Q and A: Is one version of a domain going to rank better than a slightly different version?

QuestionHi Kalena

Is thefreerelaxationcd.com going to come up as often in the search rankings as freerelaxationcd.com?

Kvaud

Hi Kvaud

Why would the addition of the word “the” into your domain make any difference to rankings? What makes the difference for one site ranking against another in the SERPs is the content on the site, how well it’s optimized for the search query, the number of incoming links it has, the age of the domain and many, many other factors.

The addition or subtraction of a keyword from the domain has very little, if any, impact on the site’s ultimate ranking. You might want to review my other posts about domains and SEO to clarify things.

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Q and A: Where can I find domain name registration information?

QuestionDear Kalena

I am looking for a listing of all registered domain names. I have on and off searched Google but to no avail. I know it does exist. May be you can help and send me a link to that directory? In fact, I did run into it about a year back but at the time I did not put it in my favorites. I guess I should have? Thank you in advance for your help.

Thank you,
Eskay

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Hi Eskay

I’m guessing what you’re looking for is a site that automatically locates the registration details and/or availability of a particular domain name and returns all available data in a viewable format? That’s commonly known as a WhoIs Lookup.

There are scores of these that you can use. My personal favs are: Mark Monitor’s Allwhois and Dotster’s WhoIs Lookup.

cheers
Kalena

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Q and A: How do I swap the content of two different websites?

QuestionDear Kalena…

I have a question which I am asking all people. I have people here who are trying to manage 2 websites – one is a dot com (.com) and the other a dot info (.info).

For some reason they decided that they like .info site better, so, they want to switch the websites. Simply to say, they want to move whole .info site to .com domain… and .com site move to .info. I am trying to explain them that they can kill all SEO efforts on both websites by doing this.

Am I right?

Sergey

Dear Sergey

As a general rule, dot com (.com) names tend to have a little more trust than dot info (.info) domain names, so the short-answer would be – “Yes, this would have an impact on their SEO efforts and if anything, they should stick with the .com as their main site”.

If you were simply moving to a fresh new domain name, you could use 301 redirects to ensure you pass all the previous PageRank and link value to the new site and all would be good, but as you want to swap sites, this makes things a little trickier.

You can get around some of these issues by using different page naming conventions between the two sites. For example, if the “About Us” page on the .info site is called /about-us.htm then try naming the page /about_us.htm (or about.htm or AboutUs.htm) on the .com site.

This way, if a visitor tries to go to the page named /about_us.htm on the .info site, you’ll know they should really be accessing the .com site and a 301 redirect can be used to achieve this.

However there would still be some issues transferring the rank for each of the homepages.

The ideal situation would be to consolidate the two websites. Use the .com as the main one and then redirect the .info to .com. That way you get all the link value from the .info name PLUS the existing value already held by the .com.

If there needs to be two websites, then stick with the .com as the main one and keep the .info as is.

Hope this helps.

Peter Newsome
SiteMost

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Q and A: Will building a version of my site in another language create duplicate content issues?

QuestionHi Kalena

I was wondering if you would be able to give me some insight on a question that I have. I am working on launching a spanish version of my company’s website. It’s a mirror of our current site where when a user goes in should they select Spanish they can view the pages in Spanish.

Will this pose a problem to SEO if the pages remain the same name?  Our hosting company has created a new folder where the spanish files sit, and the structure mirrors the English version of the site.   If the spanish version of the website is set up this way, will the search engines consider these duplicate pages?

Thank you,
Heather

Hi Heather

If the mirror pages are in Spanish, then they are not duplicates and won’t be treated as such. Smile! You have nothing to worry about.

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Q and A: Do you need site hosting in each search market you target?

QuestionHi Kalena

I have a client who is going into different International markets. Here are my questions:

1. Does he need hosting based in each country for each project? (please refer to a Google backed up answer)

2. If yes- can you recomend an Aussie based company that can assist with his .com.au site?

Best regards

Paul

Hi Paul

1. As far as Google is concerned, no.  In October 2007, Google released a new feature in Google Webmaster Tools that allows you to associate each of your sites with a specific regional location. Apparently, this works on a per-domain, per-subdomain, or per-directory level, but I haven’t tried that yet.

When used correctly, the tool ensures your site is displayed in country-specific search results and relevant search results for specific geographic / regional queries. From what I understand, this takes a lot of the guesswork out for Google in determining your site’s market, whereas before Google would use the location of your site host and other factors to determine this. So my recommendation would be for your client to set up sub-domains for each country/region they are targeting.

As for a Google backed-up answer, please see Matt Cutts’ post Subdomains and Subdirectories, particularly the comments section where I asked Matt:

“What about sites that target different regional markets? Does it still make sense for them to use sub-domains e.g. australia.site.com, uk.site.com and use the new Regional Association tool in Webmaster Tools to indicate which searcher region each sub-domain should be associated with?”

and he replied:

“Kalena, using subdomains for stuff like fr.example.com or de.example.com is still a great approach, because those sites may be similar in idea, but the language is usually completely different.”

2. Yes, I can recommend lots of lovely SEO helpers located in Australia. If you still need these, please email me again via the big red button.

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