Domain Management

Domain Forwarding and SEO

Updated March 5, 2018

Ever worked with a lead management marketing system? There are many out there, for a monthly fee, you get a website complete with a choice of landing pages, auto-responders (often prewritten for you) and a contact management system. They work well with online advertising; where your banner, PPC ads drive traffic directly to your pre-built landing pages, generating leads for you.

So what about setting up your own domain and pointing it to your marketing system? Not a problem, for $10 or so, you buy a domain and then forward it to your marketing system URL.

This won’t cause any SEO problems for my new domain, right? Well, “it depends”.

Little did I know that when I wrote those words in 2011 I would get a flood of questions about Domains, SEO and redirects! This expanded post will help answer them!

Redirect vs. Forward

One point of confusion is that when it comes to pointing one domain to another, hosting providers are not consistent with their terminology. Some use “forwarding”, others use “redirects”.

For example on Godaddy you will want to configure Forwarding in your DNS Management panel to redirect one domain to another.

DNS, an acronym for Domain Name Services, is the layer of the internet that maps your domain name to the IP address of the server where your content actually resides.

Godaddy forwarding configuration

Godaddy forwarding configuration

Conversely, on Bluehost and many other providers you’ll want to navigate to Redirects.

I really hesitate to add in this extra bit of confusion but it might be good for some of you to know this. To a web application developer, a Forward and a Redirect are indeed different things. A Forward changes URLs on the server without telling the browser, but a Redirect tells the browser to fetch the new URL.

But when it comes to DNS, you can think of a Redirect and a Forward as practically the same thing.

Clear as mud?

Domain Forwarding

The simplest way to forward your domain is with a redirect (in Godaddy terminology: Forward only). This means that when a user visits your domain, say mynewdomain (dot) com, the server sends back a code to the browser that tells it to go to a new location, such as iuser (dot) marketingsystem (dot) com.

Domain Forwarding – with masking

But say you have mynewdomain (dot) com and you want to show another site’s content (in this case the content from the marketingsystem) under your website domain.  This is why people use masking.

Masking hides the domain URL you are forwarding/redirecting to. With a normal redirect described as described above, the user will see the destination URL in the browser after the redirect completes. Not with masking. Also called URL Frame, domain forwarding with masking will hide the target domain from the user, keeping mynewdomain (dot) com visible in the URL box in the browser. Sounds perfect, yes? Well, let’s look at what spider sees when it visits the domain. Here’s an example

<frameset rows='100%, *' frameborder=no framespacing=0 border=0><frame src="" name=mainwindow frameborder=no framespacing=0 marginheight=0 marginwidth=0></frame>

This code tells the visitor that the content is all coming from the marketingsystem (dot) com domain.

So the general consensus is this masking using frames are bad for SEO and most case studies agree with this. In any case, savvy users visiting with Chrome or Firefox might notice that the browser is getting a response from marketingsystem (dot) com, specially if it is slow (Waiting on ….). So the source domain is not completely hidden. And, although you can insert meta tags in the frameset code to try and optimize the “page”, if you really want hide the source domain you want the name server solution below.

Permanent and Temporary Redirects [301/302]

With redirects there are two types of my website has moved codes. One is HTTP code 301 which says the new location is permanent, the other is HTTP code 302 which says the move is temporary.

If you browse SEO articles on the web you’ll see advice to always use 301 redirects to make sure that the SEO benefit passes through to the target domain. The truth is that the SEO value passes through for both 301 and 302s, but you need a 301 if you want the target URL indexed. For many situations such as the need to send a user to a replacement page because the original is deleted, a 301 redirect is what you want.

But is that really what you want in our marketing system case? If you are interested in building up the SEO power of your new domain, a 301 or a 302 redirect will defeat that goal as it just passes all that link juice to the marketing system, which may not be what you want.

Should I Set Up a Redirect?

In the comments below, I got a lot of questions on what to do when you have a collection of domains and you want to maximize their SEO potential.

I encourage you to read through the scenarios in the comments. Keep in mind that in today’s SEO landscape, a domain is unlikely to rank until it has some content and backlinks. You may think you have the perfect  domain name that is a great match for a keyword phrase, unfortunately these don’t work like they used to.

Short, memorable domain names are easier to market than keyword rich domains like cheapfastcarinsurance (dot) com.  If you are marketing online you want to take a long term perspective and build up a brand that people trust. That being said, having keywords in your domain can definitely help Google understand what is the topic you are writing about.

If you have some spare domain names that are related to your main domain, 301 redirecting them is a good idea. You will at the very least capture any type in traffic if you have a keyword rich domain.

