Multiple Domains can be a problem for ranking in Google
Multiple domains/sites are not popular with Google and unless they have clearly different objectives and products, they will be canned in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
Multiple domains or sites selling the same product lines, overlapping lines, syndicated/copied product content – bad idea – Google hates them and no matter how hard you try and cloak your ownership, they can usually find out who you are because typically these sites have one or more:
- Same telephone numbers for customers to call – easy to cross check
- Interlinked sites – many multiple site owners seem to think that linking their sites together makes a difference – it does not and Google have said this before.
- Same IP address/host for all the domains- that’s the easiest thing for them to check and very cumbersome to get around – taking out 20 hosting accounts is no fun and too unwieldy anyway.
- Whois details – even with privacy, there are some details that can be extracted from the registrars that can show them multiple domain connections.
If anyone thinks they can get around all that then consider this. When you bought your multiple domains, did you get them all at the same vendor on the same day? Did you use a credit card to buy the domains with? Did you fail to change the registration to private before you bought the domain? (otherwise there is a whois record with your name on it). All these things are trackable by Google, including the history of your web usage. If you login to the wordpress of all your domains from a single ip, the analytics function can allow Google to know this. Your webmaster tools is another place where they can see multiple domains grouped together that are owned by a single person/entity.
That is also indexed by Google. There is a long trail left behind for Internet activity and Google handles a lot of it; nearly every action we take Google monitors in one way or another. Welcome to Big Brother. So if you think that you cannot be touched – think again – the nature of information collection by Google is intrinsically covert. What they do with that data is largely unknown. They definitely manipulate it to weed out the unscrupulous and multiple sites are frowned upon heavily these days.
So you see there is no escaping the insidious nature of Internet information tracking and in general we have given Google permission to do so – simply agreeing to the terms of Google Analytics does that.
My advice to whose with multiple sites where there are overlapping or identical product lines is to begin reducing the effort put into least successful sites and increasing the successful ones growing them in size. Running backlink campaigns these days is a waste of effort – the money and time is best invested in broadening the scope of your content, increasing your pagecount, blogging at least twice a week and improving the user experience with more functionality such as videos etc. The next thing is to run proper social campaigns because thats where its at – for sales, thats where the consumers hang out. Facebook is now the worlds largest ‘storeless mall’ – People hang out there all day waiting for a juicy tidbit or offer and pounce in their thousands when they see something they want, like pedestrians walking through a mall with no stores in it.
The answer to those having ranking problems with multiple domains is to
- diversify your product ranges
- make the most of social media – Facebook, Stumbleupon, Twitter etc.
- do not use duplicate/syndicated content
- do not have heavily overlapping product lines
- do not link sites unnaturally together. i.e. do not link your pinkhandbags.com site to your petfood.com site.
- READ THE GOOGLE WEBMASTER GUIDELINES!
- READ THE BEST PRACTICES FOR RUNNING MULTIPLE SITES
- Use Google’s Reconsideration Request tool and Disavow Links tool
If you have problems reported in your webmaster tools you can find out about cleansing your domains here.
Be aware 2012 is an important year for Google -these updates are signalling the definite end of an SEO era. Pity those making a living selling backlinks because they are now an obsolete industry – they should all have seen it coming however. I am a writer and get to see the awful quality of many sites I am hired to rewrite – I can only imagine business will improve for us in that respect as webmasters everywhere realize the value of offering a quality website experience for users. Take note – one thing is for certain: Google does.
If you need help with reorganizing your domains, talk to PhraseSet today – we can help make some sense out of the SERPs madness for you!