Commonly Overlooked SEO Settings for Multiple Domains

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If you’re like me, you first started with a single domain. That one website that you’ll never forget. It was something you were interested in and really enjoyed. Mine was a forum/community about something I am passionate about. After I made a few dollars I bought two domains about something I thought would be profitable. Then I moved from a subpar hosting company to HostGator. Their unlimited addon domains seemed like a challenge so I started buying domains and 7 years later I haven’t stopped. I now have a beefy VPS (still with HostGator) and over 300 domains.

With the history behind us, it’s important that every year you take time to evaluate your portfolio, settings, linking strategy in light of what’s new in the SEO industry. 7 years ago everything was expensive, whois privacy was outrageous, unique IP’s for your domains were cost-prohibitive, and even hosting accounts were really expensive. Today you can get IP’s for a few bucks, free domain privacy and really good hosting accounts for less than $10 per month.

So here are some of the most commonly overlooked SEO settings that you’ll want to use as a checklist for your portfolio.

1. Network Linking Strategy

7 years ago, reciprocal links and linking your sites together worked for great rankings. Today that will most likely end up doing the opposite. This year, links from unique class-c IP’s are important, 500 links from one domain is a waste. Manual link building has been working wonders for about 18 months, and automation is starting to fade away. That’s a lot to take in, but if you want to compete with professionals you need to be on the same playing field.

2. Hosting Diversification

5 years ago I had 7 different hosting accounts. Each of these accounts hosted a few websites. I did this so I would be able to link my sites together and make it look like different people owned them so the links would carry weight. Now I know more and have more real world experience. I’ve realized that it’s not necessary to go through all that hassle and now I have a single VPS.

3. .htaccess

A simple .htaccess setting will ensure that everyone is building links to the correct website address. Some people might visit your website at example.com, but others type www.example.com. If each of those people link to your website, you have two links pointing to different pages (although identical). Here is some easy code for your .htaccess file. If you use WordPress, you can go to Settings > General and type “http://www.example.com” into the two URL boxes.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www.domain.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.domain.com/$1 [L,R=301]

>> Google’s Web Master tools can also set the canonical domain for you in Google.

4. Link Building Strategy

A written link building strategy is crucial if you have more than 10 domains. Less than 10 domains and you can keep more of the info in your head, but you’re going to forget what type of linking you’ve done for each individual domains. My action plan is always to get the easiest links first. I always grab links from DMOZ, Ezilon, and a few other high quality (manually edited) directories. After that I start focusing on the links that return the biggest bang for the buck. The specific types of links I go after change a couple of times per year. I make sure I’m always chasing what works as opposed to what everyone else is doing.

Let me know in the comments how many domains you have and what strategies you employ to make sure all of them are making money!

Brandon Hopkins owns a Fresno search engine marketing company and provides link building and website consulting services.

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Commonly Overlooked SEO Settings for Multiple Domains, 4.8 out of 5 based on 6 ratings
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