For Our New Marketer – Name Server solution

Since masking doesn’t work well what’s left for our marketer who wants to build up his domain? Instead of forwarding the domain, you can map the domain to the target system’s nameservers (so that they handle the DNS rather than your registrar). By pointing to the marketing system nameservers you are transferring DNS control to the marketing system which will figure out what files to show your web visitor. Since in this we are trying to build the SEO value of our domain rather than the marketing system URL, this is a better approach than redirecting or forwarding with masking.

There are a couple of drawbacks however. One is that if both domains get indexed, Google may consider this duplicate content. You want to avoid having any links go directly to your marketing system URL. Also, as much as you can, customize the marketing system website. If your website looks like a hundred others, it will be harder to get it to rank highly.

About the Author Kathy Alice

Kathy Alice Brown is a SEO expert specializing in Technical SEO and Content. In her spare time she loves to get outside.

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Leave a Comment:

Derrick says November 21, 2011

Building a new or existing business, it appeared that a lead management system was the most economical to do it.
Not being a techie person this made sense to me the system is easy to use and there is very little cash out lay.
After reading your blog and trying to understand how this all works you have made some very valued points which makes me want to re-think my position.

    Kathy Alice says November 21, 2011

    I don’t mean to imply these systems are not good. You get a web presence with sales pages that presumedly have been tested and refined and a contact management system all packaged together. Developing the alternative takes time and costs money. The point I wanted to make here is that there is some obstacles in getting a domain you point to these systems to rank well.

John says December 6, 2011

Thank you, I’m still confused which of which is the best for seo

    Kathy Alice says December 7, 2011

    If you want to build SEO value for your domain, the best approach is to have your own content, if you point your domain to someone’s other content then you are building SEO value for them. That being said if you have to do this – pointing your nameserver to the third party content is the least bad for SEO.

seo says December 12, 2011

Great article, in my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will probably be much more useful than ever before.

Matt says January 5, 2012

Thank you for your article. I still have a question. We have a primary website and we also bought the domains and Would we get more SEO value having a website for each domain or just forwarding them?


    Kathy Alice says January 11, 2012

    I would 301 redirect them to your primary domain. Good Luck!

Catherine says February 2, 2012

Hello and thank you for your great article! I am a little confused because I have one, central, main domain. Then I also have around 100 additional domains on topics all related to my central area of business. Some are .com, some .net, some .org, some .tv, etc. I am not sure if I should forward all of these to my one, central, main domain or not. I’m in financial services and offer a lot of different services through my one website. But I own separate domains on each topic (eg:,,, etc…) and I don’t know what I should do with these. My goal is to boost my SEO for my one, main, central website. None of these peripheral sites are developed–I bought them just to use as email addresses and maybe someday way down the road develop into sites. Thank you in advance for your help!

    Kathy Alice says February 3, 2012

    Well 301’ing them to your main domain is better than doing nothing. I would also consider creating one pagers on a selected few to rank for the EMD queries. Depending on your business, these one pagers would either link to your main domain or be a squeeze page.

thesearchsource says March 1, 2012

That’s very valuable information for all the readers to understand the concept. SEO value for any domain is surely the best approach for the content for sure. Redirect with your domain is the best thing for anyone for the betterment.

john says March 15, 2012

I have a question: I set up a real estate url rich with the keywords I want to target. its mytownREALESTATEHOMES dot com
But I’m worried that it looks a little spammy. Newyorkrealestate is great but adding the “homes” at the end looks weird to me, even though homes is one of my main keywords.
I won another url “HOMEinMYTOWN” dot com that makes better sense but lacks the real-estate phrase. Should I just to a perm 31 redirect of the homeinmytown site or will that hurt sep of the main site since all the links will be linking to the forwarded site?

    Kathy Alice says March 19, 2012

    Without doing further analysis, it’s hard to tell you exactly what to do. But let’s say “HOMEinMYTOWN” is the domain that makes the best sense. The 301 redirects will carry most of (but not all) of the link juice to your target domain as long as Google trusts the new domain. We’ve seen incidences when it doesn’t. Make sure that your domains all are owned by the same person, and do a little linkbuilding for the new domain (get a couple of directory listings eg). Hope that helps.

keith barnwell says June 7, 2012

hi, i just wanted to say thank you and i really appeciate this post

i am a marketing specialist, who is still learning “seo” methods and i found this post VERY useful

thank you very much!!!

check out my website for some (m.o.n), it’ll change your life!

Burt says August 2, 2012

Thanks Kathy for this information.

Here is what I’m trying to figure out…I hope you can help.

I want to redirect a domain.. ie. to

but I don’t want to do a standard redirect.

