Domain forwarding


mschaler

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I have seen a few posts on this but not specifically what I have a question about... I have a client with a URL that he has tons of URLs set to forward to this one URL. From what I have read, this isn't the best idea. So what course of action should I recommend? What should he do with all of the URLs if they are not forwarded? I believe he bought all of these "extra" URLs thinking it would help for SEO and also to prevent competitors from getting "good" URLs that might be useful for the competitors. He is telling me he thinks his site traffic is down because of all the forwarding.
Thanks, Mike
 
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Hi Mike and welcome!

This is not my area of expertise, so I'll leave it to our wise members to answer.

Sundays are usually quiet here so if not today, hopefully tomorrow some folks will weigh in with recommendations.
 

Rich Owings

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I believe he bought all of these "extra" URLs thinking it would help for SEO and also to prevent competitors from getting "good" URLs that might be useful for the competitors.
It's valid to do this to keep the domains out of the hands of competitors. But as far as redirecting for SEO goes, there is probably no benefit, and there is a potential downside.

First of all, they won't help unless someone is typing in those domains, or they were used previously and have links or bookmarks pointing to them.

But you need to be very careful. Some domains that were previously used by someone else could have toxic links pointing to them -- forum spam, links from bad neighborhoods, etc. That could hurt you if you are 301 redirecting them to your primary domain. One place to check the history of a domain is archive.org. It's a good idea to do this when you're purchasing any domain.
 

johncrenshaw

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Rich is right on. There are no other issues that I can think of. Just make sure they are using 301s and not domain masking as is often the case.
 

JoshuaMackens

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I take it you mean many domain names redirecting?

If so, I would just take them off.

If he bought them purely to keep out of competitor hands and immediately 301'd them then they probably don't have any history on them and don't have any backlinks. Therefore, they're not helping I wouldn't imagine.

Worst case scenario, you take them off and he drops. You put them back on, he goes up.
 

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