SEO Fact or SEO Fiction: Having multiple domains pointing to one website gets you more indexed results on Google and therefore more traffic…

I was recently in a meeting with a client and we were discussing their new website. We then got onto their search engine ranking strategy and they told me they wanted to have one website (on Magento) under their ‘main’ domain, but that they also owned a number of additional domains which contained keywords that were relevant to what they sell.

They wanted us to apply permanent 301 redirects to these other domains in order to gain extra exposure on Google, and therefore the potential for more traffic. My first thought was “this won’t work; to gain an indexed status on Google, a URL has to have content behind it, so it won’t work simply with a 301 redirect.”

I promptly informed the client of this, but immediately began doubting myself, so thought I’d better investigate further. I read a few articles on the subject, and quickly realised it WAS possible, but wanted to see for myself exactly how it worked. So, I did a quick experiment.

I dug out an unused domain we’d had for years, this was telescopebackup.com. I logged into the domain control panel and applied a permanent 301 redirect to that domain, pointing it to our website telescopestudios.com.

I then validated the site on Google Search Console, submitted an XML sitemap, did a ‘fetch as Google’ and then requested a full Google crawl to see if it would index our existing website pages under an ADDITIONAL domain, telescopebackup.com.

Within 48 hours, Google has indexed 1 of the 310 pages on our website (the home page), under telescopebackup.com as well as telescopestudios.com. So, I had proven to myself that this actually worked. However, it only gained ONE additional indexed URL, the one for the home page, and I’m guessing that’s because I only redirected the main url without page extensions.

I kind of knew this already from articles I’d read, but it’s not good to believe everything you read online!

Google Search Results SEO Google Search Results SEO

Now, just because this has worked, doesn’t mean that it is good practise. I went on a couple of reputable websites, such as Moz.com, and read some info about this method. Here are a few of the articles and extracts I read through for my info…

An SEO related article from moz.com which talks about pointing multiple domains to one website to gain an SEO advantage
Here is another article explaining the impact of multiple domain redirects on your search results
One final article from Stack Exchange on the multiple domain SEO impact

So, the general consensus is that this isn’t necessarily BAD SEO practise, but that it has minimal, if any, positive impact on your traffic. In fact some people suggest that it may negatively impact you in the long-run.

My view is, let’s do some further experiments and update this article in a few weeks time, to see the impact over a longer period on our own website. My gut feeling is that there will be very little, if any, but it’s always nice to prove things for yourself.

If you’re reading this, please feel free to comment below. If you have any questions or queries about your own SEO strategy, then please contact us and we will be happy to have a chat.

Thanks for reading,