This is a really good concept to grasp. I have a lot of domain names with godaddy.com. The 301 redirect concept intrigues me. I have some good search term and geography type redirect links I can set in motion. You learn every day on Active Rain!
I read two articles recently. The first written by Richard Weisser entitled "My name is Richard and I'm a domain name addict..." and the second written by Renee Burrows entitled "What are the benefits of owning so many domain names"
Owning a lot of domains helps but I really wasn't getting a clear idea of why and how. Renee did outline the benefits and some of the why but I wanted more detail. I guess my curiousity is insatiable. So, here's what I found out after doing some research on the topic.
Buy domains to drive traffic (duh!)
- Select domains such as vanity labels (e.g. bryansellslosaltos.com)
- Select domains based on search terms (e.g. losaltoshomesforsale.com)
- Select domains with multiple top level domains (e.g. .com, .net, .biz, etc)
- Select domain names with street addresses in your communities for new and old listings
- Select domains with common misspellings - why? because the engines will send them to you first
- Use the KISS principal (keep it simple stupid) for domain names. Less is more.
- WHY: Because all those domains get picked up by search engines and improve rankings.
- HOW: You can search available domains quickly and easily via Godaddy.com or 1and1.com. Read the SEO 101 article linked below for details on how multiple domains improve your rankings.
- EXTRA: As Renee mentioned, old sites have more "equity" in the SEO game but if they aren't available no biggie.
Redirect domains to your site
- Avoid micro-sites with minimal content
- Do a "301 redirect" for all your new sites (except listing sites)
- WHY: Micro-sites diminish the chance to build equity in your main site. You want them to go your site. The 301 redirect does the same thing. You want searches and clicks to go to your site and the 301 redirect does this while keeping the link integrity of your vanity domain.
- HOW: The website below outlines in detail the steps required to do a 301 redirect.
- EXTRA: In addition to having domain redirects, you'll want links to improve our search profile. Links named like search terms will improve your ranking just as much as domains named for search terms. For all the sites you can't have a domain for, try a link. Combining the two strategies will improve ranking.
I read this multi-part article, along with several other similar articles, and found it to be the best one at clearly laying out the information and steps necessary to have a coherent SEO plan. Certainly, we need to keep in mind the specific needs of our industry and blogging. However, this guy really knows his stuff.
The series is called SEO 101: Everything you need to know (but were afraid to ask) by Stoney deGuyter. The website this guide is on also covers a lot of information about Search Engine Marketing. Click on the tab for SEM and select the "Analytics" topic. There are a lot of good articles about SEM and blogging.
Hopefully I've added a little more clarity and value to this critical topic.