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Website Design

You Don’t Know Where Those Domains Have Been!

You Don't Know Where Those Domains Have Been!I see it time and time again. A company comes to me for a website redesign or to get some SEO work done. Somewhere in the discussion about 301ing some of the old pages to new areas of the site, a list of 20+ domains is sent to me. They are asking to forward all these domains to “help their SEO”.

I’m unsure where the rumor started that buying a bunch of domains and pointing them to your domain is a positive SEO strategy.

Yet countless businesses (and even some large companies) have fallen for this. There is a time and a place for using 301 redirects from one domain to another. For example, if you buy a company and you are moving their products or services to your domain. If you started on one domain and for a valid business reason move your site to another domain. Etc, etc, etc…

However, buying a bunch of domains and then 301ing them over to your site is kind of like sharing an ice cream cone with a bunch of smelly, sweaty 5 year olds. Gross.

Let me explain. You just bought 25 domains that you plan to 301 redirect over to your domain. You site is healthy and you have done no black hat SEO in the past. However, you don’t know where those domains have been. You don’t know what people have done with them in the past. Did they link build? Did they spam? You just don’t know. And by 301ing all those domains over to you, you're taking a big risk. Especially if one of those domains picked up a penalty from Google, or if they have bad backlinks, then you'll be transferring all of that to your healthy domain.

Let me give you some SEO advice.

Stop trying to game the SEO system! Focus your efforts on your content and make your site great. Produce great content and share that content through your social media channels. If you try to game Google, you will eventually get caught. Google has a department of really smart people that look for ways people abuse and try to game their algorithm. When they find these, they include it in an update and you get caught.

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Photo Credit: Jason Lander via Compfight cc