Lie #7 You need more domain names to get more visitors to your B&B website
Unfortunately there are a lot of myths around domain names and how many you should have. I have had customers come to me with a list of up to 14 domain names they use with the same site on each one and they wonder why their traffic is actually going down. Cleaning up the mess is not always easy. There are many reasons why it is a bad idea and I'll address them all.
First, let me address that there are only THREE good reasons to have multiple domain names:
That's it, just those three reasons. If someone tries to convince you that there is another reason, they are either misinformed or are trying to have you spend money on something that will not help you.
Most of you can stop reading at this point. However, if you already have extra domain names, you have to make sure they are not hurting you so you should continue reading.
Politicians don't run for office under two different names
It would be absurd for a person to run for President as John Smith and Phillip Jones at the same time. Any votes for the person would be split among the two names and decrease the number of votes that only one name would have received. Keep in mind that in most of the major search engines, the basic concept is that links are like votes. If you have one web address, and it has 30 incoming links, then there are 30 votes for that site (keep in mind that not all votes are equal). However, if you have two web addresses and 20 of the links are for www.address1.com and 10 are for www.address2.com, then in the best case, your site is only getting 20 votes instead of 30.
Search Engines don't like to show two results with the exact same content
As a rule, search engines want to give searchers the best results. It is of no benefit for a search engine to show a searcher lots of duplicate entries. They try to avoid search results that look like this:
So in order to keep from annoying searchers, the search engines use a duplicate content filter to get rid of listings with duplicate content. They filter out 2 of the 3 results as well as the votes for the sites that they filter out. So you work hard to build incoming links, and they are going to filter them out, that is not good. The other problem is that the search engines choose which result to keep... they don't give you the choice. If the search engine chooses to filter the one with the fewest incoming links, then that is not a huge loss. if they choose to filter the one with the most incoming links, then your weakest site will have to compete with the other sites in your area and that is not good. The only way to take control of the situation is to only show the search engines your strongest site. This can only be done with a proper redirect.
The Proper Redirect - 301 Redirect
There are many ways to redirect one website to another, the problem is, only one of them creates no problems for the search engines or site visitors. This trouble free method is called a 301 redirect. The number 301 stands for the response code that the server returns. It tells the search engine, this page has permanently moved to the new location, and immediately takes it there. It doesn't tell the a human visitor anything, it just immediately takes them there and changes the address in the web browser address bar to what is should be.
However, humans can't see the 301 message, so if you have a redirect for one of your domain names, you have to use a tool to check for the 301 redirect to make sure that the response is 301 and not 200, 302, 401, or any number of other codes.
Advice for B&B Website Design