If someone searches Google for my name… “My Name”
I would like for Google to index with a description and when the end user clicks on the url, it would redirect them to

I hope I’ve made this clear…and I hope you can help.


    Kathy Alice says August 3, 2012

    I’m not sure you have a lot of options here without violating Google’s anti cloaking guidelines. If has history, a rich backlink profile and decent authority and THEN you 301 redirect it – it can take Google surprisingly long to update it’s index, but it eventually does.

    Love to hear if anyone has a different opinion.

      Paul C says December 14, 2012

      Why don’t they just focus on 1 domain instead and use normal links to the related site? I thought Google’s policy was all about honest and reliable content? In that case nobody wants to be redirected at an unknown moment, but rather choose themselves to click the related link if they are really interested. I think the entire idea nowadays to redirect anyone in whatever way is nothing more then manipulating the web visitor. Go back so simple and reliable.

Brian says August 7, 2012

Hi Kathy;

Thanks for the great post! I have a little bit of a different situation and I’m a bit lost – my company’s blog was set up before I arrived as a hosted blog – but we wanted to take it to a hosted platform on a subdomain for greater design flexibility and get rid of ads, etc. However, the site the subdomain would be on is an ASP server, and of course isn’t compatible with wordpress CMS. We have a PHP server with a different domain which we could host it on – but I guess we would have to mask it. Is the DNS method the way to go, making sure that Google does not index the “real” domain? I want to keep as much SEO benefit as possible. My main specialty is social media, not really web hosting – so please excuse any glaring ignorance on my part 🙂

Thanks for any advice you can offer!

    Kathy Alice says August 13, 2012

    Thanks! Well despite have many clients using ASP I will state right up front I’m very ignorant on using Windows as a server. To a person “raised” on Unix it kind of baffles me why you simply can’t install WordPress in a subdirectory.

    I’m not sure what you mean by the “DNS” method, but if you have a large enough operation, you might look into whether you could tie the domain to a network device that sits in front of your webservers. So if your domain is that would resolve to the network device’s IP address. would be routed to the ASP servers (which could be named and and would be routed to

    Otherwise, a simpler approach is to simply use DNS to assign the subdomain to the PHP server’s IP address (keeping pointing to the ASP server), with a subdomain I believe you should be able to do that. Of course you should 301 redirect it’s original domain to the subdomain to make sure you aren’t splitting any SEO link juice over the two domains.

gary says August 17, 2012

Hi there great article but left me wondering is Google even indexing my domains? I have our website at which contains all content. I then purchased 60 other domains and 301 redirected to specialist pages on such as; >> 301 redirect >>> >> 301 redirect >>>

Will Google index etc as that was the whole point, we wanted to appear if someone searched for ‘apples in london’?

Many thanks

    Kathy Alice says August 17, 2012

    Doesn’t look like it, no info available when I type in

Andrew Hughes says September 4, 2012

Good article and I just found out the hardway that masking a site can plummet your rankings! I’ve used forwarding now as I’m unsure about DNS mapping. Doesn’t this duplicate your website and with the new Google updates it can do more harm than good? I think the only way forward is to redirect then when you have more time create a completely new website perhaps using a customized version of the original.

Don says September 17, 2012


Let’s say I built a site called, and sold Vaseline, and got it ranked high organically…so I decided to sell Chapstick too off of my original site, because it ranked high and was getting a lot of traffic that might want Chapstick, too.

Then, let’s say I was able to buy If that term appeared to be low to medium difficulty SEO-wise to rank first organically…what is the best thing to do with that domain, if I don’t want to pay for another merchant account and hosting for this new domain and want to get traffic to, while leveraging the SEO juice of the great name?

How would my URL forwarding be set up (if that’s what I should do), and what would the hyperlinks look like in press releases, articles, and other content used for SEO?


    Kathy Alice says September 24, 2012

    When we start talking about which domains/URL to use in the media, we are getting into a branding discussion – which is beyond the scope of this article. If came to you with some SEO value, you could 301 redirect it to pass the value to your main site as I have commented before. Or you could consider building up as it’s own brand. Google likes brands – a lot. If I had I would seriously consider building a site, it’s too powerful a domain name not to. You can host both domains on the same account unless you have a very restricted hosting setup and the same shopping cart can serve both, or all the buy pages can live on

Lenamtl says October 10, 2012


Let say I have 1 main domain and 10 extra domains that are pointer with automatic rediretion to the main doamain. (I’m using DirectAdmin) some are alias some are not.
Unfortunately we cannot index anymore those extra 10 domains because they have no content.

If I create a different account for each domain and create 1 page or 2 and add different content on all 10 extra domain (of course similare content but no exact copy the goal is that the visitor click an go to the main site).

