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Thread: Does a forwarded domain hurt local SEO ranking?

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    Does a forwarded domain hurt local SEO ranking?

    I have a customer that was set up with a domain that is forwarded (without masking) to their real domain, which is a like location.abccompany.com as a type of subdomain.

    Their rankings are weaker than I would expect normally and I am wondering if the domain might be an issue. Anyone have any feedback?

  2. #2
    Linda Buquet's Avatar
    Linda Buquet is offline Community Leader - Google Local Specialist
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    Re: Does a forwarded domain hurt local SEO ranking?

    In general Google does not like re-directs.

    If you think like Google, realize that many re-directs are sneaky or spammy, like a link to what looks like a gas station re-directing to a porn site.

    So I've always advised against it for clients.

    I've even seen what I suspect are ranking problems due to the G+L page linking to the wrong version of the site, which redirects. For instance the G+ page links to www.domain but the actual site is http:// without www and so redirects.

    Joy, Colan and I have even been speculating lately about consulting/troubleshooting cases we've worked on where we have some question marks about whether listing the wrong version of the site with/or without trailing slash .com/ could have an impact and we are researching some related stuff.

    But my thoughts above are suspicions and I don't have proof.

    Anyone else have thoughts on this?
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    Michael S. Doran (05-14-2014)

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    Re: Does a forwarded domain hurt local SEO ranking?

    I would say we need more information.

    How are they using the redirected domain and the real domain?

    EX: are they using the redirected domain like Linda is mentioning, in all their listings? And/or building links to the redirect domain?

    That is bad. Well, at least not good.

    If it is a nice short, easier to remember url for things like business cards, print marketing, emails...etc, there shouldn't be an issue as it makes it easier to "manually" direct people to a longer subdomain/url. Just don't use it for online directories and links.

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    Michael S. Doran (05-14-2014)

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    Re: Does a forwarded domain hurt local SEO ranking?

    They are using the short simple, re-directed domain everywhere online and not using the longer sub-domain. Do you think it should all be changed?

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    Re: Does a forwarded domain hurt local SEO ranking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael S. Doran View Post
    They are using the short simple, re-directed domain everywhere online and not using the longer sub-domain. Do you think it should all be changed?
    Oh yes. For many reasons it should be changed.

    As Linda mentioned above, it can really affect the Google local listing, and, it could also cause issues for organic link juice (depending on a few additional technical details).

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    BrendanT is offline Local Search Pro+
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    Re: Does a forwarded domain hurt local SEO ranking?

    Ive seen weird behaviour with places and redirects - eg one of our clients changed biz names, we forwarded the old domain to the new when we built the site. Fast forward 2 years later, a places listed was autogenerated for the old business using the old business address and old domain and caused a bunch of ranking issues as a result

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    HurricaneK8 is offline Local Search Pro++
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    Re: Does a forwarded domain hurt local SEO ranking?

    I've experienced this with a franchise that used shorter domains like location.domain.com that redirected to their actual page on the website that was more like domain.com/category/page/subpage/location.html (way longer).

    Their social media manager changed all the G+ Locals to the shorter location.domain.com link and placement suffered greatly. They also built/changed some of their own citations on big listing sites to go to the location.domain.com addresses which confused Google even more

    Are you able to make the shortened URL a copy of the longer page,and static, but with canonical tags? (Assuming it's the same root domain). I'm not an expert in such things, just trying to think outside the box.
    Linda Buquet likes this.
    Hurricane K8
    Leavens Auto Group (London, Orillia, Chatham - Ontario,Canada)

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