Domain Keyword Recognition in 301 Redirects

Keyword-Rich Domain'sWe all wonder if setting up domain names with keywords to redirect to your web page if those words help in search rankings or not? Well we are here to discus the pros and cons to a 301 redirect. There are lots of different reasons why you would want to set up some domain redirects pointing at your web page, misspellings are the most common and make great sense to set up and maintain the domains to protect your brand while not relying on people to always get it right every time or for some of us SEO’s always dreaming up ways to do just a step more than your competition would do go out and purchase a whole bunch of keyword-rich domains and point them right at our optimization site hoping for a little help in keyword recognition. No matter what your reason for redirecting is it is always good to know exactly why your doing it BEFORE you go and buy the domain names!

So let’s talk about the misspelling for starters; for example, I personally have noticed 3 ways that people misspell my name, so I have been able to purchase 2/3 of those as domain names and set them up to redirect. There are a few very interesting things that I have noticed once I implemented these redirects; not only have I noticed in my WordPress stats that one of the misspellings was one of my top search queries as well as noticing that it showed up as an entry point to my site through my Google Analytics stats as well. So one day I felt like running a test and here is what I found:

The correct spelling of my name is Jonathon Hewitt, so I happen to have my personal blog located at www.jonathonhewitt.com where as most people would spell Jonathon with an (a) instead of an (o) towards the end so I tried to purchase jonathanhewitt.com with no luck, but some other common misspellings with my name were johnathonhewitt.com and johnathanhewitt.com, both were available and I purchased both of them with plans of purchasing the other one in 2012. The most interesting of things happened when I was looking at my first and only post thus far on my personal blog with the full url of jonathonhewitt.com/social-media/new-social-media-welcome/ and as I chose to enter the full url of that particular post with one of the misspelling domain names I had already set up to redirect johnathonhewitt.com/social-media/new-social-media-welcome/, sure enough it recognized the 301 permanent redirect that was set up and also recognized the end of the url matched a post that was on that web page /social-media/new-social-media-welcome/ with or without the misspelling in the domain name brought you right to the same place. With this I realized that we are dealing with a highly sophisticated but yet very simple engine or if you may, file system, when dealing with url’s. This would also explain when I successfully set up the “My Brand” Feedburner url for my website at jonathonhewitt.com/seo-blogger instead of the feedburner address using the same extension /seo-blogger that the original Feedburner address had set up. Without it all it does is land on my signed in list of burned Rss feeds but when you add it it works perfectly.

I own a ton of domain names and have been trying to sell as many that I am not going to use as possible so I set up a simple web page with a contact form that goes directly to me for all of my extra domains to redirect to in case they want to contact me directly regarding the domain sale. I probably had 60 domains pointed at this one website, I chose to set up Google webmaster tools to play around with it as I was not too familiar. A few weeks later I check on the stats of my webmaster tools, as a Google SEO I always am looking under Google’s list of keywords that they associated with my webpage was a few words that sparked my interest enough to remember them. One was somerly, what the heck is somerly? Well I don’t really know, my father purchased it years ago and its just there, The point of it is that we owned somerly.com and I had it set up to redirect to my contact site in case anyone was interested, Google was somehow associating the keyword “somerly” with my web pages keywords. Another domain name that we own is norlite.com as it was the name for my grandma’s old campground in Alaska, I also noticed “norlite” as one of the top referring search terms pointing at my contact page! But wait! We have never had a website up under norlite.com!?!?! How does Google associate those words with my web page? Where do they see it?

At the time I was too nieve to really realize what I had stumbled on but have since realized the importance of redirecting, for both misspellings  and keywords helping to improve your website or blogs presence in the search results. I have since purchase multiple domain and set them up to redirect because I am now convinced that they do help in some ways. There are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing and setting up these domain redirects:

  • Search Engine’s have penalized websites for having too many redirects(thousands), blacklisting them from the search results.
  • The shorter the domain name the better, so-you-do-not-want-to-get-too-long-of-a-domain-name.
  • Get a couple of keywords in the domain name for example: search-engine-optimization.com or florida-real-estate.com and point them at your site (w/ and w/out the www!).
  • Make sure that the keywords that you go for are relevant to your website’s content and not just wishful thinking.

