Should I register lots of domain names?
The short answer to this question is: no.
In the ‘old’ days of the internet there was definitely benefit in having blueshoes.com as your domain name if you sold (you guessed it) blue shoes. Search engines ranked you higher if your domain name matched a term someone searched for.
As you can imagine this was very easily rorted – someone owning blueshoes.com didn’t have to have a particularly useful or popular blue shoes website to come up at the top of the search results when people were looking for blue shoes (their website didn’t need to have anything to do with blue shoes). So people ran out and registered domain names related to their product or service. Many businesses created exact duplicates of their websites and launched them using these types of domains alongside their existing websites.
As search engines evolved and got better at giving people relevant results – in the early 200s -they tweaked the way they calculated their rankings and started paying little or no attention to the domain name. Google – who were starting to leave the older search engines eating their dust – then started penalising people for having duplicate content. Penalising as in drastically dropping the ranking for these sites or removing them from results altogether.
If you have more than one domain name and only one website
It’s fairly common for people to own and want to point more than one domain name to their website. Examples include businesses that have changed names or merged with another business and still want their old domain name to redirect to their new website or organisations that want to own the .com version of their country-specific (eg .com.au) domain.
As long as these extra domains are set up correctly using what’s called a 301 redirect – that tells search engines the old domain has been permanently redirected – they aren’t seen as duplicate content or penalised.
If you’re considering buying extra domains to help your SEO
Unless you have good reason to don’t buy extra domain names – they’re not going to help you rank higher on search engines. They can be complicated and expensive to set up correctly.
Unsure? You can always ask…