the free host. She's got what amounts to 100% duplicate content, and she's in trouble.

In order to see this you type view-source:http://www.example.com in the browser (Internet Explorer) to check both out.

This person is part of an email list, and after I saw it, without mentioning who it was, I did a post in reponse to a few questions about redirection, suggesting that it not be done. A few people got a little annoyed, which doesn't bother me at all. One lady responded saying that she's got search engine listings for her site, which also redirects (also to angelfire). Which it does, for search terms with under 10K pages returned, not competitive.

Redirected site #2:
How this other site looks: The domain name has 82 links showing to it, with PR4. No other pages show using the domain, so no internal linking benefit is accrued. The actual site on the free host has 6 links according to Google, only 3 of which show - one from the domain name, and two from ODP. Her internal links within the site are not giving her any benefit. It's also got PR4, with the internal pages having PR3.

If this were one site with one URL only it would have PR5 with the internal pages PR4 - it's easy to tell by who's linking to her and looking at her internal site structure, which is good.

It's the domain name that shows in the address bar of the browser. Her redirection is pulling up the pages on the free host into a frame, with the only link from the noframes section being to the index page of the site on the free host, which is why it's showing up as a link at Google. She's not deriving the benefit she could, but her site is not toast like the other one is. She is not displaying duplicate content with two URLs, while the other one is.

>rather appear in a search result as the-example.com then this whole member stuff.

I think you'd have to totally exclude Googlebot from the other pages at the free host to accomplish that, but I'm not 100% certain how that would work for you; my guess is that there would only be the one page itself. Google has a way of finding *everything* it seems, they've found pages on one of my sites that don't even have any links to them that I'm aware of.

This is not a "knowledgeable" or technical reply, I'm just reporting the results of what I've seen with these two different types of redirection.


5:41 pm on Feb 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thank you so much for this extra information!

If I'm reading you well the better way of redirecting is the one where the-example.com stays in the address bar with the content being surfed in what amounts to a frame, right?

I had expected the reverse to be true so right now it will change the address in the address bar. Hm, better change that right now... <off to make some changes>


5:49 pm on Feb 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

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

dawolf, I'd definitely avoid having two URLs show up with the same code. There is incredibly cheap hosting available, and virtual isn't the worst thing in the world. If a site is actually all on the same host and well linked within there's a lot more you can do to optimize it and have it easier to navigate - the two kind of go together. It's also much easier for bookmarking and sometimes people link to internal pages also.

My knowledge in these issues is limited, but I've seen enough with a few examples to compare to watch out. You happen to be in a "niche" I'm somewhat familiar with, and you've definitely got some excellent possibilies for quality linking.

To be perfectly honest, I would go with reasonable paid hosting, without a moment's hesitation. You've got infinite possibilities with that site. There's a little problem there that could possibly be rectified with regular domain hosting.


8:08 pm on Feb 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thank you once again :-)

Just as I made the changes to my redirection I realised that now the problem would be the meta-tags. A paid hosting service seems indeed the best way to go. But with more and more people getting a domain name for a site hosted on a member-thingie it kind of puzzles me the SE's haven't got around to targetting this. A solution like hotbot's mirror page listings comes to mind.

Anyway, all new to this myself. Been doing websites for "ages" but this is the first time I feel serious about drawing traffic, possibly via search engines :-)


8:12 pm on Feb 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

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

Google doesn't use meta tags dawolf, and they're really the ones to be very concerned with, they bring the most traffic.


8:28 pm on Feb 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Another piece of valuable information!

Yes, from what I see Google (and maybe FAST/alltheweb ?) bring a lot of traffic.

Btw, not having a duplicate site (just 1 site on 1 host) isn't using BASE an option?

And if I may query you once more (god, I feel like a newbie allover, including asking and asking away <g>): if one sets up multiple "generic" sites, each a couple of pages big, with a link or two to ones "real" site.... does that help in any way with Google?


9:11 pm on Feb 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

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

dawolf, please do not set up multiple sites. Please don't. As sweet as Google is, with their charming demeanor and their their cutesie-wootsie cartoons, it looks to me like they're on the rampage with link spam. And they can't be blamed.

The main keys are quality content and having a tighly integrated, well-themed site that's relevant and navigates smoothly and logically without going into overkill. The biggest sin newbies commit is overdoing everything. Ever see the sites with a kazillion animations on them? The BIG font sizes, the BIG graphics? I saw a very feminine site recently that had 3 animated gorillas on it because they were so cute. Two on top eating a banana and one on the bottom smoking a cigarette.

I remember back at iVillage when I hosted a web page chat and the newbies message board. Just about every site had the running puppy on it. A little grey animated dog that ran back and forth that everyone loved and put on no matter what the site was about. And family photos the size of wall hangings you had to scroll 3 screens sideways to see. Some got sent to me by email that were around 150,000 KB each. Newborn baby photos. The photographs were bigger than the baby!! Print out 6 of those (a piece at a time, of course) and you could collage a whole living room wall with them.

Overkill - same thing with SEO. If keywords are good, open the dictionary and thesaurus and put every possible related word into the keywords tag, and for those a little more skilled (like some web designer's site I looked at earlier today) cram about 100-150 words of sentences into the image alt tags using all of the same keywords very high density. In case it needs more, cram them all into comment tags :)

The first phase of learning SEO is to unlearn all that's out there and systematically start to undo all the wrong things that have been done.