I have also set up many easy to remember ways of getting to certain pages or profiles related to my individual websites, ie: http://twitter.seosport.com redirects to my company’s Twitter account, http://feed.seosport.com redirects to my company’s Rss feed, http://contact.seosport.com/ redirects to my company’s contact form, etc. There are so many ways that can make navigation through your social content as well as your webpage so much easier to remember. I suggest you try making some of these settings yourself and it even makes it easier for you to remember! Well, I hope my experiences with dns settings and all of my own trial and error has helped your understanding of how a small but important piece of the World Wide Web works and proves beneficial to you in your future web endeavors. Please let me know your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below, thanks for reading!

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  • http://paintingdenver.net/ PaintingDenver

    Great article! I find keyword domains very interesting and their propensity giving relevance to being found for that particular keyword, being an 301 redirect. Knowing one should not have too many 301’s per website, having a select few are good, owning that particular keyword, building content around it of course. Having conducted a study with a keyword domain, the site has been up for about 6-7 mos. Not having done very much in the way of seo, it is getting bottom of 1st., top of second page listing on google for that particular keyword. Owning approx. 7 websites, most having highly searched terms for each particular phrase, we own say a couple hundred, being .com .net’s. Some having hyphens, some phrased are reversed (fuzzy logic), my question is as follows;Are the benefits that much greater, redirecting url’s to internal pages, spreading them out over one particular site, or do not need to worry, pointing all to home page. Say a site has 12 pages, A Color Home pg. B Color History pg. C Color Interior pg. D Color Exterior pg. E. Color Deck pg. and so forth. Having [ColorInterior.com, [ColorExterior.com, [ColorDeck.com benefit much more directed to each internal pg.? Knowing making search engines crawlers perform the least amount of work, I think I already know the answer. If you can elaborate, it would be much appreciated. Tks~

  • http://www.paintingdenver.net Cal

    Great article! I find keyword domains very interesting and their propensity giving relevance to being found for that particular keyword, being an 301 redirect. Knowing one should not have too many 301’s per website, having a select few are good, owning that particular keyword, building content around it of course.

    Having conducted a study with a keyword domain, the site has been up for about 6-7 mos. Not having done very much in the way of seo, it is getting bottom of 1st., top of second page listing on google for that particular keyword.

    Owning approx. 7 websites, most having highly searched terms for each particular phrase, we own say a couple hundred, being .com .net’s. Some having hyphens, some phrased are reversed (fuzzy logic), my question is as follows;

    Are the benefits that much greater, redirecting url’s to internal pages, spreading them out over one particular site, or do not need to worry, pointing all to home page.

    Say a site has 12 pages, A Color Home pg. B Color History pg. C Color Interior pg. D Color Exterior pg. E. Color Deck pg. and so forth. Having ColorInterior.com, ColorExterior.com, ColorDeck.com benefit much more directed to each internal pg.? Knowing making search engines crawlers perform the least amount of work, I think I already know the answer. If you can elaborate, it would be much appreciated. Tks~

  • http://www.seosport.com/ Jonathon Hewitt

    Excellent Question! You need to find ways to synchronize your website’s architecture and all of your 301 redirects. I would point every one of them at the home page!Why?Lets take this website for instance; I have socialmediaoptimistscom set up to redirect to seosportcom using a 301 permanent redirect. Now since the keywords in this particular domain are Social, Media and Optimists you would think that I should have pointed the redirect to my Social Media page seosportcom/social-media but in fact that would be cutting my homepage out from having Google associate those keywords with my entire website.Redirects work with the root of the domain very nicely, in fact if you try to enter our website using a redirect followed by a particular pages /exact-slug/ you will land on that exact page so pointing it to another page just cut out the rest of your domain from using that same redirect. Try going to my redirected domain socialmediaoptimistscom/social-media and you will land on the seosportcom/social-media page. Now that you know this you can set up all of your redirects and add them to your link building efforts by doing the following:1) Add your redirects to social bookmarks, website directories and blog comments so that they can crawl and index your redirected domains.2) Get a premium dns service provider that can host all of your domains in one account that offers you the ability to fill in title, description and key words under each redirect record(I personally use dnsmadeeasycom and it costs about $150 per year for all of my 200+ domains)3) Add some of your redirects to your footer pointing right back at your domain using keyword relevant link text.4) Use your redirects in email and web campaigns for tracking purposes(Google Analytics will show you how many people entered you domain coming from that domain).5) Use your redirects in deep link building as well (ie. redirectcom/category/page-slug )By using your redirects in your on and off-page seo efforts you will not only be maximizing the use and getting the most out of your multiple domain purchases, but you will be allowing the search engines to associate the key words in those domain redirects with your targeted website. I have seen some of my published redirects show up on the front page of Google’s search results using this method.Two things to remember is if they(search engines) cannot index the redirect somewhere then you just wasted money and time, also if you have a choice you should use “do follow” directories and blogs to publish your redirects(as long as they’re not spammy).