Is this make sense or not?
Is there any easier way to add one page per domain other than creat 10 new account?
Is even the content is not exactly the same is this going to be detect as duplicated content?
I do not want to cause problem to the main domain SEO and want to index those name to get more visitor.
Should I gave up this idea and not renewing the extra domains?


    Kathy Alice says October 15, 2012

    Many hosting providers give you the ability to have multiple domains within a single hosting account. You map the additional domains to subfolders in your directory. BTW. Google rolled out a change (late Sept) to target low quality EMD (exact match domain) sites – so your strategy may no longer work that well – especially if your content mostly sucks. So I would only try one or two domains rather than putting the effort into all 10.

Andy Thomas says October 16, 2012

Thanks for the great post it did clarify a mysteries I have had. I do have another variation. My customer has a website and it is getting some traffic. We have purchased a “dead-on domain name” that contains the key words he would like to be found by the search engines. Now the question, do we simply use the dead-on domain as a DNS forward to the original site or should we move the content to the dead-on domain and let the original site be forwarded to the dead-on domain?

    Kathy Alice says November 1, 2012

    I don’t think it is a question that can be answered without some analysis. You need to weigh the how strong the original domain is vs. how much extra traffic you think the keyword rich domain will bring you. Another consideration is how memorable either domain is – and how much brand marketing is being done.

carlo says November 17, 2012

Hi Kathy

Nice post.

I have a question though. Excuse my spelling here and there as English is not my native language 🙂

So i have this domain with hosting that is my main website

i also have two other domain names that have a slight different spelling. This to make sure that people who mis-type the name arrive on the main website anyway.

So what is the best way make this work?

The main domain may not suffer any seo penalty or whatever of course. The domain names with the slightly different spelling will have no content.

example so lets say the main domain is : and this is the real and active site with all contents

let’s say the others i also have are : ,

these will have no content but if someone for some reason types in this url i want them to be re-directed to the main site.

and this in a way that my main site will still be optimal for seo and not be penalized

    Kathy Alice says November 22, 2012

    I would 301 redirect the two other domains to your main domain. How this is set up depends on your registar but many allow set up as a 301 redirect – although sometimes it’s called a “forward”.

Dean says January 11, 2013

Our company recently bought a facility in Texas with a very high ranking web presence. Our own web rankings are lacking due to a recent botched redesign. Is it better to use the 302 forward, 301 forward, or simply duplicate our web page’s content on their high ranking page? We want the customers to see our content but don’t want to drag either our page or their old page down (at least until our page’s ranking comes back up)

    Kathy Alice says January 14, 2013

    Well it depends on what you are trying to accomplish. I wouldn’t duplicate your content on the Texas web site. Google doesn’t like duplicate content. I would be more inclined to put some content (unique) on the Texas website along with a link to yours. Then the high regard Google is giving to that site is flowing through to yours, helping it rank better as you fix up your design. I’m not sure what you are considering 301 or 302 redirecting, but if in the long term you don’t want to maintain the Texas site, you should 301 redirect its domain to yours and that should give your site quite a boost, however I would wait until you fix your site’s design. A 302 tells Google it is a temporary redirect and you should use that only if it really is temporary – especially since Google is unpredictable about which domain/URL it will index – it will probably just index the Texas domain because it likes it better. Hope this helps!

KindKong says January 25, 2013


I have a site , and I have some domain names for competitors (,

The rank of these competitors are much higher than mine, so I want to take advantage of this by redirect their domain names other than .com to my site.

What do you recommend?
just 301 redirect, or host these domains and add some content then redirect to my site (either automatic or manual)?

Thanks in advance

    Kathy Alice says January 26, 2013

    If the domains don’t have any backlinks or any history then 301 redirecting is not going to help much. Building them up into viable domains that rank and then linking to your site should.

ddee says March 24, 2013

We bought 2 sites for my sister for property management, I told her should should have property management in the website name….would it be better to have this one as the original site and the other that doesn’t have property management pointing at it? She is afraid people will forget to insert the slashes…

    Kathy Alice says March 29, 2013

    If I follow the question you have two domains – one that is keyword rich but long (‘property management’) and want to know which should be your primary domain and which should redirect? There is not enough information to answer this definitively. For me it would depend on the other domain and how I was doing my marketing (whether the domain name was prominently used in the logo, whether there is offline marketing … etc). You might get a SEO benefit from having the property management domain as primary and the other be a redirect, but it could be a tradeoff against other benefits.

Ted says September 24, 2013

I’m a little confused… Tell me if I’m thinking right, if I will have main website with “brand name domain” and then I will forward “keyword domain” to my brand website it will help my seo for that “keyword” ?

