Question About the Google

Someone out here must know the answer to this…

The Secular Student Alliance has a website: secularstudents.org.

Recently, we purchased a few additional domain names:

atheiststudent.org
atheiststudents.org
atheiststudent.com
atheiststudents.com

If you go to any of those four links, you’ll see it does not redirect to the original secularstudents.org site. Instead, they go to separate URLS with the same content.

Here’s the question:

If we want to make the Secular Student Alliance one of the top results for people who search for “atheist student” (or whatever variation of it), would it be better to redirect the other domains to the original URL?

Does it not make any difference?

Should we keep things the way they are?

I hope that question makes sense…

  • Seth C.

    Yeah, it would make better sense to direct those urls to your main secular student url. That way you wouldn’t have to worry about editing five websites but still keep the domains for the goggling purposes.

  • Rob

    My understanding is that pagerank frowns upon duplicated content- better to do a redirect.

  • http://mnatheists.org Bjorn Watland

    I agree with the redirect. That way, when people link to you, which really boosts your ranking, they’ll be using one domain for it. Of course, Minnesota Atheists doesn’t do this, but hey, you might as well set it up right the first time, right?

  • http://religionvirus.blogspot.com James

    Yes, you should have them redirect to the main site. It’s not hard to do; your ISP should provide this service for you. If they use the Apache server, it’s something called a “rewrite rule”.

    This does two things. As already mentioned, it boosts your page ranking. But just as importantly, if someone searches for something, they won’t find five apparently different copies of the same thing.

  • http://freelanceguru.co.uk Freelance Guru

    Redirect. Your page rank will love you for it and it will be better for searching purposes too.

  • http://www.creativecentury.com Ramon

    Yeah, as others have mentioned before, you should set up a redirect to your original domain. If your concern is ranking in Google’s first page, it’s a must. Having five domains with the same content will just hurt all five of them, regardless of the original one.

    Ask your host to set up a “301 Redirect” for your other domains.

  • http://laugesen.org/ Jesper Laugesen

    what they said; redirect!

    apart from Pagerank issues, since Google attempts to filter out duplicate content you might end up with google indexing page A on site 1, page B on site 2, page C on site 1, page D on site 3…

    Some people will even advice you to make sure your site is available only as www.secularstudents.org or as secularstudents.org, as they are technically two different domains. However, in my experience, all the larger search engines handles this without problems)

    //Jesper

  • Free Hell

    You can use basic HTML to redirect :
    —————————————————-

    Your Page Title

    ————————————————————–

  • http://iain.nl/ iain

    It’s important to use the proper redirect status as well, because Google knows their meaning. 301 is the right status code.

  • http://www.evolvedrational.com Evolved Rationalist

    Redirect.

  • http://atheistblogger.com Adrian Hayter

    As people have said before, search engines (especially Google) frown on duplicated content. It can be done in a load of different ways.

  • Chas

    I’d redirect, but it’s not going to help you for search results. Google uses the page content, page name, how many other sites to that page, etc to rank search results, less so the domain name. The URLs you mentioned aren’t unique enough to do much good. Without page content, the only search they’d possibly rank in is “secular student” and would bring them all up at the same time. Repeating content will discount your ranking entirely and should always be avoided.

    If you want to rank your site higher (or the pages higher), strive to do better on specific searches. Make sure your site has lots of pages addressing specific needs or interests of the audience you’re trying to attract: coming out to your religious friends, how to handle an intolerant professor, etc. And add new content regularly. These reasons are why blogs do relatively well in rankings as to oppose to static sites.

    They’re are specialists in the field, but I work as an information architect in an agency and this covers the basics. Good luck.

  • http://www.romsteady.net/blog/ Michael Russell

    Also when you redirect, do an additional check on the redirected site because Google would look at domain.com and http://www.domain.com as different URL’s as well.

  • http://www.twitter.com/sleh sam
  • http://agersomnia.blogspot.com Agersomnia

    Redirect

  • http://www.chedstone.com Roy McKenzie

    yup 301 redirect! make sure you use the 301 status code as it will let search engines know to look for your content at your main domain that people get forwarded to.


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