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This brings me to my question, how many domain names can you point to one site. Is pointing several domain names to one site an accepted procedure?.
i suspect that your competitor must be doing something a bit more sophisticated than just pointing the different domains to the same IP. must be using some kind of redirection or somesuch.
sooner or later google is going to catch on, when it does the whole lot will disappear in the blink of an eye.
1st Page = 6 different domains directing to 1 site
2nd Page = 2 different domains directing to 1 site
3rd Page = 8 different domains directing to 1 site
4th Page = On the 4th page, all serp results displayed are directing to 1 site.
This means out of the first 40 results for this 4 word key phrase, 26 are pointing to the same site. Surely this can't be right
We did this for years. We had the number one spot on our main keyword on Google for 2 and a half years. There were several domain names, but only one that we really promoted. We had a couple set up to track paid clicks, but there was no attempt to deceive anyone.
Then, bang!, we are out of Google's SERPs. We didn't fall from number 1 to number 3 or 4, as I would expect, we were GONE. Just like that. We paniced, and learned you were supposed to set up 301 redirects. After doing so and appealing to Google, we are back in.
But that was two weeks we were out of the SERPs. And it was very expensive. I really think there should be more publicity about this. We lost probably $10s of thousands worth of clicks (at PPC rates) by being out of the SERPs. It was awful.
However, Google lists only one of them - on purpose.
The others cover misspellings, product names, related terms or national TLD's. There's also names, which we might use in the future. For the time being, they are all redirected, but they can build theor own web presences whenever need arises.
I only see a problem in this when all these names are indexed. But if only the main site is indexed I see no harm in it.