    Kathy Alice says September 30, 2013

    Ted, it might help. If you have good links pointing to the “keyword domain” then the link juice will be passed to your main domain when you 301 redirect (not forward!) the keyword domain. But the question you really want answered is whether the keywords in the keyword domain will help the main domain. The answer to that one is not so clear. For one thing the performance of EMDs (exact match domains) has varied based on the Google algorithm updates. My thinking is that you might get a small boost that won’t last, but testing it is the only way to make sure.

Amit Shah says October 30, 2013

Hi Kathy!

Lovely information – thank you very much!

I am still a little confused though (I’m new to websites and Google SEO setup)… hope you can help 🙂

I have a business website and a personal website:
+ The business website has content, sitemaps, Google Analytics, and appears high on Google for certain key phrases – great!
+ The personal website has been added to Google, but all it does is a framed web forward to the business site. It has no sitemap, no GA, only the frame keywords and descriptions. I want to ensure all the SEO power goes to the business site, without changing the URL – is this possible?
+ In the future, about 18 months time, I want to publish new content on the personal website, and would like to take advantage of the 18 months that the personal URL has existed on Google to kick start the rankings for ‘my name’ on Google… is this possible?
+ Given the above objectives, what are your recommended actions?
+ Also, with the current frame forwarding, does the traffic to get registered on (including in GA)?

Many thanks in advance! I can see you’ve already helped so many others 🙂


    Kathy Alice says November 26, 2013

    Hi Amit,

    I would create a placeholder site for your personal domain. A single page should do it. In fact I have one at (yes it’s really ugly). Then add a link to your business site on the page. Then when you are ready add more to your personal site.

    Your domain is getting more seasoned as time goes by – but it is even more valuable with a bit of content, even if it is just a page.

    Traffic in GA for the business site will show up as referral traffic from the personal domain.

danny says November 6, 2013


I have built up this site and have got it up to a PR3. I was talked into adding/forwarding/using miraclestrips dot com and miracles trips dot org – Is this going to get me in trouble with Google?

Should I just drop the and .org?

Should I place a redirect file on each miraclestrips site or will Google not like that either….

Thanks for your expert help!


    Kathy Alice says November 26, 2013

    Hi Danny, If you are thinking about using a HTTP meta refresh in – don’t do that – use a 301 redirect. Regarding and it’s probably neither going to help or hurt – as they are just domains with no history with Google.

Andrew says November 30, 2013

Hi, it is great to read genuine support, if i may ask a question, i have a website for a driving school which is a main page that goes on to cover many different areas, all these area pages are content rich and specific to the area they serve which is proving valuable as pages are becoming highly ranked, but i was thinking about for example i have for example now its ranking off its own back due to content but i would like to buy domains that are keyword specific such as and forward them to the area pages on my website which all have the keywords after the / etc i hope i am making sense, but would forwarding keyword rich domains to my area pages affect the good ranking it has achieved to date.

Lisa Fleming says January 23, 2014

Great site and very useful information!! I am a bit of a newcomer to all of this and have a query I wondered if you might be able to help me with.

I have a .com website through Mr Site. I’ve found that restricting, content/functionality-wise so I’m embarking on a ‘proper’ wordpress site. Since I want to leave the .com site running whilst I create my new website I’ve acquired a website of the same name in which to do that. Once up and running I want to transfer the new’s contents to the .com address as I sell sheet music that features the .com name. That way – hopefully – I’d have a relatively seemless transition from the old .com site to a new .com site that doesn’t interrupt sales. The would then be devoid of content so I’d also then add a redirect from to .com.

Is transferring the content difficult – or would I be better off just leaving the new site at and redirecting traffic to my .com site to (with or without masking)? Does any of that make a difference in terms of SEO?

So sorry if that’s all a bit long-winded! Thank you – I really could do with some advice!! Lisa

    Kathy Alice says January 30, 2014

    I would do a bit of extra work and move it so that it’s clean and simple. While WordPress makes it really easy to import various forms of content into your new site, I don’t know anything about Mr. Site. Ask them if there is a way to export the content and see if any of the formats are supported by WordPress. Once you have it moved then, then you can redirect. From the SEO perspective, you want to avoid a situation where you have two sites with the same content.

Kevin says February 6, 2014

We have a website,, that has been around for 8 years or so. We are looking to give it a boost in the rankings. We own dozens of other domain names that contain keywords related to our business. (Keyword analysis through Google shows search counts ranging from dozens to thousands per month for the different keywords, so the domains would presumably have some value if we could figure out the best way to take advantage of it.) None of those sites are active. They are parked and have been for several years, in some cases.

