Tech Tips – Redirection and Search Engines
Selecting a domain name can be tricky business, especially when more than one would work for your business. As a result, you may decide to register multiple domains thinking you’ll cover all the possibilities. This is not a bad idea – this way you’ll get visitors to your site through multiple domains. A common way to set this up is to have “redirects” in place, so when a visitor hits one of your alternate domains (or a page under that domain,) they are immediately redirected to your master domain.
However… Most search engine Spiders and Bots have been programmed to ignore redirects. Moreover should they encounter a redirect they may have instructions to “ban” your site entirely from future indexing. The solution to this problem lies in the setup of the domains themselves. Any alternate domain you have, should be configured to “point” to the master domain as opposed to having it “redirect” to the master domain. This is accomplished via the Domain Name Service (DNS) configuration at your web site hosting company. As for the pages within your domains, you should remove all redirects that you may have coded into the HTML – ie: http-equiv redirects – and replace them with actual HREF links to the specific page(s). By removing redirects within your HTML pages and configuring them through your DNS, you will effectively increase the spider-ability of your web site by 100%! And that’s good times!