  • http://www.paintingdenver.net PaintingDenver

    And I thought I knew the answer to my question! Great info, huge find! Your answer should be published in Wikipedia, as I'm bookmarking your response to revisit. Tks. for such a detailed and informative answer Jonathan. Just getting my feet wet w/seo, just learned this week about social bookmarking. Went back to my blog, bookmarking to delicious, google, and digg. submitting 24 this weekend, using main web site url/blog. Knowing each blog article should have hyperlink to main web site. Making it much easier deciding on who I want to take my seo to the next level. Will call to discuss what you can offer, getting us on top of 1st. pg for 5-10 keywords. We have a couple companies providing quality inbound links, but w/site being so new, professional seo is the way to go starting out of the gate, maximizing exposure.Site still in it's infancy, with several features still being added, but don't think it's too early discussing your services. ET is within another month, completing all features, such as HIT Convey, HIT Adore Flash Gallery, HIT Mobile, WPBlog attaching to site. I think having a professional seo company make all necessary changes, will make any site, one to reckon with. In the painting industry, we've added a feature, being overlooked by many, giving the ability to pay for paint jobs through web site. This has been installed, but will not roll out until all updates are completed.Tks. Again!~Cal

  • http://www.seosport.com/ jonathonhewitt

    Thank you! I'm glad to share my seo knowledge, although I still don't consider myself an expert by any means as nobody is an expert! Seo changes on a daily basis and if you are not paying attention you can skip a beat real easy.For social bookmarking you should try stumbleupon.com and connect with me stumbleupon.jonathonhewitt.com I believe it gives you a do follow link every time.An Seo Company can be helpful only when there is good communication between company and client. It sounds to me that communication would not be a problem nor would participation with you. I also have experience working with a painting company and have some interesting strategies.If you were to hire our company I will have to let you know that you would need to re-think your initial goal of getting to the front page of Google for ONLY 5 – 10 key words.

  • http://www.seosport.com/ jonathonhewitt

    Excellent Question! You need to find ways to synchronize your website’s architecture and all of your 301 redirects. I would point every one of them at the home page!

    Why?

    Lets take this website for instance; I have socialmediaoptimists.com set up to redirect to seosport.com using a 301 permanent redirect. Now since the keywords in this particular domain are Social, Media and Optimists you would think that I should have pointed the redirect to my Social Media page seosport.com/social-media/ but in fact that would be cutting my homepage out from having Google associate those keywords with my entire website.

    Redirects work with the root of the domain very nicely, in fact if you try to enter our website using a redirect followed by a particular pages /exact-slug/ you will land on that exact page so pointing it to another page just cut out the rest of your domain from using that same redirect. Try going to my redirected domain socialmediaoptimists.com/social-media/ and you will land on the seosport.com/social-media/ page.

    Now that you know this you can set up all of your redirects and add them to your link building efforts by doing the following:

    1) Add your redirects to social bookmarks, website directories and blog comments so that they can crawl and index your redirected domains.

    2) Get a premium dns service provider that can host all of your domains in one account that offers you the ability to fill in title, description and key words under each redirect record(I personally use dnsmadeeasy.com and it costs about $150 per year for all of my 200+ domains)

    3) Add some of your redirects to your footer pointing right back at your domain using keyword relevant link text.

    4) Use your redirects in email and web campaigns for tracking purposes(Google Analytics will show you how many people entered you domain coming from that domain).

    5) Use your redirects in deep link building as well (ie. redirect.com/category/page-slug/)

    By using your redirects in your on and off-page seo efforts you will not only be maximizing the use and getting the most out of your multiple domain purchases, but you will be allowing the search engines to associate the key words in those domain redirects with your targeted website. I have seen some of my published redirects show up on the front page of Google’s search results using this method.

    Two things to remember is if they(search engines) cannot index the redirect somewhere then you just wasted money and time, also if you have a choice you should use “do follow” directories and blogs to publish your redirects(as long as they’re not spammy).