If I understand you correctly (based on some responses you’ve given to others), simply changing them from parked status and doing a 301 redirect on them won’t help much because EMD results are now evaluated by Google to determine if the page has any value. (No content would presumably mean no value.)

You recommend, instead, we should probably create at least one unique page (with a reasonable amount of content) for each parked domain and have one link on each page, pointing them to the related page our main site? Then Google might see the new sites as having value?

    Kathy Alice says February 25, 2014

    Single page EMD websites are not always easy to rank in Google – but they could provide non SEO benefits. 1) You might able to capture direct traffic (believe or not people will actually type in things like “” into their browser). 2) You could create lead capture pages that are more targeted and convert better – maybe you have a special offer. And just maybe you’ll have a few that rank (use a tool like Market Samurai to see the competitiveness to gauge your chances). However, I wouldn’t create dozens of these – because it might look like a network to Google and it will just disregard it but select a couple and go for it.

Kasim says August 18, 2014

I have a website that contains a lot of external links per post. Recently I was using a rel-nofollow tag but I came across a plugin known as WP NO External links i am using its oldest version.

Now it is masking all my external links to something like

Is it good for Search Engines?

Whats your view.

    Kathy Alice says August 18, 2014

    Hi Kasim, SEOs used to worry about bleeding valuable link juice with external links. I don’t worry about that anymore. Linking to high authority websites in your niche helps Google classify your site as “belonging to the right neighborhood”. I’ve started adding reference links to my articles, it’s the right thing to do. Plus you might get benefits (a link back for example) from that site. Of course if these are affiliate links you definitely want to mask them.

Waxing jacksonville beach says August 24, 2014

Hi thank you for the insight into this. I too have many domains that are just parked. I was thinking it’s better to forward them instead of letting them just sit there ….correct.? Ty

    Kathy Alice says August 28, 2014

    Yes, I would 301 redirect if you are not planning to do anything with them anytime soon.

Sue says May 6, 2015

Dear Kathy,

Thanks for all the useful information. I still have difficulty deciding what to do, so I hope you can point me in the right direction.

We have been in business and online since 1997 and own

This main domain was selected donkeys years before keyword rich domains and all the rest, but as we have had this site for so long we don’t think changing it is likely to be a good idea. After all, we are known by this name, at least in our limited circles. This main domain is a simple, static website.

We recently wanted to start selling stuff online – supplies for the equipment we sell at our main domain mostly. I decided that one of the many keyword domains we own must be the best way of going forward, so I built the online shop and it is live at (as provided in your form).

Unfortunately is a long and complicated domain name and only a small mistake can lead potential clients to a competitor website – and there are many!!

I also own which I am thinking of using for marketing purposes as it is short, memorable and unlikely that it will be typed in wrong. has no link value or other existing assets apart from the fact it is short and memorable and I own it. There is unlikely to be any SEO value in this domain.

Questions –

If I use DNS to point Quirkydomain at the existing shop (keyworddomain) – which name appears in the browser when the customer arrives at the site? Is it a case of – if they typed in quirkydomain, they will see that in the top and vice versa?

If I use DNS as above – will my keyworddomain suffer detrimental effects other than the potential for duplicate content (which is worrying enough)?

I basically want to do the best thing to ensure that I am not penalised in SEO or any other way while making it easy for customers.

The keyworddomain has now been active since March 2015 and may have started to build up a small amount of traction as I am using Twitter and Facebook to post updates and links to the site.

Are customers likely to be confused if they follow a SERPS page for keyworddomain and end up on a site branded Quirkydomain? [We are not actually showing up in SERPS yet as far as I can tell]

Is keyworddomain actually a total waste of time anyway and I should rather focus on building Quirkydomain as a brand, even though it is from scratch?

Sorry for all the questions but I am utterly confused about what the best thing to do is. Thanks in advance for your time and help.

    Kathy Alice says July 21, 2015

    Sorry for the slow reply – as WebEnso weekly readers know, I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus. Regarding your domains, it really depends how you use DNS to “point Quirkydomain to your existing keyworddomain”, if you use a 301 redirect (sometimes called forwarding – but without masking) – then you will be fine, however your site visitors will see keyworddomain in their browser URL which might be confusing if you have branded as quirkydomain.

Willjan says July 22, 2015

Hi Kathy,

I’ve got a question. What is the effect of a DNS-FWD for SEO. Is this seen as a 301-redirect or something else?

Kind regards,

    Kathy Alice says February 7, 2017

    Usually no. My guess is that a DNS-FWD is a forward with masking and not a 301 redirect.

english course online says February 5, 2017

Hello, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility
issues. When I look at your blog in Firefox, it looks fine
but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, wonderful blog!

