On occasion I get asked by a client if they should purchase multiple domain names. Some believe that by having multiple domain names for their one website it will help more people find their website since it is accessible in different ways and could improve their Search Engine Optimization. Unfortunately this is not the case and multiple domains really doesn’t have much benefit to most clients.

One website, one domain

Your website should only live on a single domain name. Even if you do acquire multiple domain names for your business, only one should be accessible. Your other domains can be forwarded to your one primary domain. In no circumstance should you make the same website accessible under multiple domain names.

The search engines don’t like duplicate content. If you make your website accessible under two different domain names search engines will see them as two separate websites with identical, duplicate content and penalize them both. Search engines want sites that show original, unique content and when they see multiple sites with the same content they frown upon it. Don’t make search engines frown.

Good uses for multiple domain names

There are still some reasons to acquire multiple domain names:

  • Brand protection – By purchasing similar spellings or variations on your brand’s name, this prevents others from buying those domains.
  • Special advertising – You may want to run a print campaign and use a fun domain name that is more catchy. However, in most cases, you would want to redirect that catchy domain name to your primary domain or a specific page on your primary domain.