Nowadays if links are good, whip up a directory, send out mass emails, and get 500. That's not adding quality to a site by providing on-theme quality links to related sites for visitors as an enhancement, and them linking back. It is manipulating. Good things become overused tricks, and unfortunately a lot of really good people make innocent mistakes. So SEO 101 is deprogramming and then going on to basics without getting fancy. Fancy takes a high level of expertise, best left in the hands of the experts until building up and learning by struggling through the basics step by step.

I'd get the site all on a domain, read through just about everything you can that Brett's written. Impossible to remember it all, but something sinks in by osmosis and it starts to clear up and make perfect sense. You start to do things almost automatically after a while. First comes the information stage, and then comes the integration and implementation stages. It starts to all make sense and fit together and it moves on slowly and carefully.

Don't believe everything everyone writes. The moderators here are pretty cool to read and reliable with info(except ME). We're all newbies to some degree, learning more bit by bit.


7:45 pm on Mar 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Marcia, I too have a site that is auto-redirected from my domain registrar. Except, it's redirected directly to a shopping cart which is a cgi file. I'm trying to understand how to get listed on search engines. Can you take a look and give some pointers?


9:26 pm on Mar 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

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

Welcome to the board, ctprof.

We use our profiles for our URLs rather than using sigs or posting them on the board, to curb the possibility of any potential problems. So you can put yours into your profile. But actually, we don't do site reviews, we'd be swamped.

You can tell how the redirection is being done by looking at View>Source in your browser. What you see there is what the search engine gets.

First off, if it were me I'd get rid of the redirection and if reasonable regular hosting isn't an option, decent free hosting is a better option than redirection, including pulling pages up into frames, because at least you get to have normal linking within the site and a separate, distinct URL for each of the pages - which should not be in the cgi bin.

You need to have an index.html or index.htm for your root directory, with regular image or preferably text links to other pages on your site, so spiders can follow them. Javascript navigation won't work - search engine spiders do not read Javascript. So if it's used, provide alternate text navigation.

Each page must have unique content. If there are pages with duplicate content on a site, you're asking for trouble. If you're using a shopping cart you can have regular images and text on html pages and just link into the shopping cart with a button or text link for purchasing. Each page should be indexable, and be capable of being bookmarked and linked to, with the specific page URL appearing in the address bar.

I did take a quick look (OK, I cheated!), and it seems you've done a redesign, since the pages are different from what's in the Google cache. Look it up for yourself at Google by domain name and see the cache for the site.

The process is to prepare and optimize a site first and then, when that's all done, do submissions - when it's ready. Google won't list a site until it has some links to it, so look for some quality sites to exchange links with when it's ready. At that time also submit to the Open Directory Project [dmoz.org], which is the most important you'll ever do.

We'll locate some links for you to some threads here on basic optimization, but I'd put back the original pages that Google got in the meantime and remove any duplicate pages, to avoid difficulties. Start reading in our Search Engine Promotions forum, there is some good, basic information there for starter sites.


10:51 pm on Mar 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks for all the input. I'll try to avoid sigs too :) I've been working with web design for quite some time, but I have never touched on actuall SE submissions. It's about time I learned this technology. I guess it's time to start reading. Thanks again.


2:26 am on Mar 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

If SE's don't follow scripted links (I use a DHTML menu with linked script) does it help to submit a sitemap to the searchengines? Currently I have a regular link to the sitemap on all my pages just in case.


3:15 am on Mar 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

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

dawolf, I can't answer about the sitemap because I always use text links on all the pages, even if graphics are used. I personally feel it's better for rankings, is 100% compatible with any browser, even for people surfing with images off, and is a simple way to make the navigation logical. Size 1 font at the bottom of the pages works fine. Some do it other ways, it's a matter of preference.

Here's Brett's Spider Simulator [searchengineworld.com]. It'll show you what the spiders see.

You have to check for browser compatibility also, a certain percentage of people have certain features disabled.


3:11 am on Mar 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I may be jumping the topic, and i'm sorry but i haven't really gotten a grip on where I should be asking my questions.

I have just purchased a new domain name and I have it pointing to another site I have. Can I submit the new domain name to search engines and have it crawled and ranked as well? Or what exaclty would be the best way for me to get my real web domain ranked better by using this (actually these) new domains? Again I apologize if I'm jumping topics or if I sound like a newbie, but I kinda am.




4:11 am on Mar 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

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

>like a newbie
We like newbies here, kastro.

I've never come up with a solid answer myself, and domain hosting can be gotten so incredibly cheap. I do know it depends on how redirection is done. Hopefully someone will come up with something definitive.

A big problem is in linking to interior pages with some redirected sites.

You might want to check out the Spider Simulator [searchengineworld.com] to see what it looks like to spiders and how they're seeing the site's linking. That's a good start.


4:24 am on Mar 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks Marcia! I appreciate your help.

I know i'm going to sound like a real bother but does any one mind checking my site out to give me an idea of how to raise my rankings? I'm trying real hard to become a competitor but I'm not doing so well as of now. My best results come from MSN where I'm ranked #5 under one search term that I designed around. I'm paying Inktomi, basically for my AOL results which really suck at this point and I've tried for the past 4 weeks to raise them with no luck. I was getting great traffic from Yahoo while my site was listed as new and at the top of the directory i'm listed in, but now that i'm not at the top anyore i saw my traffic cut nearly in half from last week.

I won't post my url here just check my profile if you can help.

I really appreciate any feedback. Critisism is welcome.



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