    Kathy Alice says February 7, 2017

    Thanks for the heads up. I just migrated to a new theme and I am still working out some of the kinks.

Myrtis says February 17, 2017

Saludos. Me ha agradado analizar su editorial. Me ha semejado una interpretación muy seductora, pese
a que, en algunos puntos difiero un poco de su sentir.
He examinado que tienes más difusiones, prometo cogerme
un lapso para adivinarlas. Ten por cierto que acecharé todas
tus manifestaciones. Te felicito por tu sitio web. Un cálido saludo.

ropema marmoles says September 28, 2017

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Jennifer says March 13, 2018

Awesome! Thanks for the info, was exactly what I was looking for. I have had a few domains just sitting there, not they are at least pointing to the site. Not gonna lie, had to read it over a few times (ok…so more than just a few times), and even then had to get the help of sitegrounds customer support….but I did it! I’ll get this web stuff figured out eventually!!

    Kathy Alice says March 14, 2018

    Thanks Jennifer, I’m glad you found this post helpful. Stick with it, over time your knowledge and experience will grow.

Waseem Gul says March 25, 2018

I have a domain with godaddy, I want to redirect to new domain, I want to ask that with 301 permanent forward only, my all old domain links will be forwarded to new domains, or I have do any other setting in my domain panel. And is it seo friendly or not? please guide me. thanks

    Kathy Alice says May 6, 2018

    When I last looked, Godaddy does a funky 302-301 redirect combo, so I would use a different registrar. Also you need to make sure you are using a wildcard redirect to pick up all of the URLs of your old domain, not just your home page.

DPR Korea says April 3, 2018

This piece was extremely well-composed.
I found the work very important. Keep up the great writing!

Sajjad Malik says May 14, 2018

Its really nice work. For last three months, I was searching about it and finally I got it here. Thanks for sharing, really good work.

Liz Adikins says November 1, 2018

Does forwarded domains work as backlinks

    Kathy Alice says November 10, 2018

    That’s an interesting question. However, links inside of an iframe (which I believe is how forwards are implemented) are generally disregarded by Google due to the malicious intent they can be used for.

udit khanna says January 7, 2019

Domain Forwarding is redirection of Traffic from Domain A to Domain B. With growing influence of virtual world, it is very crucial to Protect online brand identity. Currently, a domain name can be registered with lot of domain extensions like .com, .net, .org, in etc. Though for some domain extensions there is a restriction in place.

Sarah Fisher says May 27, 2019

Hi there! I used to have my site hosted as, but now I have changed it to, at the moment they are just identical sites as I didn’t want to lose any customers who thought I was still on the .com. Should I just make it redirect instantly to the or have two identical sites? I don’t want any trouble with Google. Love to hear your thoughts? Thank you

    Kathy Alice says June 17, 2019

    You need to pick one and redirect to the other. If you make them different, (ie. is about the lucid metal business in the US) you can use the hreflang tags so Google will show the right page for the market (US or Australia)

Wayne Robertson says June 15, 2019

Hello Kathy,
all a bit much to take in really.
But let me ask your advice on this..
I already have registered my domain names. The primary main domain name let’s say is ‘ gumbochildcare ‘ and I want to create a main page or home page under that domain… Now what I want to do is have a page dedicated to each gumbo child care in each state of the country.. so I would have a page called gumbochildcare/west and another page would be gumbo childcare/north…. etc etc.. Now I want to point my other registered domains to each page so that the domain name called will point the the page within the main website to page gumbochildcare/north… and domain name ‘’ will point to page gumbochildcare/south and so on and so on…. I hope this makes sense..I do have domain name url forwarding through my registrar and thought that by forwarding each of my domain names to each page would work fine… my concern is obviously seo but i thought that because each page is different with regards to picture naming content and title etc, google would not see the same page when it crawls it…? your thoughts

    Kathy Alice says June 17, 2019

    Hi Wayne,
    To be honest I would have to look at your setup to really provide a complete answer. If you are focusing your marketing on the individual domains, then this makes sense, but I think I would want to canonicalize gumbochildcare/west to

Paul Adams says June 16, 2019


I just wanted to say thank you for the great article. It was well thought out and the information was certainly useful. I have several domains that I have been doing 301 redirects with to my main site and I have noticed a major increase in my traffic. This is type in traffic that I am referring to and I would personally encourage people who are going to do it, to make sure you build a stand alone page where the forwarding is going to go to. I wouldn’t just forward any domain to your homepage if you can avoid it. Hope this helps and thanks again for the great info.

