A couple of years ago, a friend of mine showed me something cool.
He showed me that if you typed “gewgle.com” into your URL bar, it would redirect you to the Google homepage we all know and love.
Now, I just checked and it doesn’t redirect the same way anymore – sad, I know – but there’s a lesson in here somewhere.
There was a time when Google had every possible domain relating to its service redirecting back to their homepage. As of now, this is no longer the case, but other companies are using similar tactics. Some believe having multiple domains pointing to their Shopify store will earn them more organic traffic by helping their pages rank higher.
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as that.
Pointing multiple domains back to your store might not directly hurt your rankings. However, it probably won’t help them, either.
Let’s talk about the pros and cons of pointing multiple domains to your store. You’ll learn the do’s and don’ts of using multiple domains, and how they can help and harm you in the long run.
Does Pointing Multiple Domains To Your Store Help Your Search Engine Ranking?
As of writing, there is little evidence to show that having multiple domains hurts your search engine ranking. However, there are few benefits to be had by using them, either.
Why shouldn’t you use multiple domains for your Shopify store?
- Search engines may become confused. Most algorithms punish domains featuring duplicate content from elsewhere on the web. When a search query brings up your content from two or more different domains, the algorithm often considers it duplicate content. They may filter some listings or otherwise punish your store as a result.
- It hurts your backlink strategy. You want as many backlinks pointing to your primary domain as possible. If your backlinks are spread across numerous URLs, you won’t benefit as much from them as if they were just pointing to one domain.
- Multiple domains can create brand confusion. Store visitors might not know what your brand name actually is, and they won’t know how to recommend you to others as a result.
Each of these concerns is very real and serves as a very real reason not to use multiple domain names. However, there are a few potential benefits you can reap by pointing multiple domain names to your store.
- You might need multiple domains if you’re running and international business. If you’re setting up regional shops using regional URLs, having multiple domains is a good thing for your brand.
- After you’ve moved your site to a new domain, it’s usually a good idea to keep the old one. This makes it easy for past customers to find you if they don’t know about your latest changes.
Whether or not you’ll benefit from using multiple domains largely depends on why you’re doing it. If you’re doing it to garner more organic traffic, you might be disappointed in your results.
What’s Your Motive?
Are you using multiple domains because you want to help ease brand confusion, or because you want to garner more search engine traffic?
To be frank, there are very few situations in which using multiple domains will work for you. Again, it all depends on your motive. But using multiple domains will usually hurt your search engine ranking more than it will help. Not to mention, you might get penalized for hoarding all domains relative to your own.