  • http://www.paintingdenver.net PaintingDenver

    Will fill out form, getting quote for seo. Interested in comment, has me thinking! “ONLY 5-10”, but can only afford so much. If you can contact me tomorrow or next, would be good. Tks!~Cal

  • floridamortgage

    this is an excellent article on redirects. After reading a realize I that my redirects are very pathetic and i need to address them. I have bookmarked your post here and will reference it as I continue to improve my site's SEO with great tips like the ones you have provided here about redirects.

  • http://telephony.net/ Mark Hewitt

    Great post Jon! Looks as if you have an upper hand with your DNS knowledge!

  • http://www.seosport.com/ CHEAPWEBSITEDESIGNSERVICES

    I like your post on this 301 Redirects, its help me to improve my SEO knowledge a little bit.

  • http://www.seosport.com/ PaintingDenver

    Turning up the heat! Everybody in Denver watch out, here we come!

  • Pingback: Domain Keywords Permanent Redirects For Internet Marketing()

  • http://twitter.com/Wustl07 Scott Frey

    I have a feeling this may be a really dumb question, but how are you limiting your domain registration fees? What you are doing with DNS made easy doesn’t also include the yearly registration fees does it?

  • iainforrest

    Hi – thanks for a useful post. what about duplicate content issues when multiple redirected domains point to the same page?

  • Guest

    Google and most other search engines look at a redirected domain as an alias domain, they mark that that domain has been “Moved Permanently” to the targeted domain. Due to this fact there is no problem with duplicate content because it is all viewed as one website. But to further that explanation just a little bit, Google has only said to watch out for duplicate content on your own web page, they did not say a word about having duplicate content on any other website. They actually have never mentioned it, because its really not that big of a deal and won’t get you penalized what-so-ever.

    The main goal is to come up with the most unique content that you can so that it will stand out against other website’s content, if you need to fill a blank by using something you have already written just try to use different words to describe it.

  • http://seosport.com/ jonathonhewitt

    Google and most other search engines look at a redirected domain as an alias domain, they mark that that domain has been “Moved Permanently” to the targeted domain. Due to this fact there is no problem with duplicate content because it is all viewed as one website. But to further that explanation just a little bit, Google has only said to watch out for duplicate content on your own web page, they did not say a word about having duplicate content on any other website. They actually have never mentioned it, because its really not that big of a deal and won't get you penalized what-so-ever.The main goal is to come up with the most unique content that you can so that it will stand out against other website's content, if you need to fill a blank by using something you have already written just try to use different words to describe it.

  • Anonymous

    Really Very Helpful , specially for Me.
    Thanks!!

  • Anonymous

    Great Article , I like it and read it again and again!!! :-)

  • http://www.briankenyon.com/ kenyob

    Great article. This is helpful because I just purchased a domain for a keyword that Im working on and have it redirecting from Godaddy.

  • http://www.seosport.com/ Search Engine Optimization

    Great article. This is helpful because I just purchased a domain for a keyword that I’m working on and have it redirecting from Godaddy.

  • MercaLoday

    I have been reading number of articles on this subject and yours is one of the best! Thanks.I have something to throw into the mix. I host sites on IIS7. I have a client who has a number of keyword domains (no content) which I redirect (301) to the main site. I also use the host headers. For example, [mainsite.com and [mainsite.com both are host headers (also called bindings in IIS). For the keyword domains, I have the same [keyworddomain.com and [keywordword.com as host headers with the [keyworddomain.com redirected to [mainsite.com.Now, should we really set up both the www and no-www domains as individual sites and redirect both to [mainsite.com or do the use of host headers act as a 301 since whenever a user requests the no-www domain it is redirected to the www domain by the host header.BTW, IIS& has a great plug-in that does a site analysis and tells you about errors like broken links, multiple h1s, multiple canonical formats, different casings in links, etc. and it's FREE!Thanks for any comments,clm

  • http://seosport.com/ jonathonhewitt

    Thanks for your comment, I have found in my experience since I wrote this post that actually making a keyword rich domain a live landing page with links pointing at the target site can add an additional entry point in the search results to your main site. It is best to make sure to have unique meta tags, title tag and description tag. And to answer your question, I would make the www and the non www go to the same site, so set the www as a cname record and then point all of your links at the www domain so that google and other search engines will display each landing page as a www in their search results, people are used to seeing the www. I hope this helped answer your questions. You are welcome to call me with any further questions you may have (941)284-0964

  • John

    I am still a little confused. There are a lot of domain mispellings. How do you decide which ones to use? and; do you buy each one as a domain name?

  • Kkk

    nice article! This will become helpful to people those are entering in seo world.