Paul Adams

Harry says June 24, 2019

Hi Kathy, i’ve read all article but couldn’t find the solution for my problem. My site traffic has dropped more than half because of the Core Algorithm Update 2019 within a month. i was wondering to redirect all my traffic to the new domain with the 301, 302 redirects or opening in a new window over a on click. i’m not sure if it will be useful. Will previous domain still have impact on my new domain because of referral or redirect thing? Could you please suggest me how can i start increasing traffic for my new domain without losing the current traffic that i have on my old domain? please answer my queries precisely. Thank you

    Kathy Alice says July 23, 2019

    I would try and figure out why you got hit by a Google algorithm update before making any changes.
    It’s difficult to give advice on this situation without doing the proper analysis, but the place to start is to figure out what keyword you are no longer ranking for and which pages got hit. Then take a look at WHO is ranking for that keyword today. What do you need to improve about your site and/or page to compete with them?

Rob Manser says July 19, 2019

Hi Kathy,

Thank you for article and I appreciate the insight provided. I am still unclear as the best thing to do in my situation and was hoping you could share your expert thoughts.

In a nutshell, we want all SEO efforts and benefits to impact our main domain, Recently, we discovered that a CNAME redirect has been in place for quite some time for

At first blush, this did not look like an issue – as I assumed it just redirected the page to the main site. Sadly when I performed a Google search, I saw duplicate content of our main site at the ‘try.’ urls.

For example, and have the same content, which I know is a big SEO no-no.

Can you recommend a best approach to addressing this?

Many thanks,


    Kathy Alice says July 23, 2019

    Hi Rob,

    I think what you mean by a CNAME redirect is that is aliased to the domain. In this case there is no redirect, they both map to the same IP address.

    You need to contact your hosting provider and have them help you set up a 301 redirect for the try subdomain. You probably need to remove the CNAME too. Make sure you tell them that you want a wildcard redirect (so that all URL are redirected).

    Hope that helps!

Dr. Anita Sabeti says October 24, 2019

Hi, I have a pediatrics website (bevelyhillspediatrician dot com) and it ranks very well. however the name of my company is best care pediatrics and I want to get a domain regarding that name (BestCarePediatrics dot com) . Would forwarding from BestCare… to BeverlyHills.. in my favor?
Thanks in advance

    Kathy Alice says November 17, 2019

    Yes, I would get that domain and redirect (not forward) it to your current one.

Tania says November 9, 2019

Hi! I don’t know much about seo but do own several domains like most people. Does it help or hurt if I redirect a (premium/one word) domain to a site that is a completely different topic. For example… Redirect to (sales strategies being an actual website, just domain I own) p. S. These are example sites I am using. Let me know. I can’t figure it out! Thanks tons!!

    Kathy Alice says November 17, 2019

    I would only redirect if there is a relationship between the one word domain and the other domain. If there isn’t then you should establish one with PR.

Hari says September 24, 2020

Hi Kathy,

Thank you for the article. I also have some domains that are just parked. I am thinking it’s better to forward them instead of letting them just sit their….right.?

news says September 28, 2020

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Abul Bashar says October 28, 2020

Hi Kathy,

Thank you for the article

mia khalifa says October 28, 2020

I think what you mean by a CNAME redirect is that try.

ornaments says November 15, 2020

Thank you for your article. I still have a question. We have a primary website and we also bought the domains. I am not sure if I should forward all of these to my one, central, main domain, or not. I’m in financial services and offer a lot of different services through my one website. I think the entire idea nowadays to redirect anyone in whatever way is nothing more than manipulating the web visitor.

Vikas says November 19, 2020

Thanks Kathy

For this amazing article.

Now I will take the best use of domain forwarding.

Ash says November 25, 2020

Should I index the redirected domain or keep it out of the search console ?

LA says January 2, 2021

Hi – so confusing this SEO stuff. If my website is my name – marysmithdotcom and I also have a domain veganchefboston dot com. I also have cookhealthboston dot come. I have ten names that all relate to what I do. Can I just set them up to all redirect to my website marysmithdotcom?
Thank you very much,

    Kathy Alice says January 3, 2021

    Yes, you can set up redirects for your additional domains, just make sure they are 301 redirects.

Jay Kirby says January 5, 2021

I’m still confused

Tyler says January 11, 2021

Hello Kathy
I have a specific problem and I hope you could give me some suggestions. so I have a EMD site and I want to change the domain name. I already have a good domain that is more brandable and give me the chance to expand to shoulder niches.

the problem is that on the current domain the homepage is a static page that targets the main keyword.

on the new domain I would like that the homepage displays recent posts and the page that was the previous homepage is set under a page eg

I was thinking to first change the homepage and blog layout on the old site/domain. once that is acknowledged by google I simply change the old site to the new domain.

so first I change the old site: – >

then ->

what